Under reduced 2013 budget, US international broadcasting is still fragmented, but the fragments are smaller.

Posted: 14 Feb 2012   Print   Send a link
Broadcasting Board of Governors press release, 13 Feb 2012: "The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) today released its FY 2013 budget request, which contains a set of strategic measures to advance its core mission and meet the challenges of the changing global media environment within current spending constraints. ... For FY 2013 the BBG has requested more than $720 million for U.S. international broadcasting, a decrease of 4.2 percent from FY 2012. ... The FY 2013 budget request includes program, transmission and staffing reductions at the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and the International Broadcasting Bureau, in part through efforts to restructure operations and end duplication. While four broadcast languages are proposed for elimination, the budget request preserves broad-based service in diverse vernacular languages to meet the needs of BBG audiences worldwide." With link to the complete FY 2013 budget request.

Radio Netherlands Media Network, 13 Feb 2012, Andy Sennitt: "Taking all transmission and language service reductions into account, the budget request proposes to discontinue the use of shortwave and mediumwave except for Cuba, China, North Korea, Burma, Iran, Tibet, Uyghur, FATA (Afghan-Pakistan border region), Pakistan, Afghanistan, Belarusian, Russian to the Caucasus, Russian, Turkmen, Khmer, and Africa. The Poro, Philippines transmitting station would close and discontinue 10 positions. This one megawatt station [on 1170 kHz] currently provides only five hours per day of mediumwave transmission to audiences in Southeast Asia, and the potential requirements for this station will be reduced in FY 2013. The Agency plans to maintain and develop FM radio, television, satellite, Internet, mobile services, and other platforms that are more effective for serving target audiences currently served by Poro. My attention has also been drawn to a plan to ‘Consolidate and Reorganize Central News and English Divisions’ which, if implemented, would save $5.660 million. 'As part of this budget request, VOA’s Central News will accelerate its transition from a large scale producer of English-language content, much of it based on wire services, to a much leaner newsroom, producing original content, and a short menu of top stories. Central News would also act as a clearinghouse for original content produced by VOA language service journalists.'"

State Department, 13 Feb 2012, fact sheet on its FY 2013 budget request: "$507.4 million for public diplomacy to engage foreign audiences and win support for U.S. foreign policy goals, programs that include engaging with civil society in transition countries such as Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt (including the Frontline States, the total Public Diplomacy Request is $541.7 million)." -- This is separate from the BBG budget request because public diplomacy and international broadcasting are two very different types of communication.