IBB/BBG executives cut and reduce Voice of America English and foreign language programs and positions

Voice of America (VOA) radio to Tibet and radio and TV in Cantonese to China to be completely eliminated under the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) proposal. As predicted by BBG Watch, in their FY2013 budget proposal, International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) executives continue their plan to eliminate or greatly reduce numerous Voice of America (VOA) English and foreign language programs and associated jobs serving many critical countries, including China and Tibet. In what could be described as nothing less than an attempt to eliminate Voice of America as the primary source for news about America on radio and television and to reduce VOA brand name presence in many countries, IBB/BBG executives have proposed complete elimination of VOA radio broadcasts to Tibet, both radio and TV broadcasts in Cantonese to China, VOA radio to Georgia, VOA radio to Albania, and all VOA programs to Greece. VOA English programs alone would lose 71 positions. VOA Radio Ashna to Afghanistan would be reduced by half. BBG Watch reported that BBG members were too divided to order IBB/BBG executives to focus on reforming their own operations and reducing their own positions. IBB/BBG executive staff has been rated as the worst in leadership and management knowledge within the entire federal government. Not surprisingly, they decided to eliminate critical Voice of America programs and positions and to protect theirs. Program Reductions: Voice of America [–$17.4 M] Consolidate and Reorganize Central News and English Divisions [–$5.660 M] As part of this budget request, VOA’s Central News will accelerate its transition from a large scale producer of English-language content, much of it based on wire services, to a much leaner newsroom, producing original content, and a short menu of top stories. Central News would also act as a clearinghouse for original content produced by VOA language service journalists. VOA Central News will be at the heart of a global newsroom for all U.S. international broadcasting entities. Under this budget, VOA will continue successful efforts to produce content for web and other digital platforms (including audio and video) for targeted English-speaking audiences. Radio functions and corresponding staff would be consolidated. Learning English would absorb Special English functions, and take on a broader strategy of producing effective American English teaching products for a global audience. Seventy-one (71) positions will no longer be required under this proposal. Launch a Global News Network Reduce Duplication with RFA in Asia [–$2.167 M] The budget request aims to reduce duplication in BBG radio broadcasts to Asia by minimizing VOA’s radio output and re-focusing VOA on television, which is rapidly becoming the medium of choice in Asia. The budget request reduces Burmese staffing, eliminates VOA Lao service SW transmissions, and minimizes its Vietnamese radio broadcasts. VOA would retain some Washington-based staff in the Lao and Vietnamese services to provide a Washington Bureau as well as to maintain websites. The budget also eliminates VOA Tibetan language radio, while increasing airtime and resources for VOA’s popular Tibetan satellite television broadcast. RFA…

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IBB/BBG executives cut and reduce Voice of America English and foreign language programs and positions

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