RFE/RL president Steven Korn on "the ability to let people make up their own mind based on accurate information."

Posted: 29 Oct 2011   Print   Send a link
The Prague Post, 26 Oct 2011, Benjamin Cunningham: "It ... seems that organizational changes are ahead for RFE/RL and other Washington-financed broadcasters. Deloitte consulting has been brought on by the [Broadcasting Board of Governors] to advise how RFE/RL could share costs with similar broadcasters like Radio Free Asia. 'There are separate legal departments and so on; to me, that doesn't make a lot of sense and takes away from what we can spend on our mission,' [new RFE/RL president Steven] Korn says. Asked to summarize that aforementioned mission, Korn says it is 'bringing free press and unbiased information to people in countries where they don't have it.' While the BBG is meant to provide a buffer between the U.S. Congress and RFE/RL and prevent broadcasts from being influenced by politics, critics - including leaders in many of the 21 countries where RFE/RL broadcasts - nonetheless charge the organization and its journalists are merely a tool of U.S. foreign policy. While conceding that U.S. government would not fund RFE/RL if it didn't provide some benefits, Korn adamantly rejects such claims. 'In a broad sense, that is of course true, but it is sort of an enlightened self-interest point of view,' Korn says. 'The ability to let people make up their own mind based on accurate information is an unqualified good thing in the world. … That is also consistent with the broad interests of the United States.'"