BBG Watch

    On Wednesday, April 22, there will be a discussion at the Wilson Center in Washington DC on the future mission strategy and organization of U.S. international media outreach.

    The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as a research institution, has posted online a new study, “Reassessing U.S. International Broadcasting,” written by a former Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) member S. Enders Wimbush and a former Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) executive Elizabeth M. Portale.

    Those interviewed for the study included former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former chairmen of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Marc Nathanson and Amb. James Glassman, former Voice of America directors Geoffrey Cowan and Robert Reilly, former RFE/RL President Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, former Freedom House President David Kramer, Dr. Francis Fukuyama, and several other prominent American scholars, diplomats, journalists and media experts.

    A link to the entire study is HERE.

    “By many accounts, U.S. international broadcasting’s mission is unclear, its attachment to U.S. foreign policy strategies tenuous at best, and its organizational structure ineffective,” the study’s authors, S. Enders Wimbush and Elizabeth M. Portale, wrote in the introduction.


    The Woodrow Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy program, present
    Rethinking U.S. International Broadcasting: A Conversation on Mission, Strategy and Organization

    Wednesday, 22 April, 2015, 4:00pm-5:30pm
    Woodrow Wilson Center, 5th Floor Conference Room

    Event description: By many accounts, U.S. international broadcasting’s mission is unclear, its attachment to U.S. foreign policy strategies tenuous, and its organizational structure ineffective. Many see the entire enterprise as broken. For a new assessment, Reassessing U.S. International Broadcasting,” co-authors S. Enders Wimbush and Elizabeth M. Portale interviewed some 30 individuals with extensive experience in foreign policy strategy, international relations, international broadcasting, public diplomacy, and promotion of human rights and democracy. Join us in a panel discussion chaired by A. Ross Johnson addressing these questions:
    • What is U.S. international broadcasting supposed to do, and how should it do it? What kind of strategic instrument is U.S. international broadcasting today?
    • What is the nature of the connection between U.S. international broadcasting and U.S. foreign and security policy?
    • How should U.S. international broadcasting be organized to optimize both mission and strategy?
    Two of the report interviewees — James Glassman and Carl Gershman – and R. Eugene Parta (co-author of a previous report on U.S. international broadcasting reform) will offer their perspectives on these issues.

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