BBG Watch Commentary

Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) “Persian-language service too often parrots state media and doesn’t give Israel a fair shake,” Sohrab Ahmari, Wall Street Journal‘s editorial writer based in London wrote in an op-ed.

“Like any item that might appear in Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, these U.S.-funded stories deferentially quoted one Iranian official after another without offering context or any alternative view,” Sohrab Ahmari wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

Two high-level executives ultimately responsible for RFE/RL’s Radio Farda programs, RFE/RL President Thomas Kent and Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Director and CEO John F. Lansing were remarkably silent on these violations of journalistic standards at a U.S. taxpayer-funded media outlet. Instead, RFE/RL’s Prague-based Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Programming Nenad Pejic was responding to questions from the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial writer.

John Lansing is also facing a number of unaddressed scandals at the Voice of America (VOA) in connection with programs to Iran, China, and to other countries.

Mr. Pejic defended some of RFE/RL’s reporting on Iran and Israel but agreed that some stories were “incomplete.”

The Wall Street Journal editorial writer Sohrab Ahmari concluded:


“If any federal agency could use a Trumpian shake-up, the Broadcasting Board of Governors is it.”


READ MORE: In Iran, Radio Liberty Doesn’t Live Up to Its Name, Sohrab Ahmari, The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2017.