voice of america
In Part II of a two-part series, Dan Robinson looks at recent events involving the Broadcasting Board of Governors' oversight of Voice of America.
In Part I of a two-part series, Dan Robinson looks at recent events involving the Broadcasting Board of Governors' oversight of Voice of America.
It’s 1 pm, and Current Time America is on the air. The program is one of two stateside productions of Current Time, a 24-7 Russian-language TV channel headquartered in Prague. But this isn’t some Euro import or a start-up aimed at Russian expats—it’s run by the U.S. government. Launched in February, the project is a collaboration between two venerable broadcasters, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. After Russia annexed Crimea, says Daisy Sindelar, the network’s director, “we realized that we were losing a messaging war.”
Information warfare and fake news? Washington-funded media outlets like Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America have long run what the Kremlin sees as an anti-Putin propaganda campaign aimed at supporting the Russian opposition.
The Trump administration’s leading candidate to head the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a position that with recent changes would give the appointee unilateral power over the United States’ government messaging abroad reaching millions, is a conservative documentarian with ties to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
A month after Trump was elected, Republicans in Congress changed the VOA’s governing structure, replacing its independent and bipartisan board of governors with a CEO appointed directly by the president. [...] Taken together, the moves indicate that Trump is poised to turn the government news service—which reaches a global audience of 236 million every week through its radio and TV broadcasts—into a mouthpiece for his personal brand.