BBG Watch Commentary
In an article in Radio World, “How Effective Is the BBG in 2014?,” Randy J. Stine quotes Ann Noonan from the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org); former senior Voice of America (VOA) correspondent Gary Thomas in a BBG Watch article; Andrew Clark, an associate professor in the department of communication at the University of Texas at Arlington; international broadcast expert Gregory Newton, associate professor in the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University; Susan Haas, lecturer with the Annenberg School for Communication; Robert McMahon, editor of CFR.org, an online publication published by the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think tank; Tim Shamble, president of AFGE Local 1812; David Hyatt, a former VOA deputy bureau chief and author of the American Diplomacy blog; former Republican BBG member Victor Ashe; former Republican BBG Chairman James Glassman; current Democratic BBG Chairman Jeff Shell and a Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) spokeswoman.
In our view, the article is objective and asks the right question.
The article also provides useful information on the future of the the bipartisan Royce – Engel U.S. International Broadcasting Reform Legislation.
BBG Watch was able to confirm that a bipartisan U.S. Senate version of the reform bill is being drafted.
Despite the BBG’s pledge to adapt, Rep. Edward Royce, R-Calif., introduced the bill proposing to reform the board. The objective of H.R. 4490, the “United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014,” is to improve efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility of U.S. international broadcasting. It calls for creating a United States International Communications Agency.
The next step is consideration of the measure by the House of Representatives, according to a committee spokeswoman. It’s not clear when the bill might be brought up for debate and a vote, she said.
Observers said Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee collaborated on the bill with colleagues in the Senate and that a version of the authorization bill could be introduced in the upper chamber later this year.