BBG Watch Commentary
Some of the members of the Advisory Board for the independent Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) met in New York City Thursday with newly sworn-in Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chairman Jeff Shell.
Such a meeting with a media freedom advocacy group on the first full day after taking office is unprecedented for a BBG Chairman. Jeff Shell should be applauded for reaching out to those who want to reform and strengthen U.S. international broadcasting, especially in serving countries without political freedoms and without free media.
“Our frank discussion with him, along with Jeff Shell’s interest in our views, foretells the prospect of open communication with the new BBG Chair,” CUSIB Executive Director Ann Noonan said.
CUSIB Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 8, 2013
On Thursday, August 8, 2013, Members of the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) Advisory Board met in New York City with newly sworn-in Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chairman Jeff Shell to discuss support for international media freedom. In attendance were: Ann Noonan, Justin Yu, Tala Dowlatshahi, Michael Benjamin, Manny Papir, Jing Zhang, Jianglin Li.
“On the first full day of his tenure as Chair of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, we were pleased that Jeff Shell was able to meet with Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting members to listen to concerns we have about the future of the operation and management of the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and BBG’s important media entities,” stated CUSIB Executive Director Ann Noonan.
“Our frank discussion with him, along with Jeff Shell’s interest in our views, foretells the prospect of open communication with the new BBG Chair.” “We also look forward to meeting the other new BBG members, Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Mr. Matt Armstrong,” Noonan added.
On behalf of the Executive Director of the Laogai Research Foundation, Harry Wu, Ann Noonan extended an invitation to BBG Chair Jeff Shell to visit the Laogai Museum when he is in Washington, DC. She also presented him with two books written by Harry Wu: “Bitter Winds,” and “Troublemaker,” along with “Laogai: the Machinery of Repression in China,” published by Umbrage Editions. Harry Wu also serves as a Member of CUSIB’s Advisory Board.
Other CUSIB members include journalists, former government officials, human rights leaders, former political prisoners, and experts on media freedom issues in China, Tibet, Russia, Iran, and in other countries and regions without full free access to uncensored news. CUSIB’s newest member is former BBG Governor Victor Ashe who was also U.S. Ambassador to Poland and the longest serving mayor of Knoxville, TN.
Victor Ashe left the BBG Board as new members were sworn in this week. CUSIB welcomed the appointment by the President and the confirmation by the U.S. Senate of all three new BBG Governors. CUSIB supports the BBG’s bipartisan public oversight role.
California-based CUSIB Director Ted Lipien said that the organization’s Advisory Board members “appreciate Mr. Shell’s reaching out to groups advocating for U.S. international broadcasting and his offer for open dialogue.” “CUSIB members look forward to meeting with BBG Chair Jeff Shell again in the future to continue our discussions on improving support for media freedom where it is most missing and most needed,” Lipien added.
Top Row L-R: Justin Yu, Manny Papir, Michael Benjamin, Ann Noonan, Jianglin Li
Missing from photo: Tala Dowlatshahi]
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) is an independent, nongovernmental organization which supports free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries without free media.
For further information, please contact:
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB)
New York, New York
Ann Noonan, co-founder and Executive Director
Ted Lipien, co-founder and Director