BBG Watch Commentary

Government Executive LogoQuoting BBG Watch, its anonymous commentator, The Federalist, and a statement by Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – Executive Director, Ann Noonan, Government Executive reports on a short-lived proposal of Voice of America (VOA) senior management to recruit VOA correspondents and writers to take an experimental Ebola vaccine and “to report or blog about the experience,” as mentioned in an email sent to the VOA Newsroom staff.

Concerned Voice of America reporters leaked to outside media the management’s proposal to gain publicity for VOA from practicing journalism, which these VOA reporters thought was highly questionable. They were also worried about exposing the workforce and the U.S. government agency to unknown public health, public safety, and public relations risks.

VOA is 100% funded by U.S. taxpayers. It is overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) federal agency.

Members of the BBG’s bipartisan oversight board and their senior staffers were apparently not aware of the proposal when it was made by the Voice of America management to VOA Newsroom correspondents and writers. According to reports, the proposal was eventually rejected by BBG lawyers when they were informed about it.

BBG Watch and FISHBOWL DC were some of the outside media outlets contacted by Voice of America journalists with information about the VOA management’s call for Ebola vaccine test volunteers shortly after the appeal was made to the VOA Newsroom staff. FISHBOWL DC broke the story.

READ MORE: “One Agency’s Short-Lived Idea to Have Its Employees Test a New Ebola Vaccine” By Charles S. Clark, Government Executive, October 30, 2014.