Bureaucrats gave listeners little time to learn about shortwave cuts by VOA, RFA, and RFE/RL | BBG Watch (USA)
Executives in charge of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), which operates radio transmissions for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), have once again shown their contempt for loyal radio listeners of many years, as well as for Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalists and broadcasters who prepare shortwave radio broadcasts, which IBB just announced it wants to terminate at the end of the day on June 30, 2014 in a massive and in most cases complete cut affecting many countries without free media: Belarus, Caucasus, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq (Kurdish), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
At the very least, BBG members should intervene and tell IBB executives that they cannot give radio listeners only a day or two to adjust to such a major change. They should also demand that IBB executives show a little more respect for managers and journalists at VOA, RFA, and RFE/RL.
All shortwave frequencies will also be eliminated for Voice of America English radio broadcasts to Asia, VOA English teaching programs, and VOA programs to Bangladesh.
VOA, RFA, and RFE/RL shortwave radio listeners do not yet know about these cuts, and neither did managers and broadcasters at these media outlets until they received an email from IBB late Thursday night. While some further reductions in shortwave transmissions were anticipated as part of general budget cuts, managers and broadcasters at BBG entities were surprised to learn from IBB that they had only a couple of days to prepare for such a drastic move and equally short time to alert their audiences. Many VOA journalists still do not know this is happening, as the word about the cuts reached only some staffers Friday afternoon, sources told us.