Congress Moves to Protect International Broadcasting

Helle Dale /

Kudos to the House Appropriations Committee for protecting U.S. international broadcasting against the eviscerating cuts in language services and personnel contained in the President’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget. If the budget passes—a big “if,” of course—it could reverse a direction that can only be described as self-defeating for American foreign policy and public diplomacy.

In its newly released draft of the FY 2013 budget, the House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee gave the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) about $26.98 million more than it asked for. In the Operations account, BBG asked for $711.56 million and got $740.10 million. In the Improvement account, BBG asked for $8.59 million and got $7.03 million.

The proposed cuts extend across Voice of America’s (VOA) language services:

VOA Director David Ensor now has the opportunity to revisit the issue of the targeted language services. As a veteran journalist, formerly with CNN, Ensor knows the importance of protecting VOA’s most important assets, its seasoned reporting and editing staff. The Broadcasting Board of Governors must allow him to do so.