BBG seeks proposal for VOA social networking studies in Lagos, Jakarta, and - even though VOA no longer has Arabic - Cairo.
Posted: 05 Sep 2011 Print Send a link
Cairo? VOA no longer broadcasts in Arabic. Arabic has been turned over to Alhurra and Radio Sawa.
The report of such a study should say this, but probably won't: In the shortwave era, VOA had 120 million listeners. With the advent of social media, VOA will have 120 million competitors. Going back to shortwave is not the answer (too late now, anyway). But what is the answer in this new age of overabundant content sources? What will elevate US international broadcasting to more than a spit in the ocean? As a first step: the entities of US international broadcasting must quit competing with each other. It is time to consolidate their resources and talents.
By the way, I'm responsible for VOA audience research in Indonesia. This is the first I've heard about the Jakarta study. One of the reasons I curate news about international broadcasting from the house where I live is to find out what is going on inside the building where I work.