• BBG

    The Art of the Bio: Jobs is there, but another job isn’t

    We all forget to put things on our resume.  Before, and indeed after, Walter Isaacson published his bestselling book Steve Jobs, Walter had worked another gig.  He was Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the U.S. Government agency that runs America’s non-military broadcasting, at least until he suddenly resigned before the end of his term, to the surprise of many, write another book. But interestingly, an email from Walter’s prep school fails to mention his time at the BBG.  Walter’s time at Time and CNN and his books are of course there, but no BBG.

  • 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

    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…

  • China,  Government Broadcasting,  ICT,  Public Diplomacy

    Another US Deficit – China and America – Public Diplomacy in the Age of the Internet

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee released its report on the imbalance of public diplomacy activities between China and the United States. Entitled “Another U.S. Deficit – China and America – Public Diplomacy in the Age of the Internet,” this is the final version of the report I reviewed on 11 February. Commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the Ranking Member of the Committee, the report is a unique and necessary review of Chinese Government engagement in America. The report also highlights Chinese obstruction of reciprocity and U.S. Government failure to act, notably in the area of information freedom initiatives. The timing of this report is critical. It comes on the…

  • Government Broadcasting

    BBC radio in English, Persian, Somali, Urdu now on US cell phones

    News and information knows no boundaries. Borders of geography, technology, and language are quickly evaporating as content moves with increasing ease across mediums and political borders. The latest example of the “now media” environment is the BBC, which just announced the availability of its “live radio broadcasts via mobile phones in the United States.” The extension of the BBC’s agreement with provider of mobile phone radio distribution in North America, AudioNow, means that now, in addition to BBC Arabic radio, BBC World Service’s broadcasts in English, Persian, Somali and Urdu are now available across the US via any mobile phone without downloads or data services, simply by calling a national…

  • Government Broadcasting

    BBG Chairman: customer-oriented, platform-neutral

    This week, Walter Isaacson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, gave some remarks (PDF, 41kb) at the celebration of sixty years of Radio Free Europe. Walter, with his long history in the media business and the author of biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Einstein. Walter acknowledged the newly appointed Board’s launch of a year-long comprehensive review to remake the BBG into “a great virtual global news service” that would provide reliable reporting across mediums and with social media input from the global audience. This is similar to the trend of major media to incorporate readers and viewers into news development and dissemination. The goal, Walter said, is to become…