The Broadcasting Board of Governors has a definite goal for the next five years — advance America’s national interests, work in tandem with the current administration’s national security strategies, and keep its networks up to speed with the way the media landscape has changed.
The board, known widely as BBG, recently released its 2018–2022 Strategic Plan titled “Information Matters: Impact and Agility in U.S. International Media.” The plan was presented to the board during the group’s March board meeting in Washington.
“This plan is a comprehensive roadmap for moving the agency forward in the next five years, including significantly increasing our audience reach,” said BBG Chief Executive Officer and Director John F. Lansing.
While Lansing reiterated that it is an independent agency, it has chosen to align its plan with the Trump administration’s national security strategy, and Lansing said the group supports the administration’s management priorities which he detailed as effectiveness, efficiency and accountability. The organization is an independent federal agency that oversees government-supported, civilian, international media and has five networks under its umbrella: Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Radio Free Asia and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.
The agency will address five key priorities over the next five years: better focus on key issues and audiences, maximize program delivery agility, enhance strategic cooperation between networks, improve accountability and impact measurement, and target public-private partnerships.
At the March board meeting, each of the five BBG networks gave examples of how they are putting that plan into action. For example, Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Tom Kent described the network’s projects on countering violent extremism in Central Asia and the Balkans, as well as its ongoing coverage of Russia’s upcoming election, while Office of Cuba Broadcasting Acting Director Andre Mendes presented the latest on operational improvements to getting Radio Martí’s and Television Martí’s content and programming on the island.
Radio Free Asia President Libby Liu discussed the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning by the Chinese government to track dissidents, and in particular, China’s detention of close relatives of six U.S.-based reporters for Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur coverage in apparent retaliation for their coverage of the Xinjiang region.