By Alan Heil
Under the Obama administration’s proposed FY 13 budget, the potential damage to the nation’s flagship publicly funded overseas network, the Voice of America, would be unprecedented if Congress approves it. Contrast the reductions: VOA faces net cuts totaling $17 million, compared with a reduction of $731,000 for its sister network, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The Voice of America, now in its 70th year, faces a far larger reduction, proportionally, than either the U.S. international broadcasting administrative support bureaucracy or collectively, the four other networks in the system. They are: RFE/RL, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Network, and Radio-TV Marti. Cuts of VOA staff who actually put programs on the air are the principal targets of the cuts, across the board. Such hemorrhaging must be halted if the free flow of information from America to the world is to be secured for the millennial generation so curious about our nation and its role in the century ahead.
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