BBG Watch Commentary

Helle Dale, the Heritage Foundations Senior Fellow in Public Diplomacy studies, comments in the Heritage Foundation blog, The Foundry, on last week’s House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) hearing, convened by HFAC Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), which was titled “Broadcasting Board of Governors: An Agency ‘Defunct’.”

“At a time of deep budgetary concerns, creating a new agency from scratch is hardly a job that Congress will want to tackle. A potential solution akin to the vision presented by James Glassman is to dismantle the BBG entirely and place Voice of America within the State Department, thus tying its mission closely to support of U.S. foreign policy. The surrogate broadcasters—Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra Television, Radio Sawa, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting—whose journalistic mission is more closely allied to democracy-building, might find a home with the semi-independent National Endowment for Democracy.

Most encouragingly, Congress has finally shown a willingness to engage in oversight of this important, struggling tool of U.S. public diplomacy. Such congressional engagement is critically important for a more effective use of U.S. taxpayer dollars—and more effective broadcasting of news and American values to people around the world.”

READ: U.S. International Broadcasting “Defunct”—Congress Finally Steps In, Helle Dale, The Foundry, July 1, 2013.

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