Insider on BBG and IBB reorganization
“BBG and IBB combine to form the International Bureau of Broadcasting Governors. Well, not really,” writes Kim Elliott, a BBG employee, in his popular private blog devoted to international broadcasting.
His website carries the following disclaimer: “In this website, views expressed by Kim Andrew Elliott are his own and not necessarily those (in fact probably are not those) of his employer, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, or its parent agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors.”
But we agree with him that “Ideally, US international broadcasting should consist of one corporation, with one board, one layer of senior management, and one “entity.” The only political appointees should be the members of the bipartisan board.”
Of course Dr. Elliott is not the only one who sees obvious flaws in the reorganization. In our opinion, it is a reorganization designed to avoid real reforms and savings.
This is how Dr. Elliot evaluates the BBG plan:
The main feature of the reorganization is the merger of the staffs of the BBG and the International Broadcasting Bureau. USIB now enters a situation in which the IBB director, a political appointee selected by the president with Senate consent, becomes the senior executive of a board that is supposed to provide the insulation (“firewall”) between the government and the entities of US international broadcasting.
This will not be a problem under the present IBB director, Richard Lobo. But what if a future IBB director is especially partisan and wants USIB to provide strong support for the policies of his/her administration? Somewhere it is stipulated that the IBB director will be concerned only with administrative matters, and not with content. (Hence the dotted lines between the IBB director and the entities.) Will that stipulation hold? Or will a future IBB director withhold administrative or engineering support from an entity or language service with whose content he/she is displeased?
Read the original.
Our disclaimer: We are posting Dr. Elliott’s comments without his knowledge.
You may also want to read other articles by Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott:
America Calling China: A Strategy for International Broadcasting
The New York Times: Radio Free Bureaucracy