Congress Passes Amendment That Would Revamp Broadcasting Board Of Governors
May 24, 2016 at 4:16 AM (PT)
An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017 passed by Congress last week includes provisions to reform the BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS and establish a "Global Engagement Center" to track other countries' propaganda efforts against U.S. interests, reports BBG WATCH.
Regarding the BBG, which oversees the VOICE OF AMERICA and other U.S. government-funded broadcasting efforts aimed outside the U.S., the amendment, proposed by Rep. MAC THORNBERRY (R-TX), transfers all of the Board's authorities to the BBG's CEO and eliminates the board while effectively merging RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, RADIO FREE ASIA, and MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING NETWORKS into a single organization. The BBG would undergo a name change at the CEO's direction and spin the VOICE OF AMERICA into a new non-profit organization.
The bill and amendment must be passed by the Senate and signed by the President before becoming law.
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman ED ROYCE (R-CA) said, “One of the big reasons Russia and ISIS have been winning the information war is that our international broadcasting has been crippled by bureaucracy. Real, meaningful reform to the systemically broken BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS and its unwieldy management structure has long been a priority of mine. This amendment to replace the part-time board with an empowered and permanent CEO is an important step forward.
“Obviously, our work is far from done. U.S. broadcasters helped take down the Iron Curtain by countering propaganda with accurate news and information in real time. They can win today’s fight – over the airwaves and on the internet – but they must have a clear mission and necessary support.”