May 1970 - Twenty-Fifth Report of the United States Advisory Commission on Information


Commission Members:
Frank Stanton, chairman
M. S. Novik
Palmer Hoyt
Thomas Vail
William F. Buckley, Jr.

Staff Director: Louis T. Olom


This report outlined the steps taken (or rather not taken) since the previous report was send to Congress. The Commissioners refrained from restating what was previously recommended in favor of reporting on USIA. The Commission praised USIA’s administrative leadership, but also proposed a list of suggested alternatives by posing provocative questions such as: Should the USIA continue as an independent agency? Should USIA follow a line? To what extent should USIA think of itself as an advocate? Should USIA pass on international information duties to private organizations? Should programs that bring important international visitors to the US be allocated more money? Would an extensive effort in one country over a few years provide useful information? Are USIA’s performance measurement efforts reliable?


The Commission took the liberty, beginning in 1956, of filing a single report, rather than two per year, and still found the Congress indifferent to its findings.

Although two bills were introduced, no debate or hearings were held in the senior committees, and no action was taken by the White House, resulting primarily in the frustration of desirable reforms, and in the frustration of the members of the United States Advisory Commission.

If the Commission has a creative responsibility, then it is understaffed and underfinanced.