Smith-Mundt Act

The US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, popularly referred to as the Smith-Mundt Act, specifies the terms in which the U.S. government can engage in public diplomacy. Among the provisions of the 1948 Act was “the creation of an information service to disseminate abroad information about the United States, its people, and policies.” A major vehicle to achieve this objective was the development of the international broadcasting station, Voice of America (VOA).

Smith-Mundt Act

US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948

The Smith-Mundt Act is an educational exchange initiative established to “promote better understanding of the United States among the peoples of the world and to strengthen cooperative international relations.”

Smith-Mundt Modernization

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Section 501 of the Act was amended in 2013 allowing BBG to make program materials available domestically, upon request, whenever doing so is consistent with all statutory authorities, prohibitions, principles, and standards.

International Broadcasting Act

The Act consolidated all non-military, U.S. Government international broadcast services under the Broadcasting Board of Governors and also created the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB).

International Broadcasting Act

Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995

The International Broadcasting Act (IBA) was written in 1994 to streamline the U.S. international media and to provide a cost-effective way to continue Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Voice of America and Radio Martí.

International Broadcasting Act Amendment

Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999

The IBA was amended in 1998 to include the Secretary of State as a member of the board ex officio and repealed other sections as originally written.

Ethical Guidelines

VOA Charter

To protect the integrity of VOA programming and define the organization’s mission, the VOA Charter was drafted in 1960 and later signed into law on July 12, 1976, by President Gerald Ford.

Standards & Principles

All of the BBG’s broadcasting Standards and Principles are consistent with the U.S. International Broadcasting Act of 1994, as amended.