• Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy,  Smith-Mundt

    U.S. International Broadcasting: An Untapped Resource For Domestic And Ethnic News Organizations

    For anyone interested in the Broadcasting Board of Governors and/or U.S. government broadcasting, I recommend reading this updated report-turned-chapter written by Shawn Powers: U.S. International Broadcasting: An Untapped Resource For Domestic And Ethnic News Organizations (180kb PDF, also available as a Google Doc). The news media landscape is rapidly changing in the wake of technological progress and the altered ways in which information is received and disseminated require adjustments in the contemporary media regulatory framework. Just as advances in science and health sectors require governments to adjust their laws accordingly, so do advances in information technology. The advent of the Internet, a global infrastructure able to disseminate information instantaneously from…

  • Government Broadcasting

    BBG Meeting

    On Friday, August 20, I participated in an off the record conversation with five of the new members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Joining me were Kristin Lord of CNAS and and Paul Foldi of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We met to discuss the status and future of U.S. Government broadcasting. While I cannot get into details, it was clear the Board is very interested in moving quickly to take advantage of clean start, a reset of sorts, for the Board and endeavor to make well-informed decisions to support smart, strategic requirements.

  • Government Broadcasting

    Broadcasting board decides Voice of America can peruse WikiLeak documents

    Al Kamen reports that, Some new members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors were most upset by a column item last Wednesday noting that the IT and security folks at the International Broadcasting Bureau had instructed Voice of America employees to not read or e-mail any of the WikiLeaks material on their government computers (bit of a blow to original reporting). The issue was apparently that the infrastructure component of the BBG, the International Broadcasting Bureau, or IBB, was dictating the rules of the game to VOA journalists. Fortunately, the brand new Board members authorized the Director of the VOA to “proceed with reporting on the disclosure of classified documents…

  • Congress,  Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy,  Reports

    Senate Report on the Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The most extensive report on the issues facing the Broadcasting Board of Governors and US international broadcasting was released this week. “US International Broadcasting – Is Anybody Listening? – Keeping the US Connected” (1mb PDF) was prepared by the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the leadership of senior professional staff member Paul Foldi, and is the best, if not the only, substantial review of its kind. The report describes the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) as transforming from its intent of a political “firewall” to a modern political “football” that has resulted in an average vacancy on the board of over 470 days. Even now, the new…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Update on the confirmation of US Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The US Broadcasting Board of Governors continues to operate with a minimum of members, just enough for a quorum. The Board currently has four members, no chair, each of which continues several years (from over 3 to nearly 6) past their terms expired. Since March 23, 2010, the six of the replacement slate of eight members have been queued up for confirmation. Two of members, Dana Perino and Michael Meehan, were in a holding pattern pending more questions and answers from Senators. Last week, it appeared the nominees would be confirmed before the Senate recessed for Memorial Day. Alan Heil, noted expert on US government broadcasting explains the current situation:…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Events,  Public Diplomacy,  Social Media

    Event by BBG/GWU: Iran’s Blogosphere and Grassroots Voices: Risks and Rewards of Engagement (Updated)

    Iran’s Blogosphere and Grassroots Voices: Risks and Rewards of Engagement Date: Monday, April 12, 2010 Time: 9:00a – 12:30p. Location: George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052  Co-sponsors: Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) & Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (lPDGC), George Washington University (GWU). RSVP by e-mail to ipdgcbbgiran@gmail.com, or by phone to the BBG Office of Public Affairs at 202-203-4400. Please contribute your thoughts, before and during the conference, to our global online discussion: http://www.gwu.edu/~ipdgc/events/iran-blog/index.cfm (homepage) http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Irans-Blogosphere-and-Grassroots-Voices-Risks-and-Rewards-of-Engagement/108225475873166?ref=ts (Facebook) www.twitter.com/ipdgc (Twitter) The agenda is below.

  • Congress,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy

    New Caucus To Probe Strategic Communication, Public Diplomacy

    Inside the Pentagon reports on the new caucus on the Hill that shows the level of heightening interest in improving America’s global engagement. In “New Caucus To Probe Strategic Communication, Public Diplomacy”, dated 11 March 2010, reporter Fawzia Sheikh writes: A new Capitol Hill caucus focused on strategic communication and public diplomacy officially launched last week and plans to study the latest government efforts in these domains during its inaugural meeting later this month, according to a congressional source. A new Pentagon report on strategic communication, a State Department plan on public diplomacy and a National Security Council framework outlining how agencies will collaborate in these areas will be among the…