Howell’s ruling restrained Pack and others from continuing any actions that would impede the independence of VOA editors, including manipulating journalists or editors, attempting to influence the content by communicating with individual journalists or editors, and investigating legal violations.
The judge wrote in her verdict: “Defendants have a broader pattern of punishment for USAGM, and that’s network employees are considered to be President Trump’s insufficient conspiracy, resulting in termination, discipline, and the investigation of many staff and journalists.”
Shawn Powers, USAGM’s chief strategist and plaintiff in the case, said: “Judge How Pack’s wrongdoing against Pack reaffirms the fundamental principle of USAGM’s mission: to protect and export the rights and values of the First Amendment to American national interests.”
CNN went to USAGM for comment.
VOA Editor-in-Chief Elez Biberaj told CNN in a statement that editorial independence without political interference is what makes VOA “the voice of America.”
“83% of VOA’s regular conversations show that we have confidence in journalists,” Biberaj said. “There are, if any, media organizations that can claim such trust.
In her decision, Judge Howell described Pack and his defense as “individuals with no knowledge of journalism or broadcast experience.” She added that the pack had tried to intervene in the agency’s newsroom “in violation of their eighty-year practice, which is enshrined in the law, on the independence of journalists.”
VOA is one of the many US-sponsored broadcast channels that brings news to people around the world. It was created in 1942 to counter Nazi propaganda, according to its website.
Prior to joining the organization, Packet was best known for making documentary films with the aversion and alliance of former strategist Steve Bannon. He was president of the Claremont Conservation Institute from 2015 to 2017.