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Trump administration’s 2020 budget request proposes closure of three RFE/RL language services

Trump administration’s 2020 budget request proposes closure of three RFE/RL language services

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The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has submitted a 2020 budget request that proposes to cut spending on international broadcasting by 22 percent and envisions the elimination of three RFE/RL language services. A summary of the proposed budget was placed on the website of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees broadcasting by RFE/RL, VOA, Radio Free Asia, and other entities, on March 18. According to the budget request, RFE/RL’s budget would be cut from $124 million in 2019 to $87 million in 2020. That drop envisages sweeping cost-cutting measures, including the proposed closure of RFE/RL’s Georgian, Tatar-Bashkir, and North Caucasus language services during the fiscal year. RFE/RL would also cut its Balkans Service by “discontinuing operations in Montenegrin and Macedonian.” “Last year, RFE/RL reached a weekly audience of 34 million people across Internet, television, and radio — a 30 percent increase from the previous year. This is testament to…
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