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BOARD FOR INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE 'REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT'S TASK FORCE ON U.S. INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING'

BOARD FOR INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE 'REPORT

OF THE PRESIDENT'S TASK FORCE ON U.S. INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING'
 WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Malcolm S. Forbes Jr., chairman, Board for International Broadcasting, issued the following statement on the report of the President's Task Force on U.S. International Broadcasting:
 The BIB enthusiastically welcomes the "Report of the President's Task Force on U.S. International Broadcasting," which gives a ringing endorsement of the unique and invaluable role of surrogate/alternative broadcasting. The distinguished members of this panel, headed by John Hughes, have reaffirmed the critical role played by Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in bringing about the fall of totalitarian communism in East and Central Europe and the republics of the former Soviet Union. More important, this report recognizes the vital role that RFE/RL will play during the next decade in assisting "newly democratic nations in establishing and developing democratic institutions, particularly free and unfettered media."
 For over 40 years Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty have been surrogate "home" radio stations for tens of millions of listeners in what is now the former East bloc. These radios have been the listeners' lifeline not only with the West, but also with their own history and traditions. Now, as the countries of the former East bloc regain their independence, the mission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is evolving from a purely surrogate role to an alternative one. As the report states: "The radios are no longer solely providing journalism as the target audiences would receive it if they were free, but journalism as they would have it if they at this time had the capability, the wherewithal and the habit of journalistic freedom." RFE/RL is energetically meeting this major challenge.
 The BIB is heartened by the task force's reaffirmation of the construction of a joint VOA-RFE/RL shortwave station in Israel and its endorsement of technical cooperation between the two U.S. broadcasters. The sharing of technical facilities is a prudent and cost-effective way of enhancing U.S. international broadcasting.
 Concerning the specific recommendations of the task force on the administrative structure of Radio and TV Marti and the creation of a Free Radio for Asia, the BIB stands ready to carry out whatever mandate is formulated by the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government.
 This comprehensive, thoroughly researched and thoughtful paper on international broadcasting is a major contribution for understanding the critical role international broadcasting now plays in U.S. public diplomacy. It sets forth the bold constructive recommendations for the future.
 It is a first rate report.
 -0- 12/16/91
 /CONTACT: Pat Schlueter of the Board for International Broadcasting, 202-254-8040/ CO: Board for International Broadcasting ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


TW -- DC031 -- 2725 12/16/91 17:52 EST
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Date:Dec 16, 1991
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