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  • Voice of America

    Argo Oscar Win Infuriates Iran, but the Iranian People Think Otherwise

    Sunday night, Argo—the Ben Affleck film portraying the rescue of U.S. Embassy staffers from Iran—won best picture at the Oscars. Iran may have boycotted this years’ Academy Awards by pulling its film submission, but it certainly didn’t ignore Argo’s Oscar win. The biggest winner may have been U.S. public diplomacy … More

    BBG Takes It on the Chin

    Two new reports have delivered a one-two punch to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). One of the reports, by the State Department’s Inspector General (IG), focused narrowly on the functioning of the BBG itself, which it concluded is failing in its mandated duties, including implementation of key aspects of … More

    Shining the Light of Transparency on U.S. Public Diplomacy

    Transparency in government took a huge step forward on January 3. On that day, President Obama signed into law the Smith–Mundt Modernization Act as an amendment to the 2013 Defense Authorization Bill. With the new revision, State Department foreign programming may be broadcast in the United States, though it may … More

    The Bureaucratic Attack on International Broadcasting

    The recent layoff of Voice of America (VOA) employees in Russia comes at a time when U.S. international broadcasting is also losing ground to bureaucratic overkill. Despite a continually expanding budget, many mission-critical broadcasting services are being cut, personnel are being let go, and broadcasters are being required to do … More

    $50 Million Government Polling Contract with Gallup Attracts Scrutiny

    An example of government waste and bad planning—the exorbitantly expensive Gallup Organization contract with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)—is finally coming under a long-overdue review. At a time when language service after language service of Voice of America, this country’s primary public diplomacy tool, is under threat of being … 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

    WATCH LIVE: Rep. Mac Thornberry Speaks at The Bloggers Briefing

    An outdated U.S. law adopted in the aftermath of World War II prevents Americans from listening to broadcasts on Voice of America and other taxpayer-supported broadcasters. Yet when two lawmakers offered a bipartisan solution to reverse that prohibition, critics on the right and left complained that our own government would … 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