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National Archives

Public Papers - 1991

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Task Force on United States Government International Broadcasting

1991-04-29

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide rely on U.S. Government broadcasting for objective world news, local news, explanations of U.S. policy, and information about democratic values and institutions, including free-market economics. In light of dramatic political developments worldwide, including the democratic revolution in Eastern Europe, the end of the cold war, and events in the Persian Gulf and Middle East, it is appropriate and timely to examine U.S. Government international broadcasting operations.

The President is pleased to announce the establishment of an independent, bipartisan Task Force on U.S. Government International Broadcasting to study the best future organization and structure for U.S. Government international broadcasting. The President is gratified that the enclosed list of distinguished Americans have agreed to serve.

The Task Force will make recommendations to the President within 6 months on the following issues in the overall context of U.S. foreign policy and public diplomacy:

-- The most appropriate organization and structure under which all USG international broadcasting assets and activities eventually would be consolidated, in steps and over time, under a single U.S. Government broadcasting entity; when and how such consolidation should take place.

-- New technologies in light of the need for U.S. Government broadcasting to remain effective and competitive. This should include strategies for the best use of new technologies.

-- The relationship between U.S. Government broadcasting activities and U.S. private sector broadcasting enterprises in the international arena.

The President today announced that the following individuals have agreed to serve on the Task Force on U.S. Government International Broadcasting:

Chairman:

John Hughes, of Maine. Mr. Hughes is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and is currently a syndicated columnist for the Christian Science Monitor. In addition, Mr. Hughes has served as Director of the United States Information Agency/Voice of America, 1982; and Associate Director of the United States Information Agency, 1981.

Members:

David Manker Abshire, of Virginia. Currently Dr. Abshire serves as president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Richard M. Fairbanks, III, of the District of Columbia. Since 1985 Mr. Fairbanks has served as a partner with the law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker in Washington, DC.

Richard Vincent Allen, of Maryland. Since 1982 Mr. Allen has served as president of the Richard V. Allen Co. in Washington, DC.

Viviane M. Warren, of California. Currently Ms. Warren serves as chairman of the Community Advisory Board for KPBS-TV/FM in San Diego, CA.

Rita Crocker Clements, of Texas. Ms. Clements is active in many community service volunteer activities and serves as chairman of the Tourism Advisory Council of the Texas Department of Commerce in Dallas, TX.

Abbott McConnell Washburn, of the District of Columbia. Mr. Washburn served as a Commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, 1974 - 1982, and currently serves as a director with Metro Mobile Cellular Telephone Service, Inc.

Ben J. Wattenberg, of the District of Columbia. Since 1981 Mr. Wattenberg has served as a syndicated columnist with the United Features Newspaper Enterprise Association; and has served as a senior fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, 1977 to present.

Rozanne LeJeanne Ridgway, of the District of Columbia. Currently Ms. Ridgway serves as the president of the Atlantic Council of United States in Washington, DC.

Stuart E. Eizenstat, of the District of Columbia. Currently Mr. Eizenstat serves as a partner with the law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer and Murphy in Washington, DC.

Margaret Noonan, of New York. Currently Ms. Noonan serves as a writer and journalist in New York, NY.

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