BBG Watch Commentary

Former Voice of America (VOA) deputy director Alan Heil, who is listed as a member of the Public Diplomacy Council, “a nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy,” published a letter to the editor of The Washington Post, “Journalists killed for dedication to the truth.” He commented on persecution of journalists abroad and the “commitment to ‘tell it as it is’ [which] is legally required in the charters and governing codes of all five networks administered by the Broadcasting Board of Governors.”

“VOA’s pursuit of truth continues, reaching more than 171 million people each week,” Alan Heil wrote.

Heil was responding to Jan. 1, 2014 Washington Post op-ed, “The ‘broken window’ approach to international relations,” by former Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) president Jeffrey Gedmin.

Under its current leadership, VOA’s pursuit of truth has not always been fully successful due to what many inside and outside critics describe as mismanagement at senior levels,”Don’t hold your breath for Voice of America to correct its news mistake.”

Alan Heil did not mention in his Letter to The Editor of The Washington Post any VOA news reporting or management problems.

On another occasion, Alan Heil declared emphatically that “Voice of America is not dysfunctional.”

READ MORE: Letters to The Editor: Journalists killed for dedication to the truth, Alan Heil, The Washington Post, January 4, 2015.