Bashar Fahmi missing 5 years

MBN’s Alhurra Television marks five years since correspondent Bashar Fahmi went missing in Aleppo, Syria on August 20, 2012.
Ethnic Crimean tartar children play on a cell phone in candlelight at their home, after a power failure, in a village outside Simferopol, Crimea.

BBG 2017 budget request prioritizes key audiences and new technologies

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) today released its Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, seeking $777.8 million to accelerate its market-driven shift to digital media, concentrate broadcasting to foreign policy priority audiences, better measure impact, and expand global distribution capabilities.

“This budget makes clear our priorities for meeting key audiences where they are and increasing our impact in target regions around the world,” said BBG CEO John Lansing.  “I’m especially proud that this budget reflects an unprecedented collaboration between the five BBG networks to support our unified mission.”

The budget request prioritizes expanding digital and video production to engage young audiences who are impacted by Russian aggression and disinformation, or by media campaigns of violent extremist groups such as ISIL.  A proposed investment of $15 million will expand video and new media in Russian-language, launch digital teams for Central Asia and other areas where Russia supports frozen conflicts, and increase digital content for regional audiences impacted by ISIL extremism, including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The budget request also grows BBG’s digital engagement efforts that have successfully informed and encouraged dialogue among Iraqi audiences on issues that have allowed ISIL to attract young fighters.  The $2.5 million enhancement request will allow the Agency to expand these efforts to Egypt, Central Asia and the Balkans.

In order to optimize BBG’s coordinated coverage of global news and information – including emerging international crises – and to maximize the use of shared support services, the FY 2017 Budget Request proposes that the BBG Board may delegate any of its authorities or duties to a Chief Executive Office appointed by the Board.

The Agency will also fund research to measure and increase its impact on the hundreds of millions who consume BBG media each week, as well as create an Internet Freedom Office to oversee the selection and evaluation of Internet Freedom projects.

Proposed budget reductions include trimming administrative and overhead costs and realigning transmitting station sites and transmissions across its global network.

The executive summary and highlights from the FY 2017 Budget Request can be found here.