United States Agency for Global Media

Impact Report Card

In 2015, this Agency set a new course, establishing strategic global priorities and increasing efficiency and effectiveness through greater coordination between our networks.

Over the past 4 years, our Agency has built up our ability to compete in an ever-changing media industry by adding more collaborative and impactful programming, revolutionizing our reach and impact by expanding affiliate networks, extending the growth of fresh, digital-focused content in difficult environments and focusing on a language-based strategy rather than targeting audiences solely within geographic boundaries.

Unprecedented performance

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Since 2015, USAGM has seen incredible growth in the overall number of people reached weekly by our networks on radio, television and internet, up 119 million people.

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USAGM networks provide programming that audiences find trustworthy and credible. All five of USAGM’s networks have credibility scores of at least 77 percent, meaning over three quarters of people surveyed trust their programming.

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Globally, now over 2 billion people use USAGM Office of Internet Freedom (OIF)-supported technology daily, and more than two-thirds of all mobile users globally have OIF-incubated technology on their device.

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Due to a strategic decision to increasingly focus on digital approaches to delivering news and programming to target audiences, USAGM’s online reach has exploded over three-fold since 2015.

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Since 2014, USAGM has added 646 affiliates in Latin America, Eurasia, South & Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and throughout Africa.

A modern media agency

New name, same mission

The agency’s new identity and name reflect the modernization and forward momentum demonstrated in the past few years, while honoring the enduring mission to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.

Targeting Key Audiences

USAGM has successfully targeted resources to reach audiences in key markets.

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USAGM has excelled at reaching audiences in areas plagued by extremism, where extremist forces espouse a violent ideology and execute campaigns of terror that threaten U.S. and regional security and stymie free, open, democratic societies. With projects like MBN's Raise Your Voice and RFE/RL's Not in My Name, USAGM has stepped in to provide platforms for information and discussion that would not have existed otherwise.

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USAGM's successful efforts at reaching audiences where information is blocked is exemplified by projects such as a joint video project launched by RFA and VOA for North Koreans, increased engagement with audiences in China by using digital media and circumvention tools to evade the Chinese firewall, and the creation of VOA 365, a 24/7 Persian-language channel to reach Persian-speakers in Iran and throughout the diaspora.

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USAGM's strategy to provide the truth to audiences subjected to state-sponsored disinformation campaigns has been extremely fruitful. Current Time, which began as a daily half-hour program rapidly expanded into a 24/7 digital TV network produced by RFE/RL with cooperation from VOA, that provides Russian language-news and information to a global audience.. We've also created important fact-checking initiatives such as RFE/RL’s Footage vs. Footage, or the digital platforms Polygraph and Faktograph.

Former U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry

"Much-needed change has come to one of the U.S. government’s most critical agencies, and it couldn’t have come at a more important time. With the decrease in press freedoms around the world and the increase in extremist propaganda and disinformation, access to the truth is more important than ever. I applaud the reforms that BBG’s new leadership has already taken, and I congratulate CEO John Lansing for the energy and enthusiasm he has brought to the organization.”

Overcoming censorship

USAGM takes the lead is assisting the world's citizens to gain access to information on all platforms and, though the Open Technology Fund, funding technologies that counter internet censorship and internet blocking.

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Open Technology Fund supports technology is now running on more than 2 billion devices worldwide.

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More than 150 million websites rely on technology supported by Open Technology Fund for their security

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Open Technology Fund has supported the translation of more than 70 tools into over 200+ languages and dialects.

Adopting sophisticated story telling technology

Updating and innovating

USAGM is taking advantage of the falling cost of video production and the explosion in innovations to visual storytelling, including Alhurra's impressive augmented reality, to support growing audience appetite for TV and video.

Optimizing program delivery

USAGM is aligning how it delivers content with how consumers access it now and in the future.

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USAGM is successfully expanding its reach and engagement on digital platforms, including mobile devices, and new streaming and aver-the-top platforms.

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USAGM's has prioritized developing content and distribution to social and mobile platforms, and it has paid off.

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Counting the number of affiliates--broadcast stations and digital platforms that carry USAGM content-- offers a measure of the appeal of programming to the vital gatekeepers and distributors of USAGM networks' content.

Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Representative Eliot L. Engel

“I’m grateful to John Lansing for his years of service leading our international-broadcasting efforts under two administrations. His work has put the USAGM networks on a path toward becoming modern, effective news organizations providing unbiased information in some of the world’s most closed media spaces. This mission is an important representation of American values and is an asset in advancing our foreign policy goals."

Increasing Cooperation

USAGM is one of the world's largest news-gathering and reporting enterprises, with more than 50 overseas bureaus, 4,000 employees and 1,500 stringers. Since 2015, the Agency's five networks have increasingly worked together to leverage the breadth and depth of the Agency as a whole.

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The International Coordinating Committee (ICC) was first convened in 2015 by then-CEO John Lansing. The heads of each five networks comprise the ICC, and they meet to coordinate operations, to break apart silos and to work collaboratively, while reinforcing their unique and respective mission-driven roles.

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USAGM's language-based strategy brings together language services from more than one USAGM network to act as a force multiplier and capitalizes on the resources and strengths of each network. Current Time (Russian), VOA 365 (Persian), and coming in FY19, a Mandarin-language network, allow USAGM to engage diaspora audiences, who report to relatives in their home countries and are crucial in information flows.

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USAGM networks have leveraged news gathering, including stringer and correspondent networks, and employed "bridge editors" and other content-sharing mechanisms to channel original reporting from the language services to central newsrooms and across USAGM. These efforts have resulted in unprecedented coverage of new stories such as President Obama's trip to Cuba, the Iran nuclear agreement, the 2016 U.S. elections, and the North Korea Summit.

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USAGM network have produced full-scale collaborative projects on internet freedom and the rising global influence of China. The 2018 project The Dragon’s Reach; Tracking China’s Economic Power Play was shortlisted for recognition in the “Interactive Category” by Association of International Broadcasters (AIB)

Personal commitment to journalists everywhere

Honoring the fallen and protecting their survivors

CEO John Lansing has made it a priority to honor journalists by dedicating a memorial wall to the fallen and launching the USAGM Employee Association to support slain and injured journalists and their families.

For more information about these and other accomplishments and the agency's modernization, please visit the Performance and Evaluations and Annual Reports on our website.