Voice Of America Director, Deputy Director Resign After Donald Trump-Selected CEO Takes Over At Global Media Agency
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Amanda Bennett, director of Voice of America, and Sandy Sugawara, deputy director, resigned Monday after protecting the government-backed media company from attacks by the White House and President Donald Trump.
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Trump's decision to head the United States' global media agency, Michael Pack, was endorsed by the Senate earlier this month. In a message to employees Monday morning, Bennett said Pack had the right to replace them with his own VOA leadership.
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Bennett also said that "before Congress, Pack" vowed to respect and honor the firewall that guarantees VOA's independence, which in turn plays a key role in the impressive confidence that VOA audiences around the world have in the Organization has, "said a spokesman for VOA. "She noted that she and Deputy Director Sugawara know that all VOA employees will offer him all of their skills, professionalism, mission commitment, journalistic integrity, and personal hard work to ensure that the promise is met becomes."
Bennett defended the agency after the White House attacked its coverage of the coronavirus crisis, claiming it had "intensified Beijing's propaganda."
"We treat China's disinformation and misinformation in English and Mandarin thoroughly while reporting factually - as always in all 47 of our broadcast languages - about other events in China," Bennett wrote in April.
But Trump's attacks continued when he called the outlet "shame".
At the weekend, Bennett also weighed in on a report that the Centers for Disease Control VOA had blacklisted from interviews, including those by one of their on-air figures, Greta Van Susteren. The Knight First Amendment Institute published emails received at the request of the Freedom of Information Act, showing that CDC public affairs officers had instructed public affairs officers to ignore VOA media requests.
Bennett said in a statement that "efforts such as those described in the CDC memo can have a deterrent effect on our journalism that we regularly see in the markets we broadcast to and that do not have a free press - including China and Russia . "
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