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House Passes U.S. International Broadcasting Reform

Senate plans on the issue unclear

The House passed a bill to reform U.S. international broadcasting.

It’s not clear, however, if the Senate plans to take up the issue.

The reform bill would reduce the Broadcasting Board of Governors to an advisory role and appoint a full-time chief executive officer to run U.S. international broadcasting like Voice of America, Radio Liberty or Radio Marti, reports the VOA.

If the bill becomes law, VOA “would confine itself to its public diplomacy mission, to foster positive relationships between the United States and the rest of the world,” said Virginia Democrat Rep. Gerald Connolly.

Additionally, the news service quotes some current and former VOA news personnel as saying they agree management changes are needed, but are worried about language in the House measure that would reduce the scope of VOA’s coverage from world news to U.S. news and policy.

Former VOA deputy director Alan Heil says such changes would be “devastating,” according to the account.

How Effective Is the BBG in 2014? (June 2014)