Covering the world

BBG broadcasters bring news and information to people around the world in 61 languages. Every week, more than 226 million listeners, viewers and Internet users around the world turn on, tune in and log onto U.S. international broadcasting programs. BBG broadcasters produce more than 3,000 hours of original programming each week.

The difference in the broadcasters’ roles lies in their programming emphases

RFE/RL, RFA, and OCB emphasize domestic news for their geographically-defined audiences.  Covering developments specific to their target markets is their specialty, most notably in countries without a free press or in transition.  At the same time, each one also covers regional and international issues and events (including those in the United States, as warranted) to ensure comprehensive news coverage.

The VOA emphasizes international and regional news and in-depth coverage of the United States.  VOA also covers local events to ensure comprehensive news coverage, especially in areas where it operates solely such as sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

MBN provides a full range of international, regional, and local news in Arabic as well as consistent coverage of the U.S.

Programming and funding

The BBG ensures that our broadcasters’ program decisions reflect the U.S. national interest. Given funding constraints and changing foreign policy priorities, it is sometimes necessary to increase broadcasting to an area in crisis, while correspondingly reducing funding in other areas. Decisions to eliminate or reduce broadcast services are never easy.

Funding decisions are based on a variety of factors including audience access to outlets of free and balanced news, the effectiveness of the current programming, and U.S. strategic interests. Once countries have established reliable and professional media outlets, the need for our broadcasts diminishes.