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BBG: TV, Internet Viewership Up in 2015

According to the Broadcasting Board of Governors' (BBG) most recent audience estimates, total audience to its international media outlets grew from 115 million in 2014 to 226 million in 2015 (in more than 100 countries and 61 languages).

The digital audience portion of that total grew from 25 million to 32 million.

BBG said the gains in both included "highly competitive media markets that are of strategic importance to the United States" including Russia.

BBG attributed the growth in digital audiences in part to social media growth, and BBG-sponsored tools used by audiences of Radio Free Asia and VOA to evade China's Internet firewall, as well as multi-platform outreach to Iraqi audiences.

"This audience increase - while it is just one of many impact measurements – shows the hunger for accurate and reliable information around the world," said new BBG CEO John Lansing in announcing the findings. "As propaganda and misinformation continue to saturate media markets globally, more and more people are turning to the networks of the BBG for trusted, fact-based reporting.  But even as we reach more people, we will hold ourselves accountable to ensuring that our content has measurable impact in the parts of the world where free speech and expression are inhibited or denied altogether."

BBG is an independent federal agency overseeing U.S. government-backed international media outlets Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).