WASHINGTON – David Ensor, Director of the Voice of America, was the lead speaker this week at the first monthly USC public diplomacy lunch forum here on Monday.
Ensor began by discussing U.S. international broadcasters’ coverage of the 2012 election campaign, noting that tonight’s debate will be carried live by several VOA networks.
Asked about VOA’s credibility as a government-owned broadcaster reporting on U.S. elections, Ensor said the network’s credibility is very high abroad. It is in Washington D.C., he said, where VOA credibility was questioned more often. And one reason Ensor offered was that Americans do not see or hear VOA programs, because of the Smith-Mundt Act prohibiting VOA from broadcasting to domestic U.S. audiences.
Other speakers at Monday’s forum were Rana Abtar, a reporter for Al Hurra TV, and Siamak Dehghanpour, a reporter for VOA Persian News, who described how they were covering the election campaign for audiences in the Middle East.
Most of the monthly forums here will focus on international broadcasting, one of the Center’s major priorities
The Washington, D.C., forums will be held on the first Monday of each month. At the next forum, on November 5, Philip Seib
, Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, will lead a discussion of coverage of the U.S. election by broadcasters in other countries.
The monthly series is presented in partnership with the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy
and the Public Diplomacy Council