The President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2012, sent to the Congress today, includes $767 million for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an increase of 2.5 percent from the FY 2011 full year Continuing Resolution level. The proposed funding reflects the importance of ongoing U.S. international broadcasting to critical audiences as well as technical infrastructure to support modern multimedia operations.
“The BBG is continuing to modernize across a range of communications platforms to be effective in the 21st century media environment,” said Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. “As we continue our strategic review of U.S. international broadcasting, we will be seeking to introduce greater innovations and improvements in order to meet the challenges of our mission.”
The FY 2012 budget request continues to fund the operations of the BBG networks of the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Marti, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), which distribute programming via radio, TV, the Internet, and an increasing array of new media to over 100 countries. Through its global transmission network, the BBG delivers news to countries without independent media, engages audiences and promotes dialogue through interactive programs, reaches people in conflict and crisis, and combats Internet censorship.
The FY 2012 budget request supports ongoing programming as well as funding to:
- enhance the Agency’s global satellite transmission infrastructure,
- initiate a global news-sharing network,
- roll out new media technologies across the Agency,
- ensure broadcast disaster recovery capabilities, and
- expand efforts to move VOA to an all-digital broadcast platform
The FY 2012 budget request proposes a number of reductions. They include: restructuring broadcasting to China by realigning resources to implement a cost-effective and market-specific strategy; eliminating VOA broadcasts to Croatia; optimizing the BBG’s worldwide transmission network; and finding efficiencies within current operations.
Further detail on the requested BBG budget is available here.