Richard M. Lobo, Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), recently completed a nine-day swing through the Middle East to review overseas operations, to assess the regional media environment and to meet with key partners in the region. The trip, to three countries and four cities, was Lobo’s first major travel as IBB Director and marked important progress on a number of high-priority initiatives.
In Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates Lobo met with the director of the National Media Commission, and with officials of the Abu Dhabi Media Corporation, which contracts with IBB to provide transmission services, as well as with embassy officials.
Lobo then went to the Middle East Broadcasting (MBN) facility at Dubai Media City, a hub for Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa’s Arabic-language operations in the region.
He also met with diplomats at the consulate in Dubai, to gain insight into the regional media climate, including the role of VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN) and RFE/RL’s Radio Farda.
From Dubai, Lobo moved on to Kabul, for a series of high-level meetings with the Deputy U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne; the Director of Strategic Communications David Ensor; the Afghan Minister of Information and Culture and the Minister of Communications, as well as other senior officials.
Director Lobo met with the staff of VOA and RFE/RL at their shared bureau in Kabul. Together, these broadcasts reach half of the population in Afghanistan. One official termed the programs perhaps one of the most successful examples of public diplomacy anywhere in the world. From Kabul, Director Lobo returned to Dubai for meetings with key TV affiliates.
From there, it was on to Kuwait, and a visit to IBB’s George Moore Transmitting Station outside Kuwait City. The station, established in 1992, has emerged as a vital link in the IBB’s worldwide transmission and satellite network. Lobo also had consultations with senior U.S. diplomats, and then went into high-level meetings at the Foreign Ministry and with the Minister of Information.
International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), provides program placement and transmission services for all the Broadcasting Board of Governors broadcast organizations and manages a global network of transmitting sites and an extensive system of leased satellite and fiber optic circuits, along with a rapidly growing Internet delivery system.