The Voice of America’s (VOA) Bosnian Service has been one of the most successful VOA services in the federal agency — the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The agency itself regularly scores at the bottom of the heap in annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Surveys (FEVS) conducted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to measure employee satisfaction and employees’ views of management. But a few VOA services led by good managers and staffed by talented and dedicated journalists continue to perform well despite the agency being “practically defunct,” as described three years ago by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a congressional testimony and earlier this year by Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce who said the BBG is “broken” and can’t compete with propaganda from ISIS and Russia. Agency executives disagree with such criticism and claim that management reforms are being carried out.
One of the language services that manages to thrive in a difficult agency environment is the Voice of America Bosnian Service. It is one of the best managed and best performing among VOA services and is celebrating this month the 20th anniversary of its founding in 1996. One former foreign language service broadcaster who is still with the agency told BBG Watch after a brief meeting with the new VOA director that he hopes she might be able to produce some change, at least at the Voice of America.
VOICE OF AMERICA PRESS RELEASE
VOA Director Amanda Bennett (R) presents Certificate of Appreciation to the Voice of America Bosnian Service
The Bosnian Service of the Voice of America has been a standard of broadcasting excellence to Eastern Europe for two decades.
Commemorating the service at Voice of America headquarters in Washington on Tuesday (June 21), VOA Director Amanda Bennett noted that VOA Bosnian has been a trusted source of news since June 15, 1996. “It plays a critical role as one of the few media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina that provides accurate, balanced and credible news and information about the region, America and the world,” said Bennett.
In a politically and ethnically divided country with a polarized media environment, VOA Bosnian is recognized as a trusted news source. “We are an example of objective, free media for the region,” said Service Chief Dzeilana Pecanin. VOA Bosnian reaches an estimated 17.4 percent of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina each week through its Studio Washington and interactive television programs.
Although the service’s audience resides primarily in Bosnia and Herzegovina, VOA Bosnian also has television and radio audiences in Serbia and Kosovo as well as throughout Western Europe among the Bosnian diaspora.
VOA’s Bosnian Service also maintains a dynamic website (ba.voanews.com), offers video reports on its YouTube channel, and engages audiences through Facebook and other social media.