Large Audiences, High Credibility Cited in BBG Testimony on War Zone Broadcasting

BBG Governors D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, Steven Simmons and Joaquin Blaya
testified at a Senate hearing on the role of international broadcasting in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that “we cannot
prevail against the extremists through force alone … it is of critical importance to engage audiences, whose attention we and
our adversaries both seek.”

“We play a critical role, especially in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan that lack adequate press freedom and credible alternative media,” Blaya told the October 15 hearing of the International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women’s Issues Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware.

“We succeed when: (a) we deliver the news our audiences want and need to make informed judgment about their societies; and (b) when we deliver our content via the media our audiences prefer and they can easily access,” said Blaya.

One way the BBG measures impact is through its audience reach, Governors told the panel. 73 percent of Iraqi adults listen to or watch one of the four BBG broadcasters serving that country