How to save U.S. international broadcasting.
The White House has proposed turning Radio Marti, a U.S. government-controlled broadcaster created in part to undermine communist rule in Cuba, into a separate entity as Washington seeks rapprochement with Havana.
The House is moving to overhaul the handful of taxpayer-funded media organizations, but critics say the changes would turn the Voice of America into a tool for pro-western propaganda. Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed a bill to make “dramatic reforms” to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees the government-backed outlets.
Let’s hand it to the U.S. government: At least this disastrous attempt to overthrow the Castro brothers did not almost lead to nuclear annihilation. But its impact on activists around the world who use digital tools to organize against repressive regimes feels devastating enough.
For the last six years, the U.S. government has spent more than $24 million to fly a plane around Cuba and beam American-sponsored TV programming to the island's inhabitants. But every day the plane flies, the government in Havana jams its broadcast signal. Few, if any, Cubans can see what it broadcasts. The program is run by the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, and for the last two years, it has asked Congress to scrap the program, citing its exorbitant expense and dubious cost-effectiveness.
The Office of Cuba Broadcasting has released a new smartphone application that makes accessing accurate news and information easier for Cubans, who live in one of the least free press environments in the world...Additionally, the free app will be useful in getting information off the island.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors, the federal agency that oversees U.S. government non-military international broadcast and Internet services, probably knows more than it's letting on. The good news is that it has released another in its series of expertly researched documents on viewing and listening habits related to its many language services abroad.