WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a barrage of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, the new chief of U.S. global media is plowing ahead with changes to the Voice of America and other international broadcasters that are heightening concerns about their future as independent news organizations.
Although Agency for Global Media chief executive Michael Pack has assured Congress that VOA and its sister networks will remain independent and pledged he would consult lawmakers on significant developments, last week he initiated personnel changes and began a review of visas for foreign employees.
Some fear the moves will damage the institution’s credibility and its ability to fulfill its congressionally mandated mission to broadcast impartial news around the world by turning the operation into a propaganda machine for President Donald Trump. Others, though, see them as important and long-needed reforms.
Pack on Wednesday fired the executive editor of Radio Free Asia, Bay Fang, whom