Kim's Recent Essays...
US International Broadcasting: Success Requires Independence and Consolidation.
In International Broadcasting, Even the Static Must be Credible.
America Calling China: A Strategy for International Broadcasting.
Over the past few years, we have seen many op-eds and commentaries about VOA Persian. Some are written by inviduals apparently unhappy about the paucity of face time they are getting on VOA Persian. What is needed is not another op-ed, but a comprehensive news investigation, including analysis of a generous portion of VOA Persian content.
Perhaps the real argument here is whether VOA Persian should be a news service or "opposition media." To assuage the many critics of VOA Persian, the United States might eventually have two channels directed to Iran: one that provides news, the other an anti-regime outlet. The audience in Iran can then decide which channel better serves their needs.
Update: Wall Street Journal, 23 Jan 2013, David Ensor, director of the Voice of America: "Mr. Ahmari is wrong to claim that Voice of America's Persian Service is 'often distorted by an editorial line favoring rapprochement with the mullahs.' He Mr. Ahmari supports the claim with a pair of quotes, taken out of context from an extensive interview with former Iranian nuclear negotiator Seyed Hossein Mousavian, but the full transcript shows the former Iranian official being questioned pointedly by VOA host Siamak Dehghanpour. ... For 70 years, VOA has been a beacon of hope to people in repressed and information-denied areas, and we are proud that more than one in five adult Iranians tune in to VOA every week, making it one of the most popular international broadcasters in the country." See also VOA, From the Director, 24 Jan 2013. -- A "beacon of hope" is a very good thing. A news organization, however, is perhaps better described a beacon of accurate and uncensored information, also a very good thing.