One Hundred Thirteenth Congress of the United States of America
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Friday, the third day of January, two thousand and fourteen
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
United States international programming to Ukraine and neighboring regions.
FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS
Congress finds and declares the following:
The Russian Government has deliberately blocked the Ukrainian people's access to uncensored sources of information and has provided alternative news and information that is both inaccurate and inflammatory;
United States international programming exists to advance the United States interests and values by presenting accurate and comprehensive news and information, which is the foundation for democratic governance;
The opinions and views of the Ukrainian people, especially those people located in the eastern regions and Crimea, are not being accurately represented in Russian dominated mass media;
Russian forces have seized more than five television stations in Crimea and taken over transmissions, switching to a 24/7 Russian propaganda format; this increase in programming augments the already robust pro-Russian programming to Ukraine;
United States international programming has the potential to combat this anti-democratic propaganda.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated, and the Voice of America service to Ukraine and neighboring regions shall—
provide news and information that is accessible, credible, and accurate;
emphasize investigative and analytical journalism to highlight inconsistencies and misinformation provided by Russian or pro-Russian media outlets;
prioritize programming to areas where access to uncensored sources of information is limited or non-existent, especially populations serviced by Russian supported media outlets;
increase the number of reporters and organizational presence in eastern Ukraine, especially in Crimea;
promote democratic processes, respect for human rights, freedom of the press, and territorial sovereignty; and
take necessary preparatory steps to continue and increase programming and content that promotes democracy and government transparency in Russia.
RFE/RL, Incorporated, and Voice of America programming to Ukraine and neighboring regions shall—
prioritize programming to eastern Ukraine, including Crimea, and Moldova, and to ethnic and linguistic Russian populations, as well as to Tatar minorities;
prioritize news and information that directly contributes to the target audiences' understanding of political and economic developments in Ukraine and Moldova, including countering misinformation that may originate from other news outlets, especially Russian supported news outlets;
provide programming content 24 hours a day, seven days a week to target populations, using all available and effective distribution outlets, including—
at least 8 weekly hours of total original television and video content in Ukrainian, Russian, and Tatar languages, not inclusive of live video streaming coverage of breaking news, to be distributed on satellite, digital, and through regional television affiliates by the Voice of America; and
at least 14 weekly hours the total audio content in Ukrainian, Russian, and Tatar languages to be distributed on satellite, digital, and through regional radio affiliates of RFE/RL, Incorporated;
expand the use, audience, and audience engagement of mobile news and multimedia platforms by RFE/RL, Incorporated, and the Voice of America, including through Internet-based social networking platforms; and
partner with private sector broadcasters and affiliates to seek and start co-production for new, original content, when possible, to increase distribution.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2014, in addition to funds otherwise made available for such purposes, up to $10,000,000 to carry out programming in the Ukrainian, Balkan, Russian, and Tatar language services of RFE/RL, Incorporated, and the Voice of America, for the purpose of bolstering existing United States programming to the people of Ukraine and neighboring regions, and increasing programming capacity and jamming circumvention technology to overcome any disruptions to service.
Not later than 15 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall submit to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Foreign Relations and Appropriations of the Senate a detailed report on plans to increase broadcasts pursuant to subsections (a) and (b).
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate