CUSIB’s Ted Lipien on domestic controversy over Smith-Mundt Modernization Act

Ted Lipien

Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting Director Ted Lipien has published an op-ed in Digital Journal in which he argues that U.S. international broadcasts “should continue to serve America’s security interests and enrich media media freedom abroad, as the U.S. Congress intended and U.S. taxpayers wanted them to be.”

Lipien expressed concern that the current controversy over the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 can undermine U.S. public support for U.S. government-funded media outreach abroad which is desperately needed for people in countries without free media.

“Supporters of U.S. international broadcasting fear that government officials might divert resources from serving audiences in countries without free media to expand into the U.S. market, where they would compete against domestic commercial media. It would be a waste of tax money that the U.S. Congress intended to use for foreign audiences, critics say.”

Lipien noted that U.S. officials in the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) insist that they have no intention of targeting Americans or producing programs for the domestic media market. He added that “rigorous congressional and public oversight will be needed to hold them to that promise.”

Read more: “Op-Ed: Federal employees identify U.S. stations for government-paid news” by Ted Lipien, Digital Journal, July 27, 2013.

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