This Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report on international broadcasting was released on June 9, 2010. The letter of transmittal from Ranking Member Lugar states, “Broadcasting issues related to Russia, Iran, China, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela, where regimes do all they can to prevent our broadcasts from getting through, all demand immediate attention, as does a critical look at our Middle East broadcasting, where we are struggling for market share in a media market that only grows more crowded by the day.
With this in mind, I asked the Foreign Relations Committee staff under the leadership of Senior Professional Staff Member Paul Foldi to prepare the following report based on travels and study of these vital matters. The report addresses both the Board’s staffing difficulties, as well as the key issues and countries of concern that will confront the new Board when they are in place. Staff have consulted widely with experts inside and outside the government, former officials, public diplomacy experts in Washington and around the globe, as well as bloggers, journalists and academicians. As the title of the report suggests, we must not only work harder at gaining broader audiences for our programs, we also face fierce competition to keep our listeners, viewers and readers engaged. This is the first of several reports I have asked Mr. Foldi to initiate this year addressing major Public Diplomacy issues, and I hope you will find it valuable as we address these concerns.”