The media freedom website BBG Watch reported that the Senate Committee on Appropriations has rejected the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) proposal to end VOA radio and TV broadcasts to China and criticized the BBG for the lack of transparency. The committee recommended $740,039,000 for US international broadcasting operations, for the operating and engineering costs of VOA, Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), which includes Radio and TV Marti, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), which includes Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa, and the BBG in FY2012. The Obama Administration has asked for $754,261,000. The BBG’s FY2011 budget was $740,017,000. The BBG manages these US government-funded entities and broadcasting operations
In a highly critical language included in a report recommending the passage of the bill (S. 1601) making FY2012 appropriations for the Department of State, the BBG and other foreign operations, the Senate Committee on Appropriations expressed concern with “the lack of transparency” regarding the BBG proposal.