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U.S. Government Funding for Media Assistance: Trends and Strategies


The realm of U.S. government assistance for media development is in flux. Based on funding statistics, U.S. government support for international media development is in decline. But does this mesh with realities on the ground? The process and variety of projects undertaken through U.S. government funding for media have reached remarkable complexity—a dramatic shift into digital technology, an uptick in media for behavior change, and regionally, two “bubbles” of media spending—one in the Middle East, and one in South and Central Asia. These issues are highlighted in the CIMA report U.S. Government Funding for Media: Trends and Strategies, by veteran journalist Peter Cary. The report focuses its research on two elements: an in-depth examination of proposals for media development projects put forward by USAID and the U.S. Department of State, and on annual regional and global funding totals for media freedom and freedom of information provided by the State Department. The discussion featured representatives from top U.S. media development organizations, who shared insight into the trends and the process of media development as discussed in CIMA’s report.


Featuring:

Peter Cary

Author, U.S. Government Funding for Media Assistance: Trends and Strategies

Meg Gaydosik

USAID*

Jeanne Bourgault

Internews

Mark Whitehouse

IREX

Moderated by:

Jerry Hyman

Center for Strategic and International Studies

*Note: Meg Gaydosik’s comments reflect her own opinions and experiences. They do not represent the opinions or policies of USAID.


About the speakers:

Peter Cary is a consultant based in Fairfax, VA, who specializes in writing, editing, and investigative projects. He is a former managing editor, investigative editor, and Pentagon reporter at U.S. News & World Report magazine. Cary worked at several newspapers, including the Bergen Record and the Miami Herald, before joining U.S. News in 1987. He began his stint there as a national reporter, then became the magazine’s Pentagon correspondent, and covered the 1991 Gulf War. He co-wrote U.S. News’s book about that war, Triumph Without Victory, and then moved to the magazine’s investigative team, which he later ran as its editor. In his final years at U.S. News he was the managing editor for news and administration and helped launch several new business ventures. Cary has authored two other reports for CIMA, The Pentagon, Information Operations, and International Media Development, and An Explosion of News: The State of Media in Afghanistan.

Meg Gaydosik* is the senior media development advisor in the Europe and Eurasia Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity, she provides advice and assistance to USAID missions and policymakers on indigenous media development programming, freedom of expression, and access to information issues. Prior to joining USAID in 2006, Gaydosik worked for 11 years as an on-site media development consultant or project manager in nearly all of the Balkan and former Soviet Union countries. She has comprehensive skills in media management, operations and community relationship building, as well as internationally recognized expertise in the business, regulatory, and content production aspects of media development. In 2003, she was awarded a Knight International Press Fellowship and served in Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Gaydosik is a former commercial television station manager from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Jeanne Bourgault is president and CEO of Internews, where she leads the strategic management of the organization and its programs around the world. Bourgault previously served as Internews’ chief operating officer; she joined Internews in 2001 as vice president for programs. Prior to Internews, Bourgault worked internationally in countries undergoing dramatic shifts in media and political landscapes. Bourgault worked in the former Yugoslavia, serving as a strategic advisor for media development programs in post-war Kosovo, as well as manager of community development projects in Serbia and Montenegro through the fall of Slobodan Milosevic.  She served for six years with the U.S. Agency for International Development, including three years at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Bourgault speaks very rusty Russian and holds an MA in international studies and a master’s in public affairs from the University of Washington.

Mark Whitehouse is vice president at the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). He has more than 15 years of experience in democratic and media development programming. Previously, as  director of IREX’s media development division, he developed and oversaw media projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Eurasia. Prior to joining IREX, Whitehouse worked for the director of the Carter Center’s Commission on Radio and Television Policy; served as administrator of USSR programs at ACTR/ACCELS; and was a development associate at USAID. He has conducted research on ethnic politics at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Ethnography in Moscow. He currently serves on the boards of directors of IREX Europe and the Broadcast Training Center (Bulgaria). Whitehouse received an MA in Political Science from Emory University, an MA in Russian and East European studies and a BA in government from Georgetown University.

Jerry Hyman is senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and president of its Hills Program on Governance which has a network of affiliated programs in Beijing, Jakarta, Manila, Mexico City, Nairobi, and Seoul. Hyman served with USAID from 1990 to 2007, and from 2002 -2007 was director of its Office of Democracy and Governance in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance. After his graduation from the University of Virginia Law School in 1985, he practiced law in Washington, DC, with the firm of Covington & Burling until joining USAID in 1990. Prior to 1982, Hyman taught courses on anthropology, social theory, modernization, economic development, American Indians, and Southeast Asia in the departments of sociology and anthropology at Smith College in Northampton, MA. He holds a BA in philosophy and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago, and a JD from the University of Virginia.