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CUSIB Pans Shortwave Report

U.S. overseas broadcasting advocacy group says report targets “vulnerable” radio audiences for cuts rather than cutting BBG “waste”

The advocacy group Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting has panned the recent “To Be Where the Audience Is” report on the future of shortwave broadcasting conducted by a committee of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the body that oversees U.S. overseas broadcasting.

The CUSIB said in its response that the shortwave committee is targeting poor and vulnerable audiences for cuts while the BBG doesn’t curb its own “wasteful” spending.

CUSIB founder and Executive Director Ann Noonan and CUSIB co-founder Ted Lipien stated that they’re not questioning the need to adjust shortwave radio transmissions to changing audience preferences and they “support digital media expansion as part of a carefully-designed multimedia program delivery strategy.”

However, they state CUSIB’s recommendation to the committee to broaden its scope and to look holistically and comprehensively on how the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau spends U.S. taxpayers’ money was ignored.

CUSIB says the group advocates for “hundreds of millions of people who don’t have Internet access or are too poor to afford it. We also advocate for those who can’t see Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting and Middle East Broadcasting Networks’ news websites because of government filtering and censorship. They should not be forgotten, nor can most of them use Internet censorship circumvention tools being promoted by the BBG.”

Shortwave Audience Still Dropping in Most Markets