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Trump-appointed CEO of US global media agency targets journalists’ independence

Trump-appointed CEO of US global media agency targets journalists’ independence from @TheRealNews
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Despite a litany of lawsuits, whistleblower complaints, and congressional subpoenas, Trump-appointed CEO of the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) Michael Pack continues to aggressively reshape Voice of America (VOA) and other news networks managed by the agency, and he’s using executive powers enabled by his Democratic successor to do it, according to current and former USAGM staffers who requested anonymity and documents obtained by The Real News.

On Monday, Oct. 26, just days ahead of the presidential election, Pack quietly tossed out a crucial “firewall rule” that prohibited interference by any US government official in the objective, independent reporting of news. The firewall is intended to safeguard the ability of VOA journalists to report independently and free of political interference, despite the agency’s reliance on government funding. Removing it enables Pack to more easily influence editorial decisions and align USAGM networks with “‘broad foreign policy objectives’ of the United States established by the President,” says a statement from Pack on the USAGM website.

In the statement, Pack calls the firewall rule “harmful to the agency” because it prevented him, he claims, from fulfilling his “duty ‘to direct and supervise all broadcasting activities’” across USAGM networks. “By instruction of Congress, I am required to make the agency more efficient and more effective in fulfilling its mission,” Pack argues.



Originally posted by The Real News on 2020-11-20 11:17:04

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