voice of america

When it comes to a few important journalistic new media skills, such as speed of posting information online and use of social media, U.S. State Department's public diplomacy is leagues ahead of U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA).

The reasons for what some have called the agency’s “strategic dysfunction” are many, but among them is surely the fact that, prior to Lack’s appointment, there had never been a single decision maker responsible for the BBG. Instead, the organization was governed by a part-time board of nine members.

The board, which oversees United States government-supported international news media like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, is scheduled to meet on Friday to begin looking for a successor to Mr. Lack.

“Public diplomacy through this journalistic mission is a critically important tool in America’s foreign policy toolbox,” said former BBG member Michael Meehan, “And not to fix the structural problems now and losing a top pro like Andy would be a big loss to the mission.’

On January 21, Andrew Lack, the media titan who at different times has headed Bloomberg, Sony, and NBC News, was sworn in as CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the federal agency that oversees the five official US government-supported broadcasters, including the Voice of America. (...) In recent years, the BBG has devolved into a widely acknowledged mess: bloated, demoralized, and inefficient. Reviving this tool of public diplomacy will be a major challenge for Lack. 

December 1, 2014

Since The United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014 (HR4490) was passed by The House of Representatives on July 28, 2014, there has been much debate about the fate of the Voice of America and how the Broadcasting Board of Governors needs to be reformed.

A collection of CPD blogs and articles exploring the fate of VOA and U.S. International Broadcasting as a whole.