Former Voice of America (VOA) director David S. Jackson published an opinion article on the USC Center on Public Diplomacy CPD Blog, in which he argues that the proposed de-federalization of VOA is a bad idea which may be the first step toward eventual de-funding by Congress. He also argues that U.S. international broadcasting still needs an effective oversight board even if it is being managed by a CEO. The board should serve as a safeguard against political bias in the broadcasters’ content, Jackson wrote.
Jackson was commenting on the VOA de-federalization proposal, which came in an amendment to the annual defense spending authorization bill. It was written by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX). “While the chances of it becoming law, at least in its present form, are probably slim, it’s still a serious sign of just how unhappy some are in Congress with the Voice of America and the Board that oversees it and the nation’s other non-military international broadcasting,” former VOA director David Jackson observed.
DAVID JACKSON: “If it wasn’t inevitable, the threat was clearly lurking on the horizon. And now, legislation that would eliminate the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) – the group of political appointees who oversee U.S. international broadcasting – and de-federalize the Voice of America (VOA) has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.”
READ MORE: International Broadcasting: The Nuclear Option, David S. Jackson, USC Center on Public Diplomacy – CPD Blog, June 1, 2016.