It is that environment that has seen “political oversight” of U.S. International Broadcasting become “political inference” — something the Broadcasting Board of Governors is powerless to stop since their jobs as well as the USIB budget are dependent on Congressional approval.

We need a vigorous public debate on the role and direction of U.S. Government broadcasting. This includes discussing the purpose of Government broadcasting based not on assumptions or projections from the past but the current and future communication environment and the requirements of foreign policy.

One of the BBG’s most foolish decisions was to end all VOA radio and TV programs in Arabic and Russian. Besides, the BBG needs to focus on multi-platform, multi-media program delivery that includes new media but does not eliminate VOA broadcasting, where BBG has the greatest competitive advantage.

“I'm taking on another big writing project, so I won't be able to give the BBG the time it needs and deserves,” he said in a resignation letter sent Friday to the agency, which oversees U.S. international broadcasting, including the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is presently working toward updating its organization and strategy to meet America’s 21st Century needs. Whether you agree with the suggestions or not, most of the proposed changes remain just that: proposed as they await approval for many of the key changes.

For Western broadcasters collectively, 2011 was the most potentially devastating year in more than eight decades on the air. Now, because of fiscal uncertainties in their host countries and rapidly evolving competition from both traditional and new media, they face huge cuts in airtime and operations. Can America step up to help fill the gap?

Since 1994, a total of 1,201 American and German journalists have participated in RIAS’s unique transatlantic professional exchanges. In addition, the RIAS Berlin Commission annually presents awards for radio, TV and Internet productions...