BBG Watch Commentary

Two Iranian human rights activists, Mariam Memarsadeghi and Akbar Atri, say in an op-ed in The Hill that “Voice of America Persian service should be resuscitated from its deplorable state,” echoing a similar call in The Wall Street Journal editorial to reform VOA’s parent federal agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), still managed by holdover officials from the Obama administration. The Wall Street Journal called the BBG “slow and backward.”


MARIAM MEMARSADEGHI & AKBAR ATRI – THE HILL OP-ED: Voice of America Persian service should be resuscitated from its deplorable state. During the Obama administration, the network lost the large and loyal audience it had because popular, politically sharp programming was canceled and replaced with watered-down messaging to accompany appeasement and rapprochement with the Iranian regime. The outlet is poorly managed, with low morale among staff. If the Iranian people are to make a transition to democracy, they will need daily news and analysis from VOA that is robust and encouraging.


READ MORE: 10 ways the US government could help Iranians win back their country, Mariam Memarsadeghi and Akbar Atri, The Hill, January 12, 2018.



Mariam Memarsadeghi is co-founder and co-director of Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society, a virtual institute offering secure democracy and human rights educational opportunities. A 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar, she is an outspoken advocate for the principles of liberalism, women’s rights, civic education and internet freedom, particularly in Islamic contexts.
Akbar Atri, Tavaana’s co-founder and co-director, is a veteran human rights activist and former Iranian student leader. He was one of the original drafters of the Referendum Movement on the Iranian Constitution and has been sentenced in absentia to a minimum of seven years in prison for his human rights activism.


ALSO SEE: Wall Street Journal: Broadcasting Board of Governors ‘slow and backward’ on Iran and freedom, BBG Watch, January 18, 2018.


Twitter is full of strong and bitter criticisms of VOA and Radio Farda, both managed by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).

These tweets are posted by Iranians in Iran and the Iranian community abroad.