We are wondering what prevents the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) senior staff from posting on their official website, www.BBG.gov, that BBG members will be meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this Thursday.
Why BBG employees and the public have to learn first about such important meetings from the independent BBG Watch website www.bbgwatch.com? In just one year, BBG Watch has had 600,000 hits.
What’s the reason for such PR shyness on the part of BBG executives? Does the agency in charge of promoting free flow of information have to wait for clearance from State or is the BBG public relations team slacking? And there has been no report on the BBG website that the Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi plans to visit the Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA) headquarters in Washington, DC on September 18.
By the way, is it true that VOA senior executives failed at first to inform Board members about the visit and had to be reminded to invite them to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi? But then, they also failed to tell Board members that VOA “Parazit” program to Iran has been off the air for nine months, so at least VOA Director David Ensor and his right-hand man Steve Redisch are showing a consistent attitude. Radio Free Asia senior executives, on the other hand, not only informed Board members about the visit but invited them to meet the Burmese opposition leader at the RFA headquarters.
BBG Watch also noticed that there is no official announcement on the BBG website about the BBG Governance Committee meeting on Thursday. The committee is likely to focus on the issue of low employee morale and various missteps of senior International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) staffers (Redisch-Matthew Russell Lee affair, “Parazit”). There may be good reasons why the BBG/IBB senior staff does not want to call attention to this meeting.
We have also learned that in addition to their public meeting, BBG members will also meet in a closed session to discuss the budget. Again, we could not find an announcement about this closed meeting. Why such secrecy? Just asking.