An argument for the tree-falling-in-the-forest theory of international broadcasting.

Posted: 21 Aug 2010   Print   Send a link

Update: Heritage Foundation, The Foundry, 19 August 2010, Hell Dale: An "important issue relating to U.S. international broadcasting is the allocation of funding between Voice of America and the growing number of U.S. surrogate broadcasters in the RFE/RL mold, all of whom are managed under the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Audience share is one of the most discussed measurements—and for good reason. That’s what domestic commercial broadcasters use, so why not the government’s international broadcasters? For instance, should we cut broadcasting to countries where the government jams [RFE/RL] broadcasts, causing audience share to drop, such as Iran? Looking at audience research is one of the first items on the to-do list of the new Broadcasting Board of Governors under Chairman Walter Isaacson, which met for the first time on July 30. This research determines budgets and programming decisions. Yet, reliable numbers are hard to come by in closed societies. And in some ways, they do not affect the core mission. The congressionally mandated charters of RFE/RL have very specifically defined parameters, which have little to do with audience share and everything to do with [P.J.] O’Rourke’s argument." -- Not having an audience does not affect the core mission? Perhaps, if international broadcasting is all about the message, regardless of whether anyone is listening. See previous post for P.J. O'Rourke's essay.