voice of america

Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday banned Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from entering its premises, a day after the Russian government declared the organizations "foreign agents."  The 413-1 vote by the Russian State Duma to ban the outlets came as Moscow followed through on its promise to retaliate for similar U.S. actions against the English-language Russian network RT, which Russian leaders characterize as an assault on freedom of the press.

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.

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