This report examines the debate on the future of Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). These organizations enjoyed broad support until their value and purpose were called into question by recent developments abroad and at home: the spread of communications technologies worldwide, the spread of democracy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and the tightening of the U.S. budget. This report builds on existing literature and the results of a conference RAND sponsored in April 1993. The author supports a downsizing of RFE/RL and its eventual consolidation with VOA; housing the new, consolidated broadcasting organization as an independent organization within the U.S. Information Agency; and scaling back broadcasting in Eastern Europe, while expanding services into Asia.
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