• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • BBG Budget: Voice of America Slashed, Fewer Broadcasters, More Bureaucrats

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) recently released its 2013 budget request, which slashes Voice of America (VOA) funding by more than $17 million while increasing funding for major bureaucratic offices inside the International Broadcasting Bureau. A reprioritization is clearly necessary.  (article continued below chart)

    This disturbing trend focuses on making U.S. international broadcasting a global media service, with digital media distribution at the hub, much like the Internet-focused CNN model. At the same time, actual broadcasting services are being cut, resulting in lost viewers and listeners who, since they often have no Internet access, are deprived of trustworthy and important news sources.

    Additionally, the BBG budget request reveals a continuing problem with strategic priorities. In China, the U.S. target audience is over 1.33 billon people. For this huge number of people, we spent around $34.6 million in broadcasting efforts in 2010. This works out to less than $0.03 per person per year. In Tajikistan, we spent $1.57 million to reach 7.5 million people, or $0.21 per person. We should not be spending more than eight times as much per capita on public diplomacy broadcasting in Tajikistan than in China. China’s public diplomacy efforts are rapidly growing, yet in 2010 we spent 18 times as much per capita in Iran, 29 times as much per capita in outreach to Arab speakers, and 39 times as much per capita in Afghanistan.

    Of course, the Middle East and other Muslim countries are important strategic targets for U.S. broadcasting. Perhaps instead of cutting over $17 million from VOA in 2013, that money and more could be wisely spent on broadcasting to China. An added emphasis on broadcasting in China will let the U.S. respond to China’s messaging blitz.

    Instead of increasing funding to bureaucratic offices and cutting back on VOA, the opposite should be done. Cutting back on bureaucracy and increasing funding to successful broadcasts will allow the U.S.’s message to reach more people at lower cost, which is always a win-win.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to BBG Budget: Voice of America Slashed, Fewer Broadcasters, More Bureaucrats

    1. Bobbie says:

      slashing truth and dignity for more government control is always a lose, lose!

    2. MUHAMMAD HAYAN says:

      voa pashto deeva radio team is working is a self-willed,unprincipled and fascistic group of sadistic so-called journalists who do not consider themselves accountable to voa charter or any other rules or regulations.on April15 I complained one of their no-holds barred member,BEHROZ KHAN.They banned me from participation in its call-in shows.I have heard about the strict observance of rules in the U.S.If that is not wrong I will be justified in looking forward to strict punitive action against the fascistic DEEVA RADIO(VOA) team.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×