BBG Watch Commentary

BBG Media Highlights sent out to subscribers by email and posted online by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) include today two media articles that make the BBG’s management bureaucracy, the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and senior Voice of America (VOA), look especially bad. The New York Times reports on the bipartisan bill to reform the BBG and The Miami Herald reports on a court case won by Radio and TV Marti journalists who were illegally fired and then kept from getting their jobs back by IBB executives and lawyers.

BBG Media Highlights are compiled and distributed by IIB staff. The BBG board has recently installed a new three-person management team in an effort to reform the IBB, but some IBB executives responsible for the scandals described in these media articles still occupy key management positions. This applies to senior VOA executives as well.

Including these critical media report in BBG Media Highlights — a practice not followed before — may be  putting pressure on agency executives responsible for numerous management crises and mishaps.

Other items in BBG Media Highlights show, however, that even under exceptionally bad management, BBG journalists are doing outstanding work. BBG’s surrogate media outlets, such as Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Radio Free Asia (RFA), have been less affected by mismanagement at the federal government level in Washington. These entities are semi-private and are better managed.

See: New York Times discusses the “intense debate” regarding proposed U.S. international media restructuring.

See: The Miami Herald on the OCB court ruling.


BBG Media Highlights – May 21, 2014


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BBG Media Highlights – May 21, 2014
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— New York Times discusses the “intense debate” regarding proposed U.S. international media restructuring.

— RFE/RL’s Golnaz Esfandiari named as Guardian “ten people to follow” on Iran and quoted in the New York Times on Iranians detained for making “Happy” video.

— The Miami Herald on the OCB court ruling.

Citations of BBG Networks

— PBS Newshour uses VOA reporting on Thai military’s order for martial law.

— NPR quotes RFE/RL’s Liz Fuller on rumors of Chechen fighters in Ukraine.

— Washington Times cites VOA reporting on influx of Russian cash in American tech.

— Tibetan Review cites RFA reporting on dissidents detained ahead of Tiananmen anniversary.

— Geo TV, was suspended by the Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) yesterday. VOA Urdu did an exclusive interview with the Vice President of the Geo Network, Dr. Amir Liaquat Hussain, which was widely picked up in Pakistan and heavily discussed on the social media.

— VOA Turkish story on White House pledge that CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as a cover for spying operations picked up and used by Odatv (major opposition TV channel) online portal.

Of Interest

— Ukraine is now detaining journalists.

— Iran arrests eight for “Happy” video.

— Why do videos go viral?

— NPR ends Tell Me More, eliminates staff positions.

— Arthur Sulzberger Jr. speaks to Vanity Fair.

— Yoani Sanchez launching a newspaper.

About Us
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is the independent federal agency that oversees all government-supported U.S. civilian international media. The mission of the BBG is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. Networks within the BBG include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).  BBG programming reaches an audience of 206 million in more than 100 countries and in 61 languages.