BBG Watch Commentary

BBG Watch

We want to thank everyone, especially our readers, who have helped us reach yet another milestone. BBG Watch website has now more than 2.9 million hits. We have been quoted in the Congressional Record, by NPR, Fox News, CNN, The Washington Times, National Review, U.S. News and World Report, The Hill and other media outlets and blogs.

Our website has taken on an important media oversight role for U.S. international broadcasting. At absolutely no cost to U.S. taxpayers, we have exposed numerous management failures, prevented others, and prompted the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to initiate several major reforms. We helped to save Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) from a disastrous former management team and saw it reform itself and prosper under new management. We helped many outstanding Radio Liberty journalists in Russia get their jobs back just before President Putin initiated his latest acts of internal repression and aggression abroad.

Unfortunately, we also had to become a virtual managing editor for the most editorially mismanaged Broadcasting Board of Governors media entity — the Voice of America (VOA).

Two most recent BBG Watch reports exposed especially appalling VOA editorial failures: posting a map showing Crimea to be part of Russia and retweeting RT as well as a fanatical pro-Kremlin, anti-US, anti-EU, anti-gay supporter known as “Steiner1776 – A frustrated #german and #socialist. Pro-#Russia,#Assad,#Gaddafi. F**k the #EU, #US.”

The only permanent reform can come from a bipartisan bill passed unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs committee and awaiting further legislative action. While not perfect, this legislation can lead to structural changes that will improve U.S. international media outreach as long as the VOA Charter is fully respected. (It is not being followed now by the dysfunctional VOA management.) We take pride in our role as a provider of information and analysis that may help legislators and BBG members to reach better decisions regarding U.S. international media.

We want to thank Free Media Online, a 501 c 3 media freedom NGO, founded by Ted Lipien, for supporting our web site and to thank former and current BBG employees who contribute articles, edit them, and post them. They all work in their spare time as volunteers without any compensation except the knowledge that their efforts help to reform and improve one of America’s most important assets in communicating with the world. U.S. international media outreach journalists fight censorship and make America more secure while helping others to gain freedom and improve their lives. It is a pure and noble mission. Thank you.