Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Thursday, October 28th 2010
Older Washingtonians will remember the retail mogul Robert Haft, who cut his own radio commercial saying, "Books cost too much! That's why I started Crown Books."
Kim Andrew Elliott all but repeats slogan referring to United States international broadcasting. In the recent issue of the Foreign Service Journal, devoted to government-funded broadcasting, the IBB research analyst does some cuff calculations and concludes: "The global audience of USIB [U.S. international broadcasting), 171 million listeners weekly, is about the same as that of BBC World Service. However, USIB achieves that audience on a budget of $727 million, while the BBC World Service attracts the slightly larger audience with budget of just $420 million.
The new Broadcasting Board of Governors has launched a wide-ranging review that may affect all five organizations under its umbrella. Elliott points out the savings that could be achieved through sharing of content and administrative costs.
Vested interests will quibble with Elliott's numbers and cite the complexities of mixing grantee organizations with IBB and VOA, which are federal agencies. But the towering U.S. budget deficit forces everyone in public diplomacy to ask the question: does this cost too much?Read More