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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 5, 2016 6:00am-7:01am EST

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one of the most valued things is export broadcast journalism. the air, few realize the voice of america is one of the most influential media organizations on the planet because this past november, the parent agency issued its annual report on global audiences. oa'se past 40 years, the audience has grown 40%. they listen to, watch, or read on everything from shortwave radio to smartphone apps to facebook and twitter. this robust growth has come despite budget cuts in real
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terms. it has also come despite basic problems with the government over oa and its sister organizations. a was laudable to create firewall to protect the firewall -- the independence. but ask yourself this question, how can nine busy people run a large complex of companies as a part-time activity. the pbg has had difficulty effectiveplaying and decision-making role. it has not helped that the white house and senate has often left seats unfilled for long stretches of time. the current board understands the structural problem and what to do with it. runningt to get out of
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broadcasting once a month. the pbg's recent appointment of fun executive officer is an excellent first step in my view. what is needed is a full-time professional boss. mediaansing, the seasoned manager in that role right now needs legislation giving him clear authority over all budgets and personnel. is a billely, there currently before the house of representatives which, unless amended, could make things worse. 2323urrent draft of hr would create yet another board oversee radio free europe, radio free asia, and the u.s. broadcasting network. to separate and competing at u.s. civilian broadcasting efforts.
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there would be a needless duplication of oversight and management layers. it would exacerbate an already-unhealthy rivalry between funding and market roles. bill hasre, the language ordering the d.o.a., which is always been a full-service broadcaster, to cover only news related to the united states or u.s. policy. that would be a poison pill. audiencesor declining and impact. andset of confrontation divorce as is proposed in hr a model ofwe need is collaboration between voa and sister organizations. we need more projects like the russian language tv show, current time. created after the seizure of crimea. it has shows in washington and prague and is seen on 25
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stations in nine countries and inside2 million russians the federation are able to download it, to stream it off the internet, or see it on satellite television. neither could have done this alone. it takes collaboration. whould urge those of you are interested to take a look at the bill and let your representatives and senators know what you think. understand there is an argument to be made in recent days by some radio-free alumni acceptableht not be or legal for a federal ceo to oversee the independent branch ease. branchees. john lansing was chosen by a bipartisan board and he is protected by a firewall.
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i think accountability of a full-time professional would be good for everybody and good for our country. let me turn now to what i think is a key question in our fast-changing media world. be away and its sister entities be? with a cacophony of voices, with broadcasters that spin and give disinformation, is journalism done with the old-fashioned goals of objectivity and balance? is it time to advocate for government policy with many of the new broadcasters. this is not a new debate. it has been revisited many times since the oa's founding. once again, it in recent years, influential voices
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oa to beed for the less independent. i took a look at two models in comparing thee, oa and the bbc world service whichewer channels advocate and spin for their government. i looked for some data on russia, china, and l easier arabic of events and places like egypt and how that played out for them. if the goal is to seek to influence public in strategic places, the evidence is pretty clear. influence is difficult to measure but rest assured, without measurable audience, you will not have it. reach of a worldwide 700 million people but that claim is deliberately misleading.
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using potential audience reach as their much it. in other words, every single person who sits underneath a satellite which has the rt sick all or who has a -- the rt signal on it, or has cable with rt counts in that number. no one else in the business uses that matchup. it is meaningless. measuresrofessionals as actual audience. by the gallupg organization and others, as is the bbc world service estimate that it has an audience of 300 million people per week. of a the shooting down malaysian air jet in the world, the media reported on the mounting evidence that the missile was russian-made and could've been fired by a town held by russian-backed rebels. rt cranked out a new theory on who could have been responsible
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in practically every news schedule. maybe it was ukrainians trying to shoot down pigeons plane. -- trying toa sick shoot down president clinton's plane. maybe it was- ukrainians trying to shoot down putin's plane. maybe it was the cia. was 175th out of 278 channels in the united kingdom. it had about 120,000 viewers. as rt's coverage became increasingly one-sided and shrill, that number dropped. was 90,000.er, it the u.k. 2/10 of 1% of
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viewing population. in the united states, rt claims a solid audience that it does not have data to back that claim up. two years ago a nielsen press reporter said it was too small to be measured. china's ccb, with a budget in the millions of dollars has poured money into broadcasting in africa, yet the results have been relatively disappointing. for example, data gathered for the bbc from kenyon 2013 chad 52% of kenyans watching a local channel called citizen tv, 17% watching cnn, 7% watching the watching ctv 2% and that market at that time. ton al jazeera arabic moved heavy content in favor of the muslim brotherhood, and lost a substantial share of audience egyptiandly to newer
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channels and also the bbc arabic not sure if americans would be good at top again anyway, but after looking at the numbers i am convinced of this, honesty on the air is not only the right thing to do, it is also the best business strategy for the voice of america and other funders. course, that means telling the truth. even about as. after the of a grade scandal -- gharaib and other scandals, the coverage had to be thorough and complete. each way reporters explain how they deal with news, it is a civics lesson. after four years at the helm of the oa, i have a lot of specific
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suggestions about how to build areas fromn specific what we called the nine areas like a ron to more mature areas like latin america, two key growth areas like africa. i would like to get to discussion so i am just going to say those points i have to make on all of those markets and what could be done it on them in my view could be summarized in the paper you can find on the shore and stain website -- in the shorenstein section of the jfk center website. we need to adequately find both international broadcasting and public diplomacy. john f. kennedy recruited the famous journalist edward r. murrow to advise him on information policy.
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perhaps president obama or his successor could hire an information advisor who is similarly experienced. onlineage of rt and isis recruiting and our digital age, it is time for our country to more effectively engage in the marketplace of ideas. we should not delay. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. my name is arnold. i teach journalism in china. russia, youd mentioned isis. you mentioned the middle east, afghanistan. you have not said anything about china. can you assess the impact of
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in the so-called information war? especially with the recent discussion by the president inserting the factor of sovereignty into the internet. david: china in the recent years has taken the very issue of soft power very seriously. assigned aeportedly budget of over $7 billion to various kinds of projects and what we would call public diplomacy and broadcasting. i do not know if you've ever seen the building or the headquarters of cctv but it is one of the most extraordinary pieces of architecture and clearly, not cheap. there are scores of confucius institutes that have been set up around the world. china takes a subject very seriously. the author of soft
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powers of books" them in conversations about the matter. -- they read the author of "soft quote him iney conversations. powerful thanore propaganda will ever be. i was looking at kenya, the numbers of cctv and kenya. looking at some of the coverage and talking to people who have looked at much more of it. the chinese were telling their african employees who worked in the station, you cannot mention the name of the countries that taiwan.ationships with countries in africa. they cannot even be mentioned on the air. or, you must not mention the
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chinese demand side. so you end up with journalism that isn't truthful. as long as they do not face up to the fact that does not sell all that well, they are going to have a problem. we do not have to spend $7 billion to compete with them. our project is a better one. it worries me, the size of the colleaguesme of my at abc and cnn, very good people. now working for cctv. they can afford the best. they have terrific production bodies. snazzy sets. is spared in terms of distribution, satellites, so forth. it is a formidable effort by china and they have a long view.
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so, they are a competitor that i respect that has their strengths. i just wish we would become a bit more of a competitor, too, because we have even more strength. but we're going to get serious about it, which is the point i'm trying to make in the speech. the world is changing rapidly. the ways in which human beings communicate with each other is to lift rating and changing daily. we need to be on this, and we are not in my view. hello. i am wondering if you can comment on the seeming dichotomy between putting more money in social media when that is the for countries around the world to have a firewall, so you never reach the --igned -- desired ottomans
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desired audience. broadcasting, satellite, things that are more difficult to block. facebook withor the flip of a switch in any country in the world if they desire. yes, it is not quite as simple as that. the bbt spends, i don't know the exact budget number per year, but it is millions. multiple millions. 10 million or 12 man i think. 17 million on internet circumvention efforts of various kinds. it funds a continuous effort, byrly effort if not faster certain companies that are good at this to set up workarounds so that young chinese people and others around the world can still get, freely of the
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internet, despite the great firewall and effort to shut things down and censor things in china and other countries. it is not enough, but it means voa, the new numbers not too long ago, and the number of people in china that reach voa weekly, i think it is well over 2 million now. it is a huge country, you might say that is not much but it is a significant number and worth going for. with a little more robust funding and clearness of leadership and direction, we could do a lot more than that. 2 million people in china, that is an audience with reaching. i would not say it is not worth the money to be trying to reach
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people in china and other countries. doing not alone is clearly not a public diplomacy strategy. i am a big believer in some of the more traditional levers that we have all used. don bishop and i were in afghanistan, we greatly increased the number of fulbright scholarships. that brings people to our country who were going to have an experience they will take back with them. it changes people forever. many people in the room no examples of how much of a difference that makes. how many world leaders, national leaders, have had that kind of exchange or studied at one of our universities. programs encouraging that sort of thing are deep and powerful and we need to do that sort of thing. we should not put all of our eggs in the social media ask it.
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but we should be in that basket, big time. >> thank you. reporter since 1968. i wanted to congratulate you on your great career. we make a tribute to max who was with us in the last forum the day before he died, working to improve things. my question is, how do you solve a problem like the donald. the image we project now of donald trump and ted cruz, this is a man -- one of them might become president. diplomacy?control david: thank you for the temptation to get into politics but i am going to forgo the pleasure.
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tone ofried about the the debate we are hearing thus far and the way it resonates overseas. many of us know it can be quite negative, but we're going to have to uncle up our seatbelts because it is probably going to get bumpier before we have a president elect that. that is the kind of thing you have to keep emphasizing to foreign audiences as well as domestic ones. in the heat of the campaign a lot get set. -- whatters to get matters is what gets done. what the next president will actually will do. more heat than light in presidential campaigns in america sometimes. and you are asking me to go beyond where i want to go today. winky for asking. -- thank you for asking.
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for your coherent and persuasive presentation. wesounds like you are saying needed a gentler, kinder information effort that is not a war of ideas but a marketplace. i recall the war of ideas coming out of the white house because we had these gentle arts and education programs which did not become a policy context. andeeded something harder more muscular. i wonder if we are going to reach for something as you sing to suggest, but we do not need to. the effort to come out of the pentagon, the secret funding of news sources, this would be closed down or is this some ring you are arguing against question -- something you are arguing against. david: in my opinion, all of ift at you just mentioned,
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you well, that is all part of an information policy for a country. our country is white, black, and area ofgrams in the information. what we do not have as someone overall in charge of it and who thinks of how these things relate to each other. we should. this is a serious matter, it should be handled at a very high level and there should be people managing and it managed -- managing it all the time. on his journalism, various kinds of messaging that others may be involved in. we're not taking the subject serious enough. it is not well enough thought through or funded. it is a simple point. that is what i believe. >> hello. jim bullock. going back to the person in charge, you said overseas you recruiting and various
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countries and it would be best to leave organizations and balance the message. but i get back to the question in the united states. massive recruiting among somalis and yet we were all raised that we can file late this firewall. you see a role for this one person in charge going across domestic, into the white house or whatever. how would you square that circle? and i am awaren of an exchange student right now who is being harassed. a young muslim student to comes to the united states and has a bad experience? message theng to
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american people about what needs to be done? that is a tough question. david: on the first half, i do thethink i can help on second half because that is regrettable and there needs to be worked on various fronts by leadership in this country to try to minimize the number of times that happens. most people who come have a good experience, but it is terrible when someone does not. on the firth point on the separation -- on the first point on the separation, a couple years ago congress quietly amended it to reflect reality. and askedet had made of the wall, to be audience. made an assnet had of the wall, to be honest. all you had to do was click and you could be in somali.
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a lot of people were listening to somali service. what is wrong with that? congress thought so, too. so in recognition of reality and in a sensible move, they amended smith want to say to say if a broadcaster asks you, you could setup up a system under which that could be done. now you are beginning to be able bla -- bla somali and voa somali and others. not one dollar is spent at coverage aimed at this country. would say this, this is the reason we need information leadership. -- the there are some concept of national barriers is
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getting weaker all the time and we need to face that reality, technology is moving at ahead. many of the platforms we talk on do not respect borders. our strategy should reflect that reality. amendment is just one step of a number about to be made to make it easier to address a global audience the somalis and , too.ota are americans they can be influential on people who might be recruited. it is a global problem that needs a global solution. >> thank you very much. i am a retired diplomacy officer. you mentioned a couple times the need for overall very strong
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capable leadership of the united states information efforts and of course mentioned edward r. murrow. i am wondering what you see as for a directorle of that effort and secondly, government be a effort to or someone at the state department or the nfc or perhaps, overall the various entities that are part of this >> i feel aeffort little uncomfortable it might be inappropriate for me to put my own architecture up there. next president needs and information policy adviser
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who is in all of the meetings. then, maybe it is a question of having the right structure. i talked about structure over the pbg. i believe one full-time boss is what the broadcasting entities need. the other, the other grantees are nervous about that. they will be corralled into a space where they feel they do not belong i don't think that would be the problem. i think the challenges our country faces abroad are so large now in the information area that we do not have the luxury of people running off in different direct shins we need a iearly well led effort and --nk the radio free scan
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frees can contribute a lot. that show is better than either network can produce by itself. it is not perfect. it is not enough. that those kinds of efforts are only possible if you have a unified structure and everybody pulling in the same direction. i very strongly think that is what is needed on the podcast site. i am less expert on the state diplomacy side although i did serve as a public diplomacy officer. i have some views about what works and what does not in that area. if you look at what the budget was what was handed to the state department, it is smaller now
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and that is many years later. that should not be the case. if anything, public diplomacy is getting more important, not less. the leadership of the state department needs to look closely at this and put more effort in it. we have a secretary of state who seems to be ready to stay and that is wonderful. there has been too much turnover in that job, i will say that. comments.ou for your i work for the state department but i am not here on that behalf . i am here for myself. i enjoyed it your pieces. i wanted to go back to a point made earlier. the idea of new media versus traditional media. of apoke of the idea
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shrinking budget and the need to invest more. what i would like to know is given the fact that much of the ,ext generation or the world the way we see it, whether it be in africa or latin america, is under an age where traditional media would be where they necessarily look for their news and information. new media, social media platforms are where many people get their information. so, can you help me understand how reinvesting more into traditional media is actually where our dollars should go as opposed to accounting for the current and future information? david: if you took from my remarks that i thought traditional media is where we should put all of our eggs, then i did not explain it right. i do not believe that. i believe that each market --
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when people used to last me, what is sure strategy at the bla voa, i would say, which one. peoplet we can get some shortwave. but there's not much more that is going to work in north korea. vladimirssia, where putin has thrown people off clearly,tnerships, there is strategy aimed at young people and it is our best and main way of reaching people in the administration. is television, there is radio, getting clips onto youtube. youtube every day that are stimulating and thought-provoking. you need a strategy different for each market.
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america, when i arrived we had about 3 million listeners or viewers. we now have over 30 million. i do not claim credit for this, my predecessors but this up and i helped an active. we went to a new strategy. americanize that latin has in most media a mature news. they do not want us to do the news. however, if you go into mexico and say, that is a great new show but we notice you do not cover the country to you north, can we help you with that? can we have someone, perhaps mexican-born who went to in american journalism school and the voas at the vla -- on your evening news for three or four minutes a night? people jump at that. indonesia,pening in
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the ukraine, and many other markets. housingern nigeria, the service, very strong service, has for years had a solid audience in the millions for shortwave radio broadcasting. that audiences dying off. the use of satellite and shortwave radio is dropping rapidly. this service has launched a news and sports and various other sort of lifestyle features, stuff about america. and the your phone mobile app figures out what kind of fun you have, if it is primitive it will give you a simpler products, evan's in will give you more. losing something like around 3 million a year or two ago of shortwave viewers and
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gaining about two point i've million on our mobile app. we have to move to where the market is going and where the young people are going, let us face it because they are going to be with us longer. voa is doing that with more robust funding. a lot more programs should be done. we should not be biased in favor of traditional media but let me say this. a lot of people around this town talk about new media as the answer to everything. the biggest audience growth of voa over the last few years was old-fashioned television. you know. media. a tremendous amount of growth is still available on traditional mediums. radio and television. done right, it will last. we can see the world's media through an american lens. it is like surfing. you want to ride the wave, not
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too far head or too far behind. the on it. as people's tastes change and the way they wish to consume news changes, you have to be with them. that is why i am very much relying on language service heads, letting them figure out in each place and keep a hard eye on what is happening. what is the best way to reach people. we had a lot of success because we delegated those decisions a lot to the people who were really in those markets. >> i rarely come to these sessions. the mid-1970's, i was working in poland. cia in warsaw. soon after coming back, our ambassador was richard t davies.
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an officer who had actually done a tour of duty. when i got back here, the ambassador and i were invited to gathering community in chevy chase one evening. ago, and must've been in 1980 or 1981, someone in the audience said, isn't there a lot of waste and duplication having this separate u.s. information agency? why is it that it functions into the state department. mind you, this was well before we were sold up as a cold war dividend. i would just say, i am a career state department officer. i joined in 1946 and i served a tour of duty in usa. area director for
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eastern europe and the soviet union. he said, i assure you that is a terrible idea because he state department does not have the slightest interest in the programs managed by the information agency. not the slightest. i think pick davies was right. i think the state department has very little interest and here we are in the center of the american foreign service association. most of the people in that association are former state department officers. we have a problem right in our own tent. most of the colleagues do not whit about the functions we perform. david has said there is not enough money. even less money than when the merger took place in 1999 will -- in 1999.
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we need to do all of the above but we cannot do it with less money. one of the things david is saying is we need a different management structure. the question i have is when do most ofgroup, i think the people in this room are former public diplomacy officers. when do we begin to recognize that a major problem exists with the jihadist of whom we are closest associated. how do we begin to get at career service people so they have a better understanding of the need for this function and its increased importance. david: there are very different levels of sophistication about this issue you are talking about. broadcasting is more or less effective in different places and people are aware of that. for example, the african bureau
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is keenly aware of the power of america because it is considerable. voice of america really is a big deal in africa. when i traveled there, went to molly bang, nigeria, senegal, i was treated well. of mali handed me the keys to a new fm transmitter on the hill and said here, maybe this will help. it sure did. all of a sudden we had a clear signal over the capital city. but they wanted us are, they saw the power of what we do. they wanted their people to hear what american journalism sounds like in their own languages. and folks at the embassy totally got that. or two cases in africa we have been able to work with ambassadors who were willing to have our towers put inside the
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embassy compound and in at least one case that meant we were the only people left on the air. we were able to provide three times, i am told this has happened. public closely with affairs officers and ambassadors around africa has been profitable for our country. i would love to see similar types of collaboration with other parts -- other areas. around thes department. i work for the department, i am a great believer in the american foreign service. i had the honor of being among them and to lead some and be led by others. i am a huge fan. but they have a lot of things to do and they cannot be worried about what webcasts say in addition to running the diplomacy of this country and
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most of them do not want to. i agree with your underlying point that there needs to be a separation and it is healthy. but i think at the management level where i was, there was a lot of collaboration and cooperation that can go on between the state department and international broadcasting to the mutual benefit of both and particularly to our country. >> thank you very much. i am the bureau chief of the french national bureau. i was interested in what you said about russia and russian putin's walldimir that is very active at the moment. what you said in terms of creating confusion, the russians are pretty effective. maybe not in being totally convincing what they say, but they have created confusion and i am wondering if it is not in fact the main danger now in
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europe that there is a lot of confusion about where our alliances live. a lot of confusion where we should go in terms of political and there is a lot of fascination for vladimir putin and for the russians. i am wondering, what is to be done in europe. effective in the cold war of the policy of the u.s. and what should be done now? david: that is a big question. i am try to think of how i can add value in responding to it. it is such a big question. i care passionately about, like you. -- an, i think i would like to see the united states and its european allies
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get together on the subject of , as ansting in russia example. i think it would be useful for the united states and its allies to get the leaders of the big try to figureo out if there is not something we could together do or do perhaps in collaboration with someone in the private sector. what is needed, i think, is a russian language satellite television channel that is rightr, that has the sports events on it. the rights of barbara's on it, the right entertainment broadcasting. and also has news and information programming prepared by, in some cases, our companies. it would also air voa programs,
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radio-free your programs amongst programming.ular i do not think it is beyond our government to figure out how to -- an entityh a makes good programming choices. i would like to see us get together and figure something out. competitor, kremlin tv, that actually has eye candy on it. that tells the truth. a shocking concept about what is going on in ukraine and elsewhere in the world. i have had conversations like this with my european friends and not all of them are keen to be part of the club, if you well.
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go it alone like to and have their own theories on how to proceed. that this is a big issue and i am not sure going it alone is going to be as successful as working together might be. i am no longer -- i am no longer in office and that is why can send a parent say what i feel. it is great fun. to have matter. it is difficult. it would take leadership at the government level to get this to happen but i would like to see it. a station based and kiev or riga elsewhere that was 24-7 and had programming russians really wanted to see on satellite. the number of russians who actually have a satellite dish and would get that program is not all that large, but they are there. program was also
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screened on the internet, you would have a quite decent audience in the cities among young people and it would be impossible for the kremlin to ignore and i think over time it could change the conversation in russia in ways that would be useful. so there's just one idea, and i have more. that was one of the ideas in the paper. but it is just a concept. there would have to be a lot of work done. i do not know exactly how to put it together. would there be a wealthy person who wants to set up such a station somewhere that the government's could help and enable a bit? it might be in everybody's best interest. we are in for a long call here. long haul here in the
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battle of ideas. things i look back at your career with envy as the uber-poa in afghanistan, you are running a team that had 30 americans including three full-time grant offices. and i don't mean people who take the to-day course. a budget over $150 million. five years later, could you look at? you mentioned some of the things you feel really good about it. maybe the things that worked, the thing you would've wanted to differently. at more importantly, are there any lessons you learned from that experience that you would taoest to the underfunded sue do not have 150 million and counter-terrorism funding? david: i think it was the biggest budget ever for public diplomacy by any country.
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it was a great privilege to be there and all of the afghans loved me as a result. which was great. i was trying to do in a very short time as possible for our country to make a difference. to help the afghan government and people feel there was change in their lives and i come aware united states and tense desire to be helpful. -- intense desire to be helpful. it would probably take some years. historians will probably analyze what worked and what did not. i think, you know, one thing that worked was program that we put out. " put out a grant -- we said dear marketplace, we are looking for a company that will set up a social media platform for poor
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people, basically. a simple thing you can use on your basic phone to send messages." the way i described it was, i want the kandahar fruit seller to be able to tell how much they are charging and the farmers can see these green prices and -- and the farmers can see the prices on the screen and can decide what to buy. none of the big for phone companies there wanted to do it. they said, no, social messaging. i said, you guys are charging two or three cents a message. rich kids no, that is and,. am not going to put $3 million of america's money on the line to see if you are right. ory successful company afghanistan came over to do it.
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when i was working on the harvard paper i thought of doing a broader paper and i called one of the guys and he was in myanmar. i asked someone who's doing during their, he said, we are setting up your. company thatlic did what we asked it to do and now it is hungry for more and going places that also needed t, like me on a more -- myanmar. it became kind of the jobs market. where theu find out jobs where and how to get in and so forth. it also became the lonely hearts base of operations. i mean, you know, it changed society and some interesting ways. bringing sesame street to afghanistan was powerful
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model because it teaches the its to little kids but teaches their mothers and fathers as well. and, i thought it was a great contribution to the afghan future. doubledas i mentioned, albright scholarships. we did a lot of things with that money. we also fell on our faces a number of times. i do not even want to talk about. karoichard holbrook and eikenberry, the ambassadors that sent me their said, we are hiring you to do this because you are not in the system. you're not trying to make ambassador and you will take risks. you can afford to take more risks than some of our other officers can. so go ahead, they'll. but try to be more often successful than not. and we did. we built one tower in particular that went nowhere.
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that made ad some big difference in the company. it was a mixed bag. we were in a big hurry. another thing we worked on i thought was important and may be relevant to public affairs officers in the middle east area, in muslim countries, it took me almost one year to state department lawyers and others who were rightly worried about it that we should be allowed to pay for programs that would take afghan other civicyors and leaders out of the country on programs that would allow them to meet with their co-religions at a university and cairo or jakarta or other places where muslims gather and be reminded of what a great world religion narrow-mindedhe violence little cul-de-sac the taliban had pushed them into was
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not islam. that program, once we got permission to do it, a dozen here, a dozen there, but you take you take a 25-year-old to cairo for one week and expose them to some of the great minds of islam, he is never the same again. it is a conversation that needed to go on among muslims and all we had to do was facilitated. it was greatly in our interest and i am so glad we did. now we do quite a few things like this. that is very wise spending of public diplomacy money and my opinion. lawyers were worried about separation of church and state, understandably. we had to work our way through those issues. we ended up finding -- defining people sending on trips as community activists, which they were. mayors, others
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who were leaders in communities. all good. be.ot to where we needed to it took a wild. now that we are there i urge other public diplomacy officers to look at those types of programs. they are valuable. mentioned $159 and afghanistan. david: 186 actually. forhat is the total budget voice of america, all languages, all services? david: it is 212 at the moment, there is a proposal for a little bit more. $212 million. >> so with respect to the federal budget, it is a fairly small amount. david: we are scheduled to buy 2457 in the next seven or eight years. so, for the price of just a few -- thes, we can have
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wece of just a few are jets, can have a more robust program. i would submit we need both. i am not a dove, you know. we need both. we are not doing -- we do not have this in balance in my opinion. i do not know what to do about it except talk about it and try to urge people. we have professionals in the room here, i'm speaking to the converted, i know that. what i want to say to the converted, to you professionals is, please do not be silent on this issue. speak out. reach out to your senators and congressmen on this issue. mentioned to a bill that is pending. it is pending right now. people are deciding which version of it to support. in the next couple weeks, it would be worthwhile.
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the same may be true in other areas of public diplomacy funding and other areas. it is important and we should speak up or they and we do. i am so pleased that the council is so vibrant and has such strong leadership at the moment and has had, recently. it was wonderful. the place has got some spark. a community,, as people who care about public diplomacy and honest journalism being one of the things our country can offer, be a little more active. right a few more letters and e-mails to your representatives. is worth it. it think it could have impact. never underestimate the impact you can have. >> thank you for joining us to speak today. please join me in thanking our
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speaker. [applause] theour weeks from today, bureau of information program will be here. until then, we are adjourned. >> washington journal is next. we will look at today's news and take your calls. news conference on youth sports concussions. president obama will make an announcement on gun background checks later this morning. the house is back from its winter recess. they gavel in for the beginning of the second session of the 114th congress. live today on c-span. up this hour, we will discuss campaign finance and funding for political. a u.s. reporter will join us.
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, the u.s. institute of peace representative will talk about countering islam it extremism. you ♪ good morning. it is tuesday, january 5, 2016. the senate is not in session today, but the house will return for its first vote of the new year. focus today will be on the opposite end of the pennsylvania avenue where president obama is set to deliver remarks in the white house on his new executive order of an ministration officials previewed a laundry list of new actions the president will take with the centerpiece being a renewed effort into closing the gun show loophole. morning

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