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Senator Lugar: U.S. International Broadcasting – Is Anybody Listening?

Senator Richard LugarFrom Senator Lugar’s website: On June 9, 2010, Senator Dick Lugar released a report prepared by the minority staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In his letter accompanying the report, Senator Lugar wrote: “A key component of any nation’s public diplomacy effort is its ability to communicate with the rest of the world — either through people-to-people initiatives or through communications such as press briefings and broadcasting.”

“Tasked with ensuring the U.S. message gets through is the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The Board oversees the operations of the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Network and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which together broadcast in some 60 languages through radio, TV and the Internet.”

“The Board consists of eight members nominated by the President (four Republicans and four Democrats) with the Secretary of State as the ninth member. The report addresses both the Board’s staffing difficulties, as well as the key issues and countries of concern that will confront the new Board when they are in place. Staff have consulted widely with experts inside and outside the government, former officials, public diplomacy experts in Washington and around the globe, as well as bloggers, journalists and academicians.”

Senator Lugar noted: “As the title of the report suggests, we must not only work harder at gaining broader audiences for our programs, we also face fierce competition to keep our listeners, viewers and readers engaged.”

U.S. International Broadcasting: Is Anybody Listening?

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