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Head of US Global Media Agency Pushed Out of VOA’s Editorial Activity – Court Ruling

Head of US Global Media Agency Pushed Out of VOA's Editorial Activity - Court Ruling

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 22nd November, 2020) A Federal US judge ruled that CEO of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) Michael Pack has violated the First Amendment rights of Voice of America (VOA) journalists and is now not allowed to interfere in VOA’s editorial activity.

Senior executives at the USAGM, which supervises VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among other media outlets, filed a lawsuit against the government agency after being suspended or fired by Pack earlier this year.

“Plaintiffs’ motion is granted as to defendants’ alleged violations of the First Amendment, insofar as those violations relate to defendants’ taking or influencing personnel actions against individual journalists or editors, attempting to influence content through communications with individual journalists or editors, and investigating purported breaches of journalistic ethics.

Defendants will be preliminarily enjoined from continuing these activities,” Chief Judge Beryl Howell said in the Friday ruling.

Howell’s ruling bars Pack from interfering in VOA’s editorial operations or taking action against journalists and editors of the state-funded news organization.

The ruling comes after US media accused Pack of attempting to use the VOA platform to spread pro-Trump “propaganda,” since he was confirmed to the CEO position in June.

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