BBG Watch Commentary
An act of interference with domestic press by Federal U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), formerly called Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), is still keeping a watchdog website domain names, USAGMWatch.com and USAGMWatch.org, unavailable for use by volunteer journalists who have been reporting on the agency management’s failures for several years for BBGWatch.com website.
The agency was caught red handed trying to stifle domestic media criticism and promised to release the domain names it misappropriated at about the time it changed its name from BBG to USAGM earlier this year. Registering “Watch” domain names was an obvious attempt to stifle criticism by BBG Watch and to keep the agency management’s failures hidden from the public.
The agency’s spokesperson said on September 21 that the process of releasing the domain names would take approximately 30 days. The watchdog domain names are still being blocked.
The agency is still managed by CEO John F. Lansing who was appointed during the Obama administration but failed to provide leadership to stop such abuses by agency employees.
In another case of interference with domestic U.S. media, senior Voice of America (VOA) correspondent blocked BBG Watch and an American journalist from following his VOA-related Twitter feed. He was forced to unblock it after protests were made to the agency’s management.