• Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Update on the Broadcasting Board of Governors

    After years of neglect, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an essential cog in the wheel of public diplomacy as the body overseeing non-military international broadcasting, is one step closer to getting a fresh board. According to Al Kamen: …the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved three Democrats and three Republicans to run U.S. overseas broadcasting units such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. By unanimous voice vote, the committee sent the nominations of Walter Isaacson as chairman, and Dennis Mulhaupt, Victor H. Ashe, Michael Lynton, S. Enders Wimbushand Susan McCue as members, to the Senate floor. But it held on to two of the eight hostages…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Making Radio Free Asia Permanent

    In another sign that we need a strategic review of our public diplomacy – the White House / NSC Section 1055 report required by Congress provided a framework not a strategy – an element of America’s global engagement continues to exist on appropriations and not a permanent authorization. The situation was similar over sixty years ago when the State Department went to Congress to make VOA and other outreach methods and mediums permanent rather than, as was the case for a period, operating only on appropriations in the absence of Congressional authorization. As the most visibly active member of Congress on the issue of public diplomacy, Senate of House (there…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Public Diplomacy: Iranian singer headlines VOA concert

    The Voice of America’s Persian News Network will broadcast a three-hour concert for Persian New Year this weekend. The singer-songwriter considered Iran’s Bob Dylan makes his international live television concert debut this Saturday on a three-hour Persian Nowruz, or New Year’s, special that will be broadcast on the Voice of America’s Persian News Network and beamed into Iran by multiple satellites. Mohsen Namjoo, sentenced in absentia to five year’s imprisonment for his music, is among several entertainers and other celebrities appearing in the VOA Nowruz special.  Also on stage live from the Newseum in Washington D.C. will be Persian rap artist Shahin Najafi, who fled Iran after coming under pressure…

  • Government Broadcasting,  ICT,  Public Diplomacy

    An update on VOA Persia’s iPhone App

    On January 22, 2010, Apple’s App Store had a new application from VOA’s Persian News Network. As noted last month on this blog, Alex Belida said, This new application gives Iranians a unique opportunity to get the latest news on their mobile devices and to share with the world the news as it happens in their country. It is a groundbreaking way to expand our reach inside Iran and deepen our relationship with a key VOA audience. This week, Alex sent me an update.  [Between January 22 and February 19], there have been 5,040 downloads of VOA Persia’s iPhone app via the Apple App Store plus an additional 446 downloads…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Media,  Now Media,  Public Diplomacy,  State Building

    US International Broadcasting as an Untapped Resource

    Recommended: US International Broadcasting: an untapped resource for ethnic and domestic news organization (PDF, 139kb) by Shawn Powers. The American approach to public service broadcasting, which is severely underfunded when compared to the rest of the world, is also legally separated from U.S. international broadcasting, a firewall that inhibits effective collaboration between either. Indeed, the problem is worse, as U.S.-funded international broadcasting is prohibited from disseminating its journalistic features within the U.S., a ban that prevents effective use of its significant journalistic resources by both public and private news networks in the United States. including a large sector of ethnic media that could surely benefit from the 60 languages that…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Media,  Public Diplomacy

    The Voice of America: Origins and Recollections by Walter Roberts

    American Diplomacy has several interesting articles this month, including a historical review by Walter Roberts, The Voice of America: Origins and Recollections: Beginning in 1937, the failure of the Executive Branch to reach a decision regarding the establishment of a governmental radio station led to a shift in initiative from the Department of State to Congress. Gregory calls it “a change that was marked by the introduction in both the House and the Senate of several bills.” Their sponsors, in particular Congressman Emmanuel Celler (D- NY), argued that every other nation was prepared to see that the world understands its point of view – yet the U. S.  was at…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Media,  Public Diplomacy

    The More Powerful Weapon

    A terrific graphic and an interesting one to be used by a government broadcaster. Tell me again why I can watch RussiaToday (RT.com) on cable (occasionally I do), CCTV (Chinese government broadcasting), and possibly PressTV (Iranian) but it is illegal for VOA to be available within the United States? See also: Censoring the Voice of America Smith-Mundt Act: Facts, Myths & Recommendations

  • Government Broadcasting,  ICT,  Now Media

    New iPhone app allows uploads from Iran to VOA

    The US Government’s Voice of America (VOA) released a Web application that will allow users in Iran to download and send content to VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN). The application is available for iPhones and Android’s and will be (is?) on Apple App Store, PNN’s website, and on PNN’s Facebook page. According to the VOA, VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience in Iran of all international broadcasters, with one in four adult Iranians tuning in to a VOA program once a week. PNN broadcasts seven hours of television daily, repeated in a 24 hour format, and five hours of radio. Programming is also available around the clock…