BBG Watch Commentary
Writing on her public Facebook page, former Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) presidentially-appointed member Blanquita Cullum said that she was “very disturbed and very sad to read that brilliant journalist Dan Robinson is leaving the Voice of America.”
Robinson made it clear in his farewell message and in a separate letter to current BBG members that he made his decision to leave because of mismanagement and intimidation of journalists by senior VOA and International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) officials. Robinson wrote that one official, whom he did not name but who is believed to be a senior VOA executive, bullied and threatened him with dismissal.
Robinson also made a number of observations about the undermining of VOA’s journalistic reputation and ability to report news under its current leadership.
Reacting to Robinson’s decision to leave VOA, BBG’s former member Blanquita Cullum wrote:
“Please read his words….and try to read between the lines.
He has worked in an environment that has capable journalists walking on egg shells and limiting their ability to really cover news stories. Many, in fear of retaliation that threatens their careers and future opportunities at the Agency. Unbelievable, for U.S. International Broadcasting–first amendment…free press…mission of the Agency….etc. etc. etc. I will be writing more soon. Dan Robinson your work ethic and journalism will be missed. Thank you for your service to our country and to the audience of Voice of America. Time to write for Ted Lipien and BBG Watch.”
A Texas native, Blanquita Cullum is a former Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Governor on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees all civilian U.S. international broadcasting. U.S. Senator Tom Coburn honored Cullum’s service at the BBG with a special declaration in the Congressional Record. Cullum hosted one of the top 100 radio talk shows in the US, served as the president of the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts, and founded the Young American Broadcasters.
Cullum currently hosts “The Hard Question,” an interview-based television program focused on energy issues aired in Houston, TX.