• BBG,  Guest Posts

    Blind Ambition

    Guest Post by Alex Belida When the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) recently unveiled a new Strategic Plan, it set a brazenly ambitious goal: “To become the world’s leading international news agency by 2016.” But based on its latest budget proposal, global news organizations like Reuters and AP would appear to have little to fear. To achieve its goal, the BBG, a tiny federal agency overseeing U.S. non-military broadcasters, first plans to gut its existing news operations, starting with the nation’s flagship overseas broadcaster, the Voice of America. 

  • BBG

    Reforming U.S. International Broadcasting: A New Mission Statement

    By Alex Belida When the current Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) decided last year to revamp its mission statement, it conceded “a variety of opinions exist within the BBG family” about the elements the statement should contain.  That is certainly an understatement!  Virtually none of the journalists I knew at the Voice of America was happy with the old mission statement.  And the new one hasn’t exactly received rave reviews either. The old mission statement was this:  “To promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multi-media communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world audience overseas.”

  • BBG

    Calling on the BBG to Affirm The Primacy of Good Journalism

    By Alex Belida The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) will hold a special telephonic meeting tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 11) to decide on an interim successor to Walter Isaacson to act as “Presiding Governor” of the Agency.  Isaacson, author of the best-selling biography of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, resigned as Chairman of the BBG on  Jan. 27th, stating he was “taking on another big writing project, so I won’t be able to give the BBG the time it needs and deserves.”

  • Government Broadcasting,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy

    Voice of the Mullahs? Not quite.

    In an unsigned editorial titled “Voice of the Mullahs“, The Washington Times charges the “Voice of America is becoming the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The piece then cites two recent examples of the Voice of America’s Persian News Network giving “preferred treatment to pro-regime messages.” The individuals allegedly receiving this “preferred treatment” were Hooshang Amir-Ahmadi and Trita Parsi. The editorial closes with an incredible leap, declaring that …if VOA is telling Iranians struggling for freedom that resistance is futile, we hope Tehran keeps jamming it Somebody at The Washington Times is either confused or being mislead, or both. It would seem from the reading of this op-ed…