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"America First" framework for 2018 international affairs budget request funds "core" PD

Tuesday, May 23rd 2017

"Asserting U.S. leadership and influence" includes core public diplomacy programs, according to the White House budget for 2018.

We don't have a formal strategy or a reorganization plan from the new administration, but a budget may be the most important statement about its new directions.  And this page from the State Department lays out nine major statements so far this year.

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Joe B. Johnson

Board member


Joe B. Johnson consults on government communication and technology after a career in the United States Foreign Service.  He is an instructor for the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, where he teaches strategic planning for public diplomacy.

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Author: Joe Johnson

The Future of International Broadcasting

Wednesday, February 15th 2012

The president’s 2013 budget proposal this week was big news in Washington, but for those who care about public diplomacy and international broadcasting, the most interesting parts involved the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Radio & TV Marti, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks of Radio Sawa and Alhurra TV.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees these organizations, has proposed some significant cuts in the overall budget, which is hardly surprising given the nation’s economic problems. But they’ve also proposed sweeping changes in the way they want the broadcasters to operate in the future.

Three aspects of the BBG’s proposal particularly caught my attention:

The first was the lack of recognition of VOA's historical mission of informing international audiences about the U.S. and U.S. policies, or, put another way, telling them about who Americans are, and what we believe in. The BBG's newly rewritten mission statement makes no reference to this role, which could well prompt members of Congress to question why they should spend scarce taxpayer dollars on simply supporting another international news service, even a reformed one. VOA was originally created to counter anti-American propaganda, among other reasons, and while many things have changed since those early days of World War II, the need to counter anti-American propaganda has, unfortunately, not. Unless there's a central and acknowledged role in the BBG's – and VOA's – mission for providing accurate, balanced, and comprehensive information about the U.S. and our policies, then it undermines the BBG's and VOA's entire reason for being.  

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David S. Jackson

David Jackson is a veteran journalist and former U.S. government official with extensive multimedia communications experience in domestic and international markets.

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Author: David S Jackson

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