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    Obama Circumvents State Department, Supports Plan to Give BBG $10 Million

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors will receive $10 million under the compromise spending deal reached last week. President Obama effectively sided with the BBG over his own State Department in a funding dispute involving Internet circumvention work. Obama and lawmakers agreed to language in the fiscal 2011 spending bill cutting the … 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

    "Why Are You Abandoning Us?" Broadcasting to China Goes Quiet

    The end of an era is at hand. Today marks the last day of BBC World Service Broadcasts to China and Russia after 70 years on the air. Voice of America (VOA) may not be far behind. VOA several years ago closed down its Russian broadcasts, and, according to the … More

    U.S. Funding for the BBC?

    Just what is it with the Obama Administration and state broadcasters? Not content with sticking by NPR after the House of Representatives voted to cut off its funding, it now emerges that the administration has been giving money to the BBC and, according to one report, is considering increasing that … More

    Internet Shutdowns Drive Protestors in Middle East

    Shutting down the Internet did precious little good for Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. It is not likely to do Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi much good either. In fact, it appeared to intensify the determination of the Arab protesters, who found themselves cut off from the world. Yet on Friday, that was … More

    Death by a 1000 Cut: Is the Government Trying to Kill VOA Radio Transmissions?

    Does radio still play a role in a world where that is increasingly cyber-connected and populated by smart phone users? The answer, according to Google’s Director of Policy and Planning Bob Boorstin, is very much a “yes.” At a panel discussion of the new media and foreign policy hosted by … More

    VOA Must Do a Better Job at Depicting American Life

    “What are the most effective actions the United States could take towards liberty for the Iranian people and political freedom for the Green Movement in Iran?” This was the question posed to Amir Abbas Fakhravar, Iranian dissident in exile in the United States, by the audience at a lunch hosted … More

    Cyber Security vs. Online Freedom

    By now most people are familiar with the ongoing debate about how far government should be able to go in monitoring Internet communications. Such was the topic of a recent discussion at the Voice of America building in Washington, D.C. Judging by the remarks of the event’s panelists, especially those … More

    The Noble Mission of Radio Free Europe/Radio

    In the age of media saturation and extravagant federal budget deficits, the question does comes up: Why does the United States need to spend some $750 million on international broadcasting every year? As with every taxpayer dollar spent, this  question deserves an answer, and rarely has a more eloquent one … More

    Updating Smith-Mundt for the 21st Century

    Since 1948, Cold War legislation has been tying the hands of practitioners of U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting. The law in question is the Smith-Mundt Act, which was intended to allow the State Department to counter Soviet propaganda in foreign media, while at the same time forbidding it from … More