Broadcasting Board of Governors
Friday, February 5th 2016
“The challenges that American national security policy has encountered in recent years have also revealed some significant gaps in our foreign and defense policy toolkits. Three particularly acute needs [include] . . . building an institutional ability to wage ideological warfare, especially the battles of ideas against jihadism and the propaganda of expansionist authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China.” Thus closed the final chapter of the John Hay Institute’s report, Choosing to Lead: American Foreign Policy for a Disordered World, issued in September, 2015. It is “dedicated to the next President of the United States.”Read More
Friday, January 29th 2016
“We have to be able to talk about freedom. We have to be able to talk about these issues that I’m speaking of—freedom of religion and so forth—and give people a vision of a different society than that one that they see clashing around them,” said the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Edward Royce, at a session at the American Enterprise Institute on January 8, 2016. The topic was “National Security, the Next President, and Restoring American Leadership.” The conversation was moderated by Danielle Pletka. From the transcript, here’s a clip on U.S. international broadcasting:Read More
Thursday, January 7th 2016
“The U.S. government’s international media operations grossly lack funding to counter effectively the rising global blitz of state-sponsored propaganda from Russia, China and other rivals . . .” This was the lead of an article by Guy Taylor, National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, “Russian, Chinese propaganda muffling U.S. government’s message to world,” on January 3, 2016.
The article was a “newsmaker interview” with the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Jeff Shell. (Shell is also Chairman of NBCUniversal’s Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.) Taylor asked Shell about “mounting concern among U.S. lawmakers and some Western diplomats that Washington is losing a global messaging war to the modernized array of anti-U.S. content — specifically from RT, which has expanded its operations around the world in recent years.”Read More
Tuesday, January 5th 2016
“Russia has reorganized and intensified its international propaganda machine so effectively over the past decade that some Western lawmakers and diplomats say Washington now is badly losing a global messaging war to the increasingly modernized blitz of anti-U.S. content from Moscow-backed news operations.” This was the lead of a report by Guy Taylor, National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times. His December 27, 2015, article, “Russia propaganda machine gains on U.S.,” provided an overview of the debate over the effectiveness and organization of U.S. overseas broadcasting. The debate has been brought to the fore by a bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 2323. Here are just a few key points from Taylor’s article.
- What is most mind-boggling, some U.S. lawmakers say, is how Moscow has brought about this propaganda revolution during a post-Cold War period in which America’s own government-financed news operations, such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America have remained largely stagnant in terms of their reach around the world.
Tuesday, December 15th 2015
“. . . the Voice of America (VOA) is a national security asset, and not only because it is a news organization of extraordinary breadth, depth and reach,” wrote former VOA Director David Ensor, now Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University. His December 14, 2015, report, “Exporting the First Amendment: Strengthening U.S. Soft Power through Journalism,” is a valuable, detailed, and convictional explanation of the role of U.S. international broadcasters. “VOA is an effort to harness and direct the nation’s soft power by exporting truthful, balanced journalism,” he added, and he posed this question: “What is the proper role of the Voice of America in a world where Vladimir Putin ‘weaponizes information’ and terrorists recruit globally on the Internet?”
Specialists in Public Diplomacy, public affairs, broadcasting, strategic communication, media and social media, information operations, and foreign policy must read the entire report, which begins with a dramatic case study of the Yazidis who fled to Mount Shinjar in August, 2014. The report concludes with Ensor’s recommendations and his views of “what works” (“journalism with values”) and what doesn’t (“policy driven ‘messaging’”).
This gist provides main points, but it necessarily omits the most valuable supporting details, contrasts with other national broadcasting efforts, case studies, and analytics that are included in Ensor’s paper. Again, read the full report!Read More