USAGM Watch Media Commentary
The Daily Caller has reported that “U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) Acting Chief Executive Officer Kelu Chao wrote to agency employees in the email, offering volunteer assignments in California, Texas and Arizona.” “As U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to encounter large numbers of individuals along our Southwest Border, DHS needs your assistance to help ensure our nation has a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” Chao informed USAGM federal employees in her appeal.
A Daily Caller investigative reporter, Jennie Taer, wrote that “Any USAGM journalists who do volunteer, and later produce stories about the migrants at the border, will obviously have a conflict of interest,” the USAGM employee said. The employee did not want to be identified.
VOA has its own investigative reporters, but they did not report on this unprecedented call by USAGM acting CEO Kelu Chao for journalist volunteers to work with U.S. border security. USAGM management claims that it is an ”independent news organization” protected by a ”firewall” from the rest of the U.S. federal government. USAGM’s annual budget, covered entirely by U.S. taxpayers, averaged about $800 million in recent years. The Voice of America (VOA) is the largest entity in the federal USAGM structure. Inside and outside critics have pointed out biased reporting and other multiple violations of the VOA Charter in recent years.