Congress exposes repeated violations of Smith-Mundt Act in USAGM agency's Facebook ads targeting Americans

BBG Watch Commentary

The review by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and his committee staff found that insufficient management and devolved operating structures for digital advertising at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA) in the U.S. Agency for Global Media...Read More »

Voice of America to target Americans despite ban on funding domestic news distribution, critics say


While “Information intended for foreign audiences” (such as Voice of America – VOA programs) “may, upon request and reimbursement of the reasonable costs incurred in fulfilling such a request, be made available, in the United States,”

BBG Watch Commentary

It did not occur to International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) bureacrats that Americans might not like the removal of the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act restrictions on domestic distribution of U.S. government-funded news for audiences abroad. They were not prepared for Voice of America...Read More »

Middle America newspapers call for restoring 'Big Brother' domestic propaganda ban for BBG

The Post and Courier

BBG Watch Commentary

The Post and Courier, the main daily newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, has called for restoring the Smith-Mundt government propaganda ban on domestic distribution of U.S. international broadcasting programs such as those produced by the Voice of America (VOA) under the Broadcasting Board of...Read More »

Much of Voice of America content is third-party copyright-protected and cannot be easily re-used commercially in the U.S.

BBG Watch Commentary

Voice of America (VOA) TERMS OF USE/PRIVACY NOTICE shows much of its content is third-party copyright-protected material and cannot be commercially re-used by others in the United States without violating copyright or securing additional copyrights from others. In the past, most of VOA content,...Read More »

How a story of Somali Americans in Minnesota gave U.S. government new domestic media powers

As Reported by BBG Watch.

BBG Watch Commentary

We have all heard this story told countless times by International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and Voice of America (VOA) officials...Read More »

Federal employees identify U.S. stations for government-paid news

Federal employees at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) were told to identify U.S. stations but not to make offers of government-funded news to domestic media.


Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) internal document, July 2013.

FAQs for VOA and OCB for Domestic Program Requests


  1. Can I identify U.S. stations that would be interested...Read More »

Broadcasting Administrative Manual: Policy on Domestic Distribution of Program Material

Broadcasting Administrative Manual: Policy on Domestic Distribution of Program Material downloaded from the BBG website on July 28, 2013. Link here.

For possible updates, check BBG Check here for updates.


502.1 Authority and scope.
502.2 Definitions.
502.3 Availability of program materials on public websites.Read More »

Facts About Smith-Mundt Modernization from Broadcasting Board of Governors, July 28, 2013

“There has been no change to the BBG’s enabling statute, the U.S. International Broadcasting Act of 1994, which authorizes the agency to create programs for foreign audiences.” – Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)

But will BBG officials divert tax dollars to expand placement of programs in the United States?

This document was...Read More »

Op-Ed: US propaganda ban overturned with help of government propaganda

From Digital Journal:

Government officials used deceptive propaganda to get congress to overturn a ban on government news distribution in the U.S.
Would government officials resort to deceptive propaganda to help them get the U.S. Congress to overturn an old law, the Smith-Mundt Act, which prohibited them from distributing government-funded news...Read More »