BBG may delay birthday present for PRC; no immediate RIFs of VOA journalists
BBG Watch has learned that due to overwhelming protests, including a full bipartisan rebuke by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Broadcasting Board of Governors may delay the planned termination of Voice of America radio and TV broadcasts to China.
BBG executives initially picked October 1, the start of the new U.S. government fiscal year, as the date for ending these broadcasts. This is also the anniversary of the founding of communist China, something that these foreign policy, journalism, public diplomacy and Congressional relations experts apparently did not know. They are also accomplished and sensitive managers, not. They chose Valentine’s Day to tell 45 VOA China Branch reporters that they will soon lose their jobs because China no longer needs their TV and radio news.
We hear that 45 VOA journalists who specialize in human rights reporting to China, whom the BBG wants to fire, will not receive their pink slips this week and may be safe for the time being, but we don’t know for how long.
We also heard that BBG executives see it only as a temporary setback and are already making plans to proceed with their plan as soon as the heat in Congress and media becomes less intense. They’re not saying mission accomplished, and neither are we.
There may be no BBG present at the PRC birthday party this year, but the future of U.S. international broadcasting is still in the hands of those who were finishing putting a ribbon on the box. The fight is far from over.