Congressman Walter B. Jones and Broadcasting Board of Governors member Ambassador Victor Ashe, whose joint efforts saved the US shortwave radio transmitting station in Greenville, NC from being closed down by the BBG, will rededicate the facility as the Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station in a ceremony on May 2. Jones and Ashe, both Republicans, will be joined by the International Broadcasting Bureau Director Richard Lobo, a Democrat appointed to his position by President Obama.
BBG staffers whom Lobo kept after taking over his IBB job had tried earlier to close down the transmitting station but their plans were stymied due to strong opposition from Ashe and Congressman Jones’ intervention. The North Carolina facility is located in Jones’s congressional district.
The same IBB staff that wanted to close down the station is still trying to cripple US government-funded radio broadcasting to the world. Acting against the wishes of US Congress and despite protests from many human rights and media freedom groups, their latest targets are Voice of America (VOA) radio news broadcasts to Tibet, VOA Cantonese broadcasts to China, VOA radio to communist Vietnam and Laos, VOA English and Spanish programs and several other news services funded by US taxpayers to provide uncensored news and information about America.
BBG Watch has learned that some members of the bipartisan Board claim that they did not know about the exact cuts proposed by the staff in the FY2013 budget plan, particularly with regard to the elimination of the Voice of America Tibetan radio, but most of the members, both Democrats and Republicans, are still supporting the BBG/IBB staff’s recommendations to drastically eliminate shortwave broadcasts and VOA language services while preserving and expanding bureaucratic positions at the International Broadcasting Bureau.
Despite opposition from these BBG and IBB executives, Ashe had visited the Greenville complex in December 2011 and insisted that it be kept operational as the only remaining shortwave radio broadcasting facility on US territory. He also demanded that the original name of the facility, the Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station, be restored. Ashe opposes the BBG/IBB staff’s recommendations of closing down Voice of America language services or reducing them to Internet-only news delivery to countries like China that block and censor Western news websites.
Read the official Broadcasting Board of Governors announcement and register to attend the ceremony:
APRIL 5, 2012
You are cordially invited to the Rededication Ceremony of the Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station
Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM
Place: 3919 VOA Site B Road
Grimesland, North Carolina 27837
Please join the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) for the rededication ceremony in honor of the renowned broadcaster and director of the USIA (1961-1964), Edward R. Murrow, and in recognition of World Press Freedom Day.
Speakers will include:
Congressman Walter Jones (invited)
Victor Ashe, BBG Governor, former Ambassador to Poland and former mayor of Knoxville
Richard M. Lobo, award-winning media executive and journalist and Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau
Edward R. Murrow’s legacy as a journalist and his rich understanding of the importance of press freedom as part of the bedrock of democracy along with the key role of U.S. international broadcasting as a model of a free press will be highlighted in the ceremony to be held in the lead-up to World Press Freedom Day, May 3rd.
The transmitting station, a 24/7 broadcast facility, supports the mission of the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy” through about 2,200 hours of transmissions each month.
Following the ceremony a tour of the facility will be offered.
Register through Eventbrite by April 26, 2012.
For more information, please call 202-203-4400 or email email@example.com.