News / USA

    Congressional Panel Criticizes Management of US International Broadcasting

    Congressional Panel Criticizes Management of US International Broadcastingi
    X
    June 26, 2013 11:43 PM
    A former leader of U.S. international broadcasting today (Wednesday) urged Congress to re-organize the journalistic agency so that broadcasters follow foreign policy directives. The proposal came during a U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearing critical of the management of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that oversees the Voice of America and other international broadcasters. VOA's Congressional Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hil.l
    Congressional Panel Criticizes Management of US International Broadcasting
    Cindy Saine
    A former leader of U.S. international broadcasting Wednesday urged Congress to re-organize the journalistic agency so that broadcasters follow foreign policy directives. The proposal came during a U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearing critical of the management of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that oversees the Voice of America and other international broadcasters.

    The title of Wednesday's hearing gave away its main question: "The Broadcasting Board of Governors:  An Agency Defunct."  In January, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a congressional panel on Benghazi that the agency that oversees U.S. broadcasting, known as the BBG, is dysfunctional and practically "defunct."  House Foreign Affairs Chairman, Republican Ed Royce stressed that the problem is not with the journalists working for Voice of America and other broadcasters.

    "Each broadcasting service is full of enterprising reporters who literally risk their lives for what they do," Royce said.

    But Royce and others at the hearing said that BBG's structure makes reporters' jobs more difficult and that the agency's overall mission is unclear in the post-Cold War era.  An Inspector General report issued earlier this year concluded that the BBG is failing in its mandated duties.  Committee member Eliot Engel, the senior Democrat on the panel, cited that report.

    "And it attributed that failure to a flawed structure and strong internal dissention," Engel said.

    James Glassman, a former BBG Chairman, said the BBG is not defunct, but alive and well and serving an audience of more than 200 million people worldwide each week.  But Glassman called for ending the journalistic agency's independent status and putting it under the U.S. State Department.

    "It should be made clear to the various broadcasting services that they are in the public sector and are part of the U.S. foreign policy team.  This does not simply mean performing in a manner consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States as the law states, but instead following actual strategic directives," Glassman said.

    Glassman argued this would remove what he called "confusion" about the BBG's mission. The Voice of America is required by law to provide accurate, objective and comprehensive news, and to present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively.

    Among the witnesses at the hearing were two other former BBG governors who differed on the future management structure.  All of them agreed that it is difficult for a part-time board to oversee all the broadcasters.

    But Jeff Hirschberg, a former BBG Governor, strongly disagreed with Glassman that the Voice of America and other broadcasters should be put under the State Department.

    "The most important thing that U.S. international broadcasting has in its favor around the world is its credibility," Hirschberg said.

    Hirschberg stressed that doing away with individual broadcasters or putting them under the State Department would destroy credibility won through decades of maintaining journalistic integrity.

    After the hearing, the BBG gave VOA a statement saying the current BBG board has been working on ways to address the structural issue, reduce overlap and promote innovation, with the aim of providing the best support possible for its award-winning journalists' work around the globe, under increasingly tight budget constraints.

    Some lawmakers pointed out that other international broadcasters such as al-Jazeera operate with much bigger budgets, and called for more funds for the Voice of America and other broadcasters to help them compete on the world stage.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora