CUSIB Statement for Roundtable Discussion with Members of US Congress

Ann Noonan                                                02-25-2023  ( New York, NY)   

As the Executive Director of the Committee for US International Broadcasting, I would like to thank Members of Congress for participating in today’s round table discussion at Columbia University. Our nonpartisan, not for profit organization supports media freedom and journalists who work in areas of the world that restrict or deny media freedom.


USAGM, formerly known as BBG, serves an important role in our nation and our world. The soft power of international media that USAGM has can be extremely effective in China and Hong Kong and needs your immediate help.


This sleepy federal agency, which falls under your oversight, needs help ensuring the replacement of staff in Voice of America Cantonese, Tibetan and Mandarin Services. When people retire or leave their jobs, their vacancies take too long to fill. This is partially due to shift in necessary employment background searches that now take place in the President’s Office of Personnel.


Radio Free Asia and Voice of America serve two different purposes. RFA helps to report news from nations such as China and Hong Kong that don’t allow media freedom. VOA’s purpose is to share news from America and promote our values and goals. These are vital sources of soft power.


CUSIB respectfully implores you, Members of Congress, to prevent budgetary cuts in these VOA Mandarin, Tibetan and Cantonese Services, as well as prevent cuts in Radio Free Asia’s budget.


We implore you to require short-wave radio, medium-wave radio, and television services in these agencies to remain active. Please don’t let the bureaucrats eliminate these services. Poor people throughout the world cannot all afford cell phones or computers. Radio frequencies are harder to interfere with and radio listeners can’t be tracked and monitored as easily as internet users.


Finally, we have been advised by reputable sources that both VOA China Service and RFA have been effectively pressured by China’s government to censor and regulate news. This needs your prompt investigation. CUSIB’s suggestions to support Radio Free Asia and Voice of America will go a long way to counter and contrast the effort China is attempting on US college campuses.


Thank you.


Ann Noonan is the executive director of the Committee for US International Broadcasting. Contact info: