USAGM budget request rises to meet growing global challenges in FY 2025

March 11, 2024

The President today released his Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request, outlining $950.0 million for the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) to advance its mission to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy – in an increasingly challenging global media landscape.

This budget request marks a 7.4 percent increase over FY 2023, and outlines new investments and initiatives to support two federal networks: Voice of America (VOA) and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB); five non-federal entities: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), Open Technology Fund (OTF); and a newly created non-federal entity which will incubate, test, and propagate new operating strategies to improve the agency’s service delivery, including a forthcoming Global News Service to launch in Mandarin, English and eventually more languages.

The FY 2025 budget request comes on the heels of growing attention to USAGM’s mission. Over the past decade, the total measured audience of USAGM’s five networks has more than doubled, with the Agency currently reaching 420 million people weekly in 63 languages and over 100 countries – often in some of the world’s most restrictive media environments. Amid rising global pressures, the USAGM networks’ combined measured audience is the largest of any publicly-funded international news organization in the world, and its networks’ credibility with audiences remains significantly higher than that of state-sponsored media competitors.

“Communities around the world are being inundated with lies, half-truths, and conspiracy theories, leading to misunderstanding, conflict, and even war. America’s adversaries spend billions of dollars to control the flow of information in critical markets each year, and their strategies – which largely blame the United States, the West, and democratic institutions for all global ills – are gaining traction,” said USAGM CEO Amanda Bennett. “There has not been such an urgent need to provide accurate news and information to a world awash in propaganda since WWII. Fortunately, the President’s FY 2025 budget request puts us in a strong position to counter these challenges by investing in the most impactful aspects of our operation.”

USAGM’s FY 2025 Congressional Budget Justification provides greater detail about the initiatives USAGM will undertake in the next fiscal year, including priority efforts to increase network reach, counter malign influence of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia, Iran, and others, bolster journalist safety and achieve cost efficiencies – all while positioning the agency for the challenges ahead.

USAGM also released an updated version of its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan today. Developed with performance data and feedback from key stakeholders – including the newly confirmed International Broadcasting Advisory Board – the updated strategic plan commits the Agency to continue to reach new audiences, earning credibility with impactful and compelling content, and modernizing its production and broadcasting capabilities to compete in a rapidly evolving media environment.

For more information, please see the U.S. Agency for Global Media’s FY 2025 Congressional Budget Justification here, and the updated 2022-2026 Strategic Plan here.


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