Some of the latest innovations on display included paper USBs, translation tools and mobile crisis intervention projects. Focal topics included use of social media, mobile phones and innovative tools for exchanging content with audiences, and tools for getting information into press-restrictive societies such as Cuba, Syria and China.

Both parties like to insist that “soft power” matters, that the “war of ideas” is still a critical element in American statecraft, and that “getting the truth out” is important for the success of defending freedom around the world. But if the continuing dysfunctionalism of the BBG is any indication, that can hardly be the case.

Broadcasting Board of Governors leader Michael Lynton has informed the White House that he is leaving the BBG effective today. “It has been an honor to serve our country by taking part in the work of this board, which was established to oversee an agency with a complex and vital calling,” Lynton wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama about his decision.

Last month the White House and the Broadcast Board of Governors proposed legislation as part of BBG’s FY2014 budget request to Congress that would create a new Chief Executive Officer who would supervise all U.S. international broadcasting, and I then filed a report based on a telephone conference call that followed the announcement.

President Obama announced his intent to nominate Matthew C. Armstrong to serve as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the bipartisan federal board in charge of U.S. international broadcasting. The board is now down to five members, instead of nine, and has as its Interim Presiding Governor, Michael Lynton, who has not been showing up for meetings in recent months.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) recently informed its workforce about sequestration cuts to Voice of America’s (VOA) shortwave and medium-wave broadcasting. Ironically, the Board is cutting the most cost-effective part of its organization: radio.

Eleven German journalists visited the BBG yesterday as a part of the RIAS Berlin Commission’s spring exchange program. The participants met with IBB Director Richard Lobo and attended a VOA editorial meeting. They then met with VOA Associate Director of Language Programming Rebecca MacMenamin and discussed topics such as finding foreign audiences, the federal government’s role in US international broadcasting, and how the agency creates new language services.