USAGM Watch Media Commentary

When both the Washington Post and National Review report on yet another senior management-created scandal at Voice of America, it’s an indication that the poor state of U.S. international broadcasting has become a bipartisan concern. Many media and foreign policy experts are wondering when this pattern of one crisis after another in the U.S. Agency for Global Media will end. The management meltdown at USAGM and VOA needs a bipartisan solution.

Ted Lipien, co-founder of BBG and USAGM Watch, in a Washington Examiner op-ed, March 8, 2023. He is a journalist, writer, and media freedom advocate. He was Voice of America’s Polish service chief during Poland’s struggle for democracy and VOA’s acting associate director. He served briefly in 2020-2021 as RFE/RL’s president.

Members of the House Committee on Appropriations subcommittee will have a chance on Thursday , March 9, to ask USAGM CEO and former Obama administration-appointed VOA Director Amanda Bennett to explain an unprecedented string of leadership and management failures under her watch both as the chief VOA executive (2016-2020) and now as the Biden administration’s appointee to lead the U.S. government-funded media outreach aboard. Whether they will ask tough questions remains to be seen. The House Committee on Appropriations is chaired by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) and the ranking Democrat is Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Separately, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has sent letters to Bennett asking her to explain management failures at the agency and Voice of America.