BBG – USAGM Commentary

The Daily Caller writer Shelby Talcott has an update in a new article on partisan Facebook post by the Voice of America’s Press Freedom Editor who was highly regarded and appointed to his position by VOA director Amanda Bennett.

The Voice of America and VOA’s parent federal agency, the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), previously known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), have seen an unprecedented number of management and programming scandals under her watch and that of her boss, USAGM CEO John Lansing. Both of them were appointed to their positions during the Obama administration.


Voice Of America Says Editor Deleted Anti-Trump Facebook Posts, But Unclear If He Was Punished” By Shelby Talcott. The Daily Caller, July 21, 2019






In this April 1, 2019 e-mail, shared with BBG – USAGM Watch by VOA employees, VOA director Amanda Bennett had announced her nomination of the VOA Press Freedom Editor. She had expressed her approval and praise for the VOA employee whom the Daily Caller article named as likely being involved in a partisan bias controversy on social media.


From: Amanda Bennett
Sent: Monday, April 1, 2019 3:14 PM
To: VOA Notices; USAGM Networks; USAGM House Announcements
Subject: Press Freedom Editor
Friends —
You all know how important our new Press Freedom initiative is to VOA — so I am pleased to announce that Doug Bernard has been appointed VOA’s new Press Freedom Editor.
Doug has been with the agency since 2002, serving in a variety of multimedia jobs. He currently is editor, host and producer for English to Asia programs including “VOA Asia” and previously launched VOA’s cyber issues reporting and “Digital Frontiers” blog. He’s also held high-profile posts as lead TV English anchor and the Washington host for “The World Today.”
As Press Freedom Editor, Doug will be working as a mega bridge editor, working with journalists in all the divisions and services to identify, develop and highlight press freedom stories. Doug will curate an agency-wide English web page featuring all VOA Press Freedom stories, weekly profiles of journalists under fire and a live social media feed. Target launch date International Press Freedom Day, May 3. He will be working closely with Tom Detzel, our investigations editor, who is in charge of the overall project, and with Yolanda Lopez, the head of Central News.
This week and next, Doug and Tom will be dropping in on morning division news meetings to say hello, take your questions and gather intel. VOA journalists already do a tremendous job covering press freedom stories around the world; we want to be sure as much of that coverage is flagged and versioned into English for our new page, so please alert Doug whenever you have a press freedom story on deck.
Please congratulate Doug and think about ways you can work with him to advance this hugely important project.
My best,