Op-Ed: Annette Lantos wants to save Voice of America from cuts by BBG | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien

Published April 12, 2012 by Digital Journal

Annette Lantos, the wife of the late Congressman Tom Lantos, has joined efforts to oppose the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) proposals to cut Voice of America (VOA) services, the independent Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting reported.

In a letter addressed to the presidentially appointed members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a federal agency which oversees U.S. international broadcasting, Annette Lantos wrote in support of Voice of America radio and television broadcasting, particularly to China, Tibet and Russia. 

I write to you on a personal basis to express dismay that Voice of America radio and television broadcasts to Russia ceased in 2008. I am deeply concerned that although last year’s proposed cuts of VOA Mandarin and Cantonese radio and television programs were halted, this year’s proposal includes the elimination of VOA Cantonese services and VOA Tibetan Radio Services, at a time when there is significant unrest in Tibet. I urge you to continue the Cantonese and Tibetan broadcasts, and to restore them to Russia. 

Mrs. Lantos was applauding efforts by the independent, nongovernmental Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) which works to ensure that U.S. government-funded broadcasts promote respect for human rights and freedom of the press, especially in nations where these basic freedoms are under attack. 

I know that my late husband, Congressman Tom Lantos, would have fought to save the VOA Russian, Tibetan, and Cantonese Broadcast Services — to use all available means to deliver uncensored news, hope and encouragement to those seeking freedom. How could I do any less?, wrote Mrs. Lantos. 

Her late husband Tom Lantos (February 1, 1928 – February 11, 2008) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1981 until his death and a powerful champion of human rights around the world. 

Annette Lantos is the Chairman of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.

Ted Lipien is a co-founder and director of the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting.

READ the Digital Journal op-ed in Internet Archive.