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    U.S. International Broadcasting Finally Accessible for Americans

    This month, Americans finally got the opportunity to watch and listen to news programming that the U.S. government has been broadcasting to the rest of the world for decades. This is a good thing. Americans should benefit from and be informed about the news that their tax dollars pay for … More

    Iran Tightens Screws on Its Journalists

    The regime in Tehran has started tightened censorship beyond its customary draconian rule in anticipation of potential unrest caused by Iran’s upcoming elections in June. On Sunday, a mass arrest of at least 14 reporters for independent news media took place, the largest media crackdown since the presidential election of … More

    Maliki Silences the Voice of America

    This past week, the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission ordered the closure of 44 foreign and domestic media outlets in the country. Among them was the Voice of America, a U.S.-run news organization and quite possibly our biggest public diplomacy tool. This is a bold move by the Iraqis to … More

    The BBG’s Culture of Secrecy

    What in the world is going on at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and the Voice of America (VOA)? The BBG has started to exhibit a level of secrecy worthy of the CIA, clamping down heavy-handedly on internal communications. VOA, meanwhile, has joined other news organizations at the United … More

    Smith–Mundt: Myth and Reality

    Controversy has swirled around the Smith–Mundt Modernization Act since it passed mark-up as an amendment to the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act last Friday. Smith–Mundt has prohibited U.S. citizens from accessing the public diplomacy products of the U.S. government, whether in print or on the airwaves, since 1948. Critics on the left … More

    Congress Moves to Protect International Broadcasting

    Kudos to the House Appropriations Committee for protecting U.S. international broadcasting against the eviscerating cuts in language services and personnel contained in the President’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget. If the budget passes—a big “if,” of course—it could reverse a direction that can only be described as self-defeating for American … More

    Russian Roulette at Voice of America

    Depending on Russian government-funded media to broadcast news from Voice of America (VOA) is about as brain-dead as depending on Russian spaceships to send American astronauts into space or depending on Russian fuel supply for the U.S. ground and air forces in Afghanistan. The outcome will surely not be in … More

    VOA Broadcasting to Iran: A Long-Overdue Housecleaning

    At a standing-room-only meeting Wednesday, the leadership of Voice of America (VOA) announced major changes in the way the Persian News Network of VOA goes about the business of reporting the news to Iranians. It’s about time. Complaints about the network have been flooding Capitol Hill from the Iranian exile … More

    Save VOA Broadcasting to China

    The decision to cut Voice of America (VOA) Broadcasting to China has attracted a good deal of congressional attention, as well it should. While China has launched a worldwide public diplomacy and media offensive, the United States is looking at a greatly reduced international media presence if the projected cuts … More

    State Department Won't Fund BBC Charity for Internet Freedom Work

    Three weeks ago the BBC World Service Trust, a charity for the British network, was angling for a share of State Department funding to promote Internet freedom. But after Americans revolted at the idea, the organization has pulled out entirely, failing to even submit a grant proposal.  The BBC charity … More