MOSCOW, May 7 (RIA Novosti) – The US House Foreign Affairs Committee has approved legislation that seeks to improve the United States' international media outreach, aligning it with the country’s foreign policy objectives.
“Unfortunately, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the agency charged with leading the US effort to inform and empower foreign audiences, is badly broken. It is time for broad reforms; now more than ever, US international broadcasts must be effective,” Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce said in a press release.
The legislation would establish “a full-time, day-to-day agency head and reduce the role of the board to a more appropriate advisory capacity,” changes “widely recognized as needed reforms.”
The bill seeks “to enhance the missions, objectives, and effectiveness of United States international communications, and for other purposes.”
It also clarifies the mission of the Voice of America (VOA).
The VOA charter states the organization will provide a “clear and effective presentation of the policies of the United States.”
"This legislation makes clear that the Voice of America mission is to support US public diplomacy efforts," the press release on the committee’s website says.
The legislation will also consolidate the “Freedom Broadcasters,” meaning that Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Network will be united into “a single, non-federal organization” allowing for cost savings, closer collaboration and better responsiveness.
Voice of America (VOA) is the official external broadcast institution of the US federal government. In 1947, VOA started broadcasting to Soviet citizens in Russian under the pretext of countering the Soviet point of view on US policies.