US budget plan would cut most VOA English radio programmes
Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Text of report by VOA website on 5 February

The new US budget proposal would eliminate most Voice of America English broadcasts, as well as radio programmes in 12 other languages. The US Broadcasting Board of Governors said programmes in some other languages would be expanded, and there would be an increase in total spending on international broadcasting in President Bush’s 2008 budget plan.

Under the proposal, VOA would eliminate all 14 hours per day of VOA NewsNow English broadcasting, but would continue English-to-Africa programmes and the Special English broadcasts that use a limited vocabulary. The proposed budget calls for increased VOA broadcasting to North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela, as well as continuing a daily Somali programme set to begin next week.

The plan also seeks the elimination of VOA broadcasts in Cantonese, Uzbek, Croatian, Greek, Georgian and Thai. Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Hindi and Russian radio would also be cut, but those services would continue television programming. Other services would be reduced.

Any cuts would have to approved by Congress. A similar bid to cut English radio programmes was made in the proposed 2007 budget. That budget has never been approved.

(Source: VOA website, Washington D.C., in English 5 Feb 07 via BBC Monitoring)