Happy 70th VOA! David Ensor to discuss accomplishments, road ahead today

    VOA Director David Ensor hosts a discussion today at 10:30am ET on VOA’s “accomplishments and the road ahead.” I’d like to share my vision of the future with you and hear your thoughts.  The meeting will give you a chance to see some of the exciting programs we have recently launched and others we have in mind. The public may (check for yourself) be able to watch live via Windows Media, listen live via Windows Media, or download the event later as an MP3 or Windows Media.

  • BBG

    What is Walter Isaacson’s next “big writing project”?

    Last week, Walter Isaacson surprised everyone by resigning as the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.  Why?  Because, according to Isaacson, he did not have the time because he had a “big writing project” coming up. What is this project?  According to In the Loop‘s Emily Heil, Isaacson will “chronicle the history of the digital age, from the famous Ada Byron Lovelace to the present.”

  • BBG

    Discussing the BBG’s (dys)function

    Today is not 1972, however.  Nor is it 2001 (through most of last decade) when the "battle of hearts and minds" was waged in the ill-founded and misdirected effort of getting people to like us.  "If only they knew us, they'd like us."  Today is more like the 1940s and 1950s where the enduring struggle was taking place and not a battle to be won, or lost, then move on.

  • BBG

    U.S. international broadcasting needs a new leadership, new plan and more public scrutiny

    By Ted Lipien The BBG restructuring plan would remove much of U.S. international broadcasting from Congressional and public control and scrutiny. The surrogate broadcasters were created in the first place because there was too much control, centralization, interference, and ineffectiveness at the Voice of America. Their job was to undermine dictatorial regimes. The BBG plan would limit their independence and specialization and puts a premium on centralization and bureaucratic control. Centralization of management and of news production will undermine the effectiveness of surrogate broadcasters. It will also further weaken the Voice of America, where individual language services have won for themselves considerable editorial freedom.

  • BBG

    Looking for Part-Time Work? The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors just opened up

    The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Walter Isaacson, is resigning his position at the BBG.  Walter’s decision has surprised many.  He was a well-respected leader of the BBG, a prolific author (most recently of the Steve Jobs biography, but also biographies of Einstein and Benjamin Franklin) and tremendously busy person (he continues to be president & CEO of the Aspen Institute). The Chairmanship of the BBG is, like the other board members, a part-time job.  Five of the eight Governors are serving beyond the expiration of their term (they serve until replaced).  Walter’s term expired later this year.

  • BBG

    BBG gets a Director of Communications and External Affairs

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors announced today that Lynne Weil has been named Director of Communications and External Affairs.  She starts February 6. The BBG, as many know, is in dire need to improve its engagement with the Hill and the public.  Lynne, in leaving her job as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy (and Public Affairs), brings extensive knowledge of and relations with Congress and the media to the BBG. Lynne will be the second Director of Communications and External Affairs as the position was (relatively) recently established.  Diane Zeleny held the position briefly last year. She will not be wanting for work to keep her busy,…

  • BBG

    Serving until Replaced: the recurring story of the Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors is presently working toward updating its organization and strategy to meet America’s 21st Century needs.  Whether you agree with the suggestions or not, most of the proposed changes remain just that: proposed as they await approval for many of the key changes.  The BBG provided a “narrative” but you will have to wait until next month, I’m told, for the detailed plan. Back in September 2010, I wrote about the “honeymoon” the then-new Board would enjoy.  Indeed, after two years without a chairman and with only four members, serving appointments that expired six years earlier, the neglected BBG was due and eager for fresh leadership. For background,…

  • BBG,  Government Broadcasting

    All Quiet on the Western Front: a look at the Five-Year Strategic Plan for U.S. International Broadcasting

    Content is king, and credibility will continue to be the North Star of U.S. international broadcasting program producers and reporters in every region of the world and in the United States. As the strategic plan shows, the Board can supply an overarching policy framework. But accurate, objective journalism produced at the broadcaster level is what matters most and empowers listeners in a wide range of settings, from refugee camps in Africa, Tibetan monasteries in India, to large communities of social media consumers in the cities of China, Russia, the Arab world, Iran, North Korea, and in an awakening Burma. Although choices will be painful for all the broadcasters of the…

  • BBG,  Government Broadcasting

    The Future of U.S. International Broadcasting: A Call for Debate on its Mission and Funding

    By Alex Belida With the 70th anniversary of the Voice of America approaching (Feb. 1st), it is an ideal time to assess the future prospects for U.S. International Broadcasting (USIB). USIB has, over the past 70 years, grown into a multi-headed conglomerate.  Besides VOA, it now includes Radio Free Europe (founded 1950), Radio Liberty (founded 1953 and merged with RFE in 1976), Radio Marti (founded 1983) and TV Marti (founded 1990), Radio Free Asia (founded 1996) and the Middle East Broadcasting Network comprised of Radio Sawa (founded 2002) and Al-Hurra TV (founded 2004). The current Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), headed by Walter Isaacson, this month approved resolutions (see record…

  • BBG,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy,  Smith-Mundt

    The BBG’s Honeymoon: All Work and No Play

    The BBG’s Honeymoon: All Work and No Play by Matt Armstrong, 9 September 2010, in Layalina’s Perspectives column. MountainRunner bog post on the article is here. There is a new governor in town, eight of them in fact. For the first time in six years, all of the top jobs at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) are filled. Half of the seats sat empty for up to four years, including the chairmanship for the past two years. This fresh beginning provides some breathing room for the BBG, which manages all U.S. government, non-military international broadcasting. The Board is taking this honeymoon seriously: it has already held two meetings and…