NPR Saved (For Now) But VOA Might Be Cut

The temporary budget Congress approved at the last minute last week allocates $445 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, close to what the CPB got last year, and $445 million more than some people wanted.

But the permanent budget is yet to be passed and NPR and PBS funding will likely end up back on the chopping block.

At the same time the government-funded Voice of America may be cutting its Chinese-language broadcasts, notes the WSJ’s Gordon Crovitz. This could save $8 million a year not to mention about as many headaches, as Beijing jams radio broadcasts and refuses to allow VOA to open a bureau in Shanghai.

Congress has held hearings on the plan, which would eliminate the Cantonese-language broadcast entirely and cut half the Mandarin reporters. VOA says it would place higher emphasis on the Internet, which it already helps users in China and Iran access by providing firewall-skipping tools.

“Firing the journalists who create the content in languages like Mandarin undermines both Web and radio efforts,” Crovitz writes.