Wednesday, October 02, 2013

BBG Activities to Continue During U.S. Government Shutdown

Editors Note:
Contrary to earlier reports...the Voice of America IS NOT shutting down due to U.S. government shutdown. This has been reported by various sources in the blogispere
Gayle Van Horn

Core BBG Activities to Continue During U.S. Government Shutdown October 1, 2013

Many parts of the Broadcasting Board of Governors have had to shut down due to a lapse in appropriations for the U.S. federal government, but BBG-supported media are still bringing news and information programs to audiences around the world.

U.S. international media activities under the BBG that are deemed "foreign relations essential to national security," such as news programming and distribution, are excepted from the shutdown and will continue. Information follows on ongoing operations as well as cancellations.

Broadcasting and Distribution of Programming

The networks under the BBG will continue to produce and distribute news and information in 61 languages to audiences in more than 100 countries. This programming from both the federal and non-federal networks will carry on with support from a reduced staff of the International Broadcasting Bureau.

Voice of America (VOA) and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí), along with the grantee broadcasting networks -- Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa) -- will continue programming during the appropriations lapse.

The BBG networks will cover breaking news and high-priority live programming. The current broadcasting distribution schedule will remain in place, while the numbers of support personnel are reduced. Internet and new media operations will continue as necessary for overseas audiences. Further information detailing the agency's operations plan for a lapse in appropriations, along with FAQs can be found here.

Events and Other Activities

The BBG-Gallup Research Briefing planned for October 2 on media use in Mali and Somalia is postponed until further notice.

Updates to the BBG website will be limited to information about the shutdown and any other essential notices. Employees can call 202-382-8222 for information on the status of agency operations.

Contractors will continue work unless otherwise notified by their contract officer. Questions concerning contract work should be directed to the Office of Contracts.

For any media questions concerning agency activities during the lapse in appropriations, please contact Letitia King at 202-203-4400 or