voice of america
The Trump administration’s leading candidate to head the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a position that with recent changes would give the appointee unilateral power over the United States’ government messaging abroad reaching millions, is a conservative documentarian with ties to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
A month after Trump was elected, Republicans in Congress changed the VOA’s governing structure, replacing its independent and bipartisan board of governors with a CEO appointed directly by the president. [...] Taken together, the moves indicate that Trump is poised to turn the government news service—which reaches a global audience of 236 million every week through its radio and TV broadcasts—into a mouthpiece for his personal brand.
VOA began radio broadcasting in 1942, to combat Nazi propaganda. Per its charter, it is mandated to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” Since WWII, it has been the front-edge of America’s informational interface with citizens around the world, particularly those battling dictatorships and tyranny. [...] VOA is the largest public diplomacy program of the United States government and broadcasts in more than 40 languages.
A new paper in our Perspectives series looks at U.S. international broadcasting.
Conventional news organizations follow a simple protocol in pursuing this week’s WikiLeaks dump of alleged CIA documents about tools to hack into computers, smartphones and the like. Just open up the documents, read them, consult with experts and perhaps write up an article or two. That process doesn’t proceed quite as smoothly at the Voice of America (VOA), the government-funded news outlet that launched in 1942 “to combat Nazi propaganda with accurate and unbiased news and information.”