Helle C. Dale, the Heritage Foundation’s senior fellow in public diplomacy, has called for urgent reform of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).
Last week, another American scholar of public diplomacy and media, Martha Bayles made an unusual public appeal to BBG board members to look to qualified outside candidates for the job of permanent president of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) because of management problems and low employee morale at RFE/RL.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee called the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is in charge of all U.S.-funded media outreach oversees, “a broken agency.”
HELLE DALE: “When it comes to reform of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is in charge of $750 million worth of U.S. government non-military communications assets, Royce has made a good case that the agency should be split in two.
One part, Voice of America, should be an invigorated part of U.S. strategy to fight violent extremism and Russian propaganda advances, among other challenges. The other part, the surrogate broadcasters Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, etc., is more closely aligned with democracy promotion and the broadcasting of local news into countries where no free press exists. Both are important policy objectives and must be based on the dissemination of fact-based and credible news reporting (not mere propaganda as critics on H.R. 2323 have suggested).
Needless to say, the Broadcasting Board of Governors has no desire to be split in two and is deeply opposed to the Royce-Engel legislation. Influenced by Broadcasting Board of Governors leadership, the same position has been taken by the White House, though the issues does not seem to be high of the radar screen of the administration.”
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."