Letter to the Public Diplomacy Council from the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ Spokesperson

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) takes sharp exception to many points in “Reforming U.S. International Broadcasting for a New Era,” a statement issued by the Public Diplomacy Council (PDC) on November 17.

It is false to claim that the BBG has acted in any way that contravenes Congress. The BBG received Congressional approval for all program changes that have been made, including language service reductions. The PDC should correct its error.

The success or failure of the BBG should be judged on its broadcasting impact.

The post-9/11 public diplomacy charge was clear: to focus on Muslim audiences as an antidote to poisonous propaganda from Al Qaeda and other extremists. The challenge is how best to do that in specific countries, each with unique political factors, diverse media environments, and populations largely hostile to America.

The BBG has met this challenge by shaping broadcasts to fit the exigencies of each target audience. Since 2001, with support from the Administration and Congress, the BBG has launched six major communication channels