Statement by CUSIB Executive Director Ann Noonan at BBG Meeting, Oct. 30, 2014
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) Executive Director Ann Noonan spoke at the October 30, 2014 Broadcasting Board of Governors meeting as a member of the public and noted some of the areas of CUSIB’s past and current concerns.
Here is a copy of her statement:
Statement by Ann Noonan
“CUSIB was honored to meet with the BBG’s CEO designee, Andy Lack, in New York on October 8th. We discussed some of our immediate concerns about the need for change at the BBG. We offered our assistance and advice, and wish him well in this new role.
Along with some CUSIB Members, Mr. Wei Jingsheng also joined us on October 8th. I am delighted that he is here today to speak about how and why VOA and RFA China services must improve.
As Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution began, CUSIB was made aware of satellite TV programming changes made without any advance notice to audiences in China or even VOA China Branch staff. We remain alarmed by any possible efforts to eliminate shortwave and medium wave radio inside China, and we want to know why VOA Chinese-language broadcasting services have not been expanded and repeat programs not updated with live news as Hong Kong students and democracy seekers continue to press for justice.
Since all of the BBG Governors present here today were also present in June in Miami when I spoke about the situation of the illegally and improperly fired workers and journalists from the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, I have to ask: Why have four months passed without reinstatement or back pay or any remedy for these people. I was told by people in this room that this is a priority, but I am told by those who have been victimized that you just don’t care. I believe them.
The Agency’s lawyers are showing the world their competency to frustrate the situation. They are also showing their lack of compassion. I am appealing to each Governor here to make it your priority.
On Dec 4th, one of these OCB workers expects to lose his home if immediate relief for his financial situation does not become available. If this happens, it will be quite a Christmas story about how the US federal government’s bureaucracy has cost a man and his family their home.
After hearing from friends, I would like to add to my recommendations to Andy Lack that he makes it a priority to meet with the ordinary broadcasters in Washington and Prague to gather information from them first-hand about the concentration of power that exists. CUSIB hopes that he will be able to bring some fresh air into these broadcasting areas.
The ongoing gross mismanagement of Voice of America was most recently seen in their call for volunteer journalists to take the experimental Ebola vaccine so they could report about the experience. If this doesn’t show the need for changes in senior management, I don’t know what can.
Finally, when is CUSIB going to receive the thousands of pages that were paid for last year for a FOIA request?
I don’t want to leave these questions in the air. Please email me, call me, let me know.
For further information, please contact:
Ann Noonan, co-founder and Executive Director
Ted Lipien, co-founder and Director
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) is an independent, nongovernmental organization which supports free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries without free media.