BBG Watch

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.