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Former VOA Correspondent Dan Robinson with Burmese human rights leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Former VOA Correspondent Dan Robinson with Burmese human rights leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Dan Robinson who had a nearly 35 year career at Voice of America (VOA) argues in a new Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) opinion article that the U.S. taxpayer-funded ($224 million FY 2017) has never been truly independent while it has been “seriously mismanaged” and in the view of Congress not doing enough “as part of the national security apparatus, to assist efforts to combat Russian, ISIS, and al-Qaeda disinformation.”

Before leaving VOA, Dan Robinson was most recently senior White House correspondent from 2010 until 2014, congressional correspondent based in the US House of Representatives from 2002 to 2010, and chief of VOA’s broadcasts to Burma from 1997 to 2002. He had also served as a VOA correspondent in Africa and Asia.

In his article, Robinson refers to “no small amount of hysteria—about what President Trump may do with Voice of America and its parent federal agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors” (BBG). He does not, however, cover the dismally low employee morale (Washington Post: “Regular bottom feeder…going backward“) or the controversy over multiple violations of the VOA Charter in extreme and never before seen partisanship that has enveloped the Voice of America under its Obama administration director Amanda Bennett and BBG CEO John Lansing who are both still occupying their positions several months into the Trump presidency. (Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump camps accuse Voice of America of state-media bias, BBG Watch, June 17, 2016)

Another controversy that begs more coverage is the fear of highly partisan U.S. government Voice of America employees propagandizing to Americans (“US Officials Won’t Say if a New Anti–Russia Propaganda Project Is Targeting Americans” | By By Adam H. Johnson, The Nation, March 9, 2017.)

READ MORE: OPINION Spare the indignation: Voice of America has never been independent, Dan Robinson, Columbia Journalism Review, March 30, 2017