Voice of America

Voice of America (VOA) is a U.S. government-funded international multimedia agency which serves as the United States federal government's official institution for non-military, external broadcasting, the largest U.S. international broadcaster. VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in more than 40 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its leaders.[1]

VOA was established in 1942,[2] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[3] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. The charter contains its mission "to broadcast accurate, balanced, and comprehensive news and information to an international audience", and it defines the legally mandated standards in the VOA journalistic code.[4]

VOA is headquartered in Washington, DC and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an independent agency of the U.S. government.[5] Funds are appropriated annually by Congress under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million.[1][4]

Some commentators consider Voice of America to be a form of propaganda.[6][7] In response to the request of the United States Department of Justice that RT register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Russia's Justice Ministry labeled Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as foreign agents in December 2017.[8][9]

Voice of America
TypeInternational public broadcaster
Country
United States
FoundedFebruary 1, 1942
HeadquartersWilbur J. Cohen Federal Building
Washington, D.C.
OwnerU.S. Agency for Global Media
Official website
voanews.com
Voice of America headquarters - Stierch
Voice of America headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Yankee Doodle, the interval signal of Voice of America

Current languages

The Voice of America website had five English language broadcasts as of 2014 (worldwide, Special English, Cambodia, Zimbabwe and Tibet). Additionally, the VOA website has versions in 42 foreign languages (radio programs are marked with an asterisk; TV programs with a plus symbol):

The number of languages varies according to the priorities of the United States government and the world situation.[10]

History

American private shortwave broadcasting before World War II

Before World War II, all American shortwave stations were in private hands.[11] Privately controlled shortwave networks included the National Broadcasting Company's International Network (or White Network), which broadcast in six languages,[12] the Columbia Broadcasting System's Latin American international network, which consisted of 64 stations located in 18 different countries,[13] and the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio, all of which had shortwave transmitters. Experimental programming began in the 1930s, but there were fewer than 12 transmitters in operation.[14] In 1939, the Federal Communications Commission set the following policy:

A licensee of an international broadcast station shall render only an international broadcast service which will reflect the culture of this country and which will promote international goodwill, understanding and cooperation. Any program solely intended for, and directed to an audience in the continental United States does not meet the requirements for this service.[15]

This policy was intended to enforce the State Department's Good Neighbor Policy, but some broadcasters felt that it was an attempt to direct censorship.[16]

Shortwave signals to Latin America were regarded as vital to counter Nazi propaganda around 1940.[14] Initially, the Office of Coordination of Information sent releases to each station, but this was seen as an inefficient means of transmitting news.[11] The director of Latin American relations at the Columbia Broadcasting System was Edmund A. Chester, and he supervised the development of CBS's extensive "La Cadena de las Americas" radio network to improve broadcasting to South America during the 1940s.[17]

Also included among the cultural diplomacy programming on the Columbia Broadcasting System was the musical show Viva America (1942-1949) which featured the Pan American Orchestra and the artistry of several noted musicians from both North and South America, including Alfredo Antonini, Juan Arvizu, Eva Garza, Elsa Miranda, Nestor Mesta Chaires, Miguel Sandoval, John Serry Sr., and Terig Tucci.[18][19][20] By 1945, broadcasts of the show were carried by 114 stations on CBS's "La Cadena de las Americas" network in 20 Latin American nations. These broadcasts proved to be highly successful in supporting President Franklin Roosevelt's policy of Pan-Americanism throughout South America during World War II. [21]

World War II

Even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government’s Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI, in Washington) had already begun providing war news and commentary to the commercial American shortwave radio stations for use on a voluntary basis through its Foreign Information Service (FIS, in New York) headed by playwright Robert E. Sherwood, the playwright who served as president Roosevelt’s speech writer and information advisor.[22] Direct programming began a week after the United States’ entry into World War II in December 1941, with the first broadcast from the San Francisco office of the FIS via a leased General Electric’s transmitter to the Philippines in English (other languages followed). The next step was to broadcast to Germany, which was called Stimmen aus Amerika ("Voices from America") and was transmitted on February 1, 1942. It was introduced by "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and included the pledge: "Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war... The news may be good or bad for us – We will always tell you the truth."[23] Roosevelt approved this broadcast, which then-Colonel William J. Donovan (COI) and Sherwood (FIS) had recommended to him. It was Sherwood who actually coined the term "The Voice of America" to describe the shortwave network that began its transmissions on February 1, from 270 Madison Avenue in New York City.

The Office of War Information, when organized in the middle of 1942, officially took over VOA's operations. VOA reached an agreement with the British Broadcasting Corporation to share medium-wave transmitters in Britain, and expanded into Tunis in North Africa and Palermo and Bari, Italy as the Allies captured these territories. The OWI also set up the American Broadcasting Station in Europe.[24] Asian transmissions started with one transmitter in California in 1941; services were expanded by adding transmitters in Hawaii and, after recapture, the Philippines.[25]

By the end of the war, VOA had 39 transmitters and provided service in 40 languages.[25] Programming was broadcast from production centers in New York and San Francisco, with more than 1,000 programs originating from New York. Programming consisted of music, news, commentary, and relays of U.S. domestic programming, in addition to specialized VOA programming.[26]

About half of VOA's services, including the Arabic service, were discontinued in 1945.[27] In late 1945, VOA was transferred to the Department of State.

Cold War

In 1947, VOA started broadcasting to the Soviet citizens in Russia under the pretext of countering "more harmful instances of Soviet propaganda directed against American leaders and policies" on the part of the internal Soviet Russian-language media, according to John B. Whitton's treatise, Cold War Propaganda.[28] The Soviet Union responded by initiating electronic jamming of VOA broadcasts on April 24, 1949.[28]

Charles W. Thayer headed VOA in 1948–49.

Over the next few years, the U.S. government debated the best role of Voice of America. The decision was made to use VOA broadcasts as a part of its foreign policy to fight the propaganda of the Soviet Union and other countries.

The Arabic service resumed on January 1, 1950, with a half-hour program. This program grew to 14.5 hours daily during the Suez Crisis of 1956, and was six hours a day by 1958.[27]

In 1952, Voice of America installed a studio and relay facility aboard a converted U.S. Coast Guard cutter renamed Courier whose target audience was Soviet Union and other members of Warsaw Pact. The Courier was originally intended to become the first in a fleet of mobile, radio broadcasting ships (see offshore radio) that built upon U.S. Navy experience during WWII in using warships as floating broadcasting stations. However, the Courier eventually dropped anchor off the island of Rhodes, Greece with permission of the Greek government to avoid being branded as a pirate radio broadcasting ship. This VOA offshore station stayed on the air until the 1960s when facilities were eventually provided on land. The Courier supplied training to engineers who later worked on several of the European commercial offshore broadcasting stations of the 1950s and 1960s.

Control of VOA passed from the State Department to the U.S. Information Agency when the latter was established in 1953.[27] to transmit worldwide, including to the countries behind the Iron Curtain and to the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Starting in the 1950s, VOA broadcast American jazz, with Willis Conover hosting a daily program from 1955 until 1996, which was highly popular worldwide drawing 30 million listeners at its peak. A program aimed at South Africa in 1956 broadcast two hours nightly, and special programs such as The Newport Jazz Festival were also transmitted. This was done in association with tours by U.S. musicians, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington, sponsored by the State Department.[29] From August 1952 through May 1953, Billy Brown, a high school senior in Westchester County, New York, had a Monday night program in which he shared everyday happenings in Yorktown Heights, New York. Brown's program ended due to its popularity: his "chatty narratives" attracted so much fan mail, VOA couldn't afford the $500 a month in clerical and postage costs required to respond to listeners' letters.[30]

Throughout the Cold War, many of the targeted countries' governments sponsored jamming of VOA broadcasts, which sometimes led critics to question the broadcasts' actual impact. For example, in 1956, Polish People's Republic stopped jamming VOA transmissions, but People's Republic of Bulgaria continued to jam the signal through the 1970s. Chinese language VOA broadcasts were jammed beginning in 1956 and extending through 1976.[31] However, after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, interviews with participants in anti-Soviet movements verified the effectiveness of VOA broadcasts in transmitting information to socialist societies.[32] The People's Republic of China diligently jams VOA broadcasts.[33] Cuba has also been reported to interfere with VOA satellite transmissions to Iran from its Russian-built transmission site at Bejucal.[34] David Jackson, former director of Voice of America, noted: "The North Korean government doesn't jam us, but they try to keep people from listening through intimidation or worse. But people figure out ways to listen despite the odds. They're very resourceful."[35]

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, VOA covered some of the era's most important news, including Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and Neil Armstrong's first walk on the moon. During the Cuban missile crisis, VOA broadcast around-the-clock in Spanish.

In the early 1980s, VOA began a $1.3 billion rebuilding program to improve broadcast with better technical capabilities. Also in the 1980s, VOA also added a television service, as well as special regional programs to Cuba, Radio Martí and TV Martí. Cuba has consistently attempted to jam such broadcasts and has vociferously protested U.S. broadcasts directed at Cuba.

In September 1980, VOA started broadcasting to Afghanistan in Dari and in Pashto in 1982. At the same time, VOA started to broadcast U.S. government editorials, clearly separated from the programming by audio cues.

In 1985, VOA Europe was created as a special service in English that was relayed via satellite to AM, FM, and cable affiliates throughout Europe. With a contemporary format including live disc jockeys, the network presented top musical hits as well as VOA news and features of local interest (such as "EuroFax") 24 hours a day. VOA Europe was closed down without advance public notice in January 1997 as a cost-cutting measure.[36] It was followed by VOA Express, which from July 4, 1999 revamped into VOA Music Mix. Since November 1, 2014 stations are offered VOA1 (which is a rebranding of VOA Music Mix).

In 1989, Voice of America expanded its Mandarin and Cantonese programming to reach the millions of Chinese and inform the country, accurately about the pro-democracy movement within the country, including the demonstration in Tiananmen Square.

Starting in 1990, the U.S. consolidated its international broadcasting efforts, with the establishment of the Bureau of Broadcasting.

Post–Cold War

With the breakup of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, VOA added many additional language services to reach those areas. This decade was marked by the additions of Tibetan, Kurdish (to Iran and Iraq), Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, and Rwanda-Rundi language services.

In 1993, the Clinton administration advised cutting funding for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as it was felt post-Cold War information and influence was not needed in Europe. This plan was not well received, and he then proposed the compromise of the International Broadcasting Act. The Broadcasting Board of Governors was established and took control from the Board for International Broadcasters which previously oversaw funding for RFE/RL.[37]

In 1994, President Clinton signed the International Broadcasting Act into law. This law established the International Broadcasting Bureau as a part of the U.S. Information Agency and created the Broadcasting Board of Governors with oversight authority. In 1998, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act was signed into law and mandated that BBG become an independent federal agency as of October 1, 1999. This act also abolished the U.S.I.A. and merged most of its functions with those of the State Department.

In 1994, Voice of America became the first[38] broadcast-news organization to offer continuously updated programs on the Internet.

Cuts in services

The Arabic Service was abolished in 2002 and replaced by a new radio service, called the Middle East Radio Network or Radio Sawa, with an initial budget of $22 million. Radio Sawa offered mostly Western and Middle Eastern popular songs with periodic brief news bulletins.

In May 16, 2004; Worldnet, a satellite television service, was merged into the VOA network.

Radio programs in Russian ended in July 2008.[39] In September 2008, VOA eliminated the Hindi language service after 53 years.[39] Broadcasts in Ukrainian, Serbian, Macedonian and Bosnian also ended.[40] These reductions were part of American efforts to concentrate more resources to broadcast to the Muslim world.[39][40]

In September 2010, VOA started radio broadcasts in Sudan. As U.S. interests in South Sudan have grown, there is a desire to provide people with free information.[41]

In 2013, VOA finished foreign language transmissions on shortwave and medium wave to Albania, Georgia, Iran and Latin America; as well as English language broadcasts to the Middle East and Afghanistan.[42] The movement was done due to budget cuts.[42]

On July 1, 2014, VOA cut most of its shortwave transmissions in English to Asia.[43] Shortwave broadcasts in Azerbaijani, Bengali, Khmer, Kurdish, Lao, and Uzbek were dropped too.[43] On August 11, 2014, the Greek service ended after 72 years on air.[44][45]

List of languages

Language[46] from to Website Remarks
English 1941 present www.voanews.com
Amoy 1941
1951
1945
1963
Cantonese 1941
1949
1987
1945
1963
present
美國之音 see also Radio Free Asia
Mandarin Chinese 1941 present 美国之音 see also Radio Free Asia
Portuguese (to Latin America) 1941
1946
1961
1945
1948
2001
Spanish (to Latin America) 1941
1946
1953
1961
1945
1948
1956
present
Voz de América see also Radio y Televisión Martí
Tagalog 1941 1946
Afrikaans 1942 1949
Arabic 1942
1950
1945
2002
see also Radio Sawa and Alhurra
Bulgarian 1942 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Czech 1942 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Danish 1942 1945
Farsi 1942
1949
1964
1979
1945
1960
1966
present
صدای آمریکا see also Radio Farda
Finnish 1942
1951
1945
1953
Flemish 1942 1945
French (to France) 1942 1961
German 1942
1991
1960
1993
Greek 1942 present (web) Φωνή της Αμερικής
Hungarian 1942 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Indonesian 1942 present VOA Indonesia
Italian 1942
1951
1945
1957
Japanese 1942
1951
1945
1962
Korean 1942 present VOA 한국어 see also Radio Free Asia
Norwegian 1942 1945
Polish 1942 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Portuguese (to Portugal) 1942
1951
1976
1987
1945
1953
1987
1993

 
 
(for local radio stations)
Romanian 1942 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Slovak 1942 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Spanish (to Spain) 1942
1955
1955
1993
-
(for local radio stations)
Thai 1942
1962
1988
1958
1988
present
วอยซ์ ออฟ อเมริกา
Turkish 1942
1948
1945
present
Amerika'nın Sesi
Albanian 1943
1951
1945
present
Zëri i Amerikës see also Radio Free Europe
Burmese 1943
1951
1945
present
ဗီြအိုေအသတင္းဌာန see also Radio Free Asia
Croatian 1943 2011 see also Radio Free Europe
Serbian 1943 present Glas Amerike see also Radio Free Europe
Swedish 1943 1945
Vietnamese 1943
1951
1946
present
Ðài Tiếng nói Hoa Kỳ see also Radio Free Asia
Dutch 1944 1945
Icelandic 1944 1944
Wu Chinese (Shanghai) 1944 1946
Slovene 1944
1949
1945?
2004
see also Radio Free Europe
Russian 1947 present Голос Америки see also Radio Liberty
Ukrainian 1949 present Голос Америки see also Radio Liberty
Tibetan 1950s
1991
1950s
present
ཨ་རིའི་རླུང་འཕྲིན་ཁང་།
www.voatibetanenglish.com
see also Radio Free Asia
Armenian 1951 present (web) Ամերիկայի Ձայն see also Radio Liberty
Azerbaijani 1951
1982
1953
present (web)
Amerikanın Səsi see also Radio Liberty
Estonian 1951 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Georgian 1951 present (web) see also Radio Liberty
Hakka 1951 1954
Hebrew 1951 1953
Hindi 1951
1954
1953
2008
Latvian 1951 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Lithuanian 1951 2004 see also Radio Free Europe
Malayan 1951 1955
Swatow 1951 1953
Tatar 1951 1953 see also Radio Liberty
Urdu 1951
1954
1953
present
وائس آف امریکہ
Tamil 1954 1970
Khmer 1955
1962
1957
present
វីអូអេ
www.voacambodia.com
see also Radio Free Asia
Belarusian 1956 1957 see also Radio Liberty
Gujarati 1956 1958
Malayalam 1956 1961
Telegu 1956 1958
Bangla 1958 present ভয়েস অফ আমেরিকা
Uzbek 1958
1972
1958
present
Amerika Ovozi see also Radio Liberty
French (to Africa) 1960 present VOA Afrique
Lao 1962 present ສຽງອາເມຣິກາ ວີໂອເອ see also Radio Free Asia
Swahili 1962 present Sauti ya Amerika
English (to Africa) 1963 present www.voaafrica.com
www.voazimbabwe.com
Portuguese (to Africa) 1976 present Voz da América
Hausa 1979 present Muryar Amurka
Dari 1980 present صدای امریکا
Amharic 1982 present የአሜሪካ ድምፅ
Pashto (to Afghanistan) 1982 present اشنا راډیو
Creole 1987 present Lavwadlamerik
Nepali 1992 1993
Somali 1992
2007
1995
present
VOA Somali
Kurdish 1992 present ده‌نگی ئه‌مه‌ریکا
Dengê Amerîka
Afaan Oromo 1996 present Sagalee Ameerikaa
Bosnian 1996 present Glas Amerike see also Radio Free Europe
Kinyarwanda/Kirundi 1996 present Ijwi ry'Amerika
Tigrinya 1996 present ድምፂ ረድዮ ኣሜሪካ
Macedonian 1999 2008 see also Radio Free Europe
Ndebele 2003 present VOA Ndebele
Shona 2003 present VOA Shona
Pashto (to Pakistan) 2006 present ډیوه ریډیو
Bambara 2013 present VOA Bambara

List of directors

  1. 1942–1943 John Houseman
  2. 1943–1945 Louis G. Cowan
  3. 1945–1946 John Ogilvie
  4. 1948–1949 Charles W. Thayer
  5. 1949–1952 Foy D. Kohler
  6. 1952–1953 Alfred H. Morton
  7. 1953–1954 Leonard Erikson
  8. 1954–1956 John R. Poppele
  9. 1956–1958 Robert E. Burton
  10. 1958–1965 Henry Loomis
  11. 1965–1967 John Chancellor
  12. 1967–1968 John Charles Daly
  13. 1969–1977 Kenneth R. Giddens
  14. 1977–1979 R. Peter Straus
  15. 1980–1981 Mary Bitterman
  16. 1981–1982 James B. Conkling
  17. 1982 John Hughes
  18. 1982–1984 Kenneth Tomlinson
  19. 1985 Gene Pell
  20. 1986–1991 Dick Carlson
  21. 1991–1993 Chase Untermeyer
  22. 1994–1996 Geoffrey Cowan
  23. 1997–1999 Evelyn S. Lieberman
  24. 1999–2001 Sanford J. Ungar
  25. 2001–2002 Robert R. Reilly
  26. 2002–2006 David S. Jackson
  27. 2006–2011 Danforth W. Austin
  28. 2011–2015 David Ensor
  29. 2016– Amanda Bennett

Agencies

Voice of America has been a part of several agencies. From its founding in 1942 to 1945, it was part of the Office of War Information, and then from 1945 to 1953 as a function of the State Department. VOA was placed under the U.S. Information Agency in 1953. When the USIA was abolished in 1999, VOA was placed under the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or BBG, which is an autonomous U.S. government agency, with bipartisan membership. The Secretary of State has a seat on the BBG.[47] The BBG was established as a buffer to protect VOA and other U.S.-sponsored, non-military, international broadcasters from political interference. It replaced the Board for International Broadcasting (BIB) that oversaw the funding and operation of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a branch of VOA.[37]

Laws

Smith–Mundt Act

From 1948 until its repeal in 2013, Voice of America was forbidden to broadcast directly to American citizens under § 501 of the Smith–Mundt Act.[6] The act was repealed as a result of the passing of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013.[7] The intent of the legislation in 1948 was to protect the American public from propaganda actions by their own government.[48]

Internal policies

VOA charter

Under the Eisenhower administration in 1959, VOA Director Henry Loomis commissioned a formal statement of principles to protect the integrity of VOA programming and define the organization's mission, and was issued by Director George V. Allen as a directive in 1960 and was endorsed in 1962 by USIA director Edward R. Murrow.[49] The principles were signed into law on July 12, 1976, by President Gerald Ford. It reads:

The long-range interests of the United States are served by communicating directly with the peoples of the world by radio. To be effective, the Voice of America must win the attention and respect of listeners. These principles will therefore govern Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts. 1. VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive. 2. VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions. 3. VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.[5]

"Two-source rule"

According to former VOA correspondent Alan Heil, the internal policy of VOA News is that any story broadcast must have two independently corroborating sources or have a staff correspondent actually witness an event.[50]

Newsroom

Voice of America's central newsroom has hundreds of journalists and dozens of full-time domestic and overseas correspondents, who are employees of the U.S. government or paid contractors. They are augmented by hundreds of contract correspondents and stringers throughout the world, who file in English or in one of VOA's other radio and television broadcast languages.

In late 2005, VOA shifted some of its central-news operation to Hong Kong where contracted writers worked from a "virtual" office with counterparts on the overnight shift in Washington, D.C., but this operation was shut down in early 2008.

Shortwave frequencies

By December 2014, the number of transmitters and frequencies used by VOA had been greatly reduced. VOA still uses shortwave transmissions to cover some areas of Africa and Asia. Shortwave broadcasts still take place in these languages: Afaan Oromoo, Amharic, Bambara, Cantonese, Chinese, English, Indonesian, Korean and Swahili.

VOA Radiogram

VOA Radiogram was an experimental Voice of America program starting in March 2013 which transmitted digital text and images via shortwave radiograms.[51] There were 220 editions of the program, transmitted each weekend from the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station. The audio tones that comprised the bulk of each 30 minute program were transmitted via an analog transmitter, and could be decoded using a basic AM shortwave receiver with freely downloadable software of the Fldigi family. This software is available for Windows, Apple (OSX), Linux, and FreeBSD systems.

Broadcasts can also be decoded using the free TIVAR app from the Google Play store using any Android device.

The mode used most often on VOA Radiogram, for both text and images, was MFSK32, but other modes were also occasionally transmitted.

The final edition of VOA Radiogram was transmitted during the weekend of June 17–18, 2017, a week before the retirement of the program producer from VOA. An offer to continue the broadcasts on a contract basis was declined,[52] so a follow-on show called Shortwave Radiogram began transmission on June 25, 2017 from the WRMI transmitting site in Okeechobee, Florida.[53]

Shortwave Radiogram program schedule[54]
Day Time (UTC) Shortwave frequency (MHz) Origin
Saturday 1600–1630 9.4 Space Line, Bulgaria
Sunday 0600–0630 7.73 WRMI, Florida
Sunday 2030–2100 11.58 WRMI, Florida
Sunday 2330–2400 11.58 WRMI, Florida

Transmission facilities

One of VOA's radio transmitter facilities was originally based on a 625-acre (2.53 km2) site in Union Township (now West Chester Township) in Butler County, Ohio, near Cincinnati. The site is now a recreational park with a lake, lodge, dog park, and Voice of America museum. The Bethany Relay Station operated from 1944 to 1994.[55] Other former sites include California (Dixon, Delano), Hawaii, Okinawa, (Monrovia) Liberia, Costa Rica, Belize, and at least two in Greece.

Between 1983 and 1990, VOA made significant upgrades to transmission facilities in Botswana, Morocco, Thailand, Kuwait, and Sao Tome.[56]

Currently, VOA and the IBB continue to operate shortwave radio transmitters and antenna farms at International Broadcasting Bureau Greenville Transmitting Station in the United States, close to Greenville, North Carolina, "Site B." They do not use FCC-issued callsigns, since they are overseen by the NTIA, which is the Federal Government equivalent of the FCC (which regulates state government and public & private communications) and they operate under different rules. The IBB also operates a transmission facility on São Tomé and (Tinang) Concepcion, Tarlac, Philippines for VOA.

VOA SiteB building

Edward R. Murrow Greenville Transmitting Station, the last operational VOA broadcasting station in the US, located in North Carolina's Inner Banks.

2009-0725-CA-Delano-VOArelay

The Delano Transmitting Station, which used a very large curtain array, was closed in October 2007.

Comparing VOA-RFE-RL-RM to other broadcasters

In 1996, the U.S.'s international radio output consisted of 992 hours per week by VOA, 667 by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and 162 by Radio Marti.

Controversy

Mullah Omar interview

In late September 2001, VOA aired a report that contained brief excerpts of an interview with then Taliban leader Mullah Omar Mohammad, along with segments from President Bush's post-9/11 speech to Congress, an expert in Islam from Georgetown University, and comments by the foreign minister of Afghanistan's anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. State Department officials including Richard Armitage and others argued that the report amounted to giving terrorists a platform to express their views. In response, reporters and editors argued for the VOA's editorial independence from its governors. VOA received praise from press organizations for its protests, and the following year in 2002, it won the University of Oregon's Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism.[57]

Abdul Malik Rigi interview

On April 2, 2007, Abdul Malik Rigi, the leader of Jundullah, a terrorist militant group with possible links to al-Qaeda, appeared on Voice of America's Persian service. VOA introduced Rigi as "the leader of popular Iranian resistance movement."[58] The interview resulted in public condemnation by the Iranian-American community, as well as the Iranian government.[59][60] Jundullah is a Sunni Islamist militant organization that has been linked to numerous attacks on civilians, such as the 2009 Zahedan explosion.[61][62]

Tibetan protester interview

In February 2013, a documentary released by China Central Television interviewed a Tibetan self-immolator who failed to kill himself. The interviewee said he was motivated by Voice of America's broadcasts of commemorations of people who committed suicide in political self-immolation. VOA denied any allegations of instigating self-immolations and demanded that the Chinese station retract its report.[63]

Trump presidency concerns

After the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, several tweets by Voice of America (one of which was later removed) seemed to support the widely criticized statements by White House press secretary Sean Spicer about the crowd size and biased media coverage. This first raised concerns over possible attempts by Trump to politicize the state-funded agency.[64][65][66][67] This amplified already growing propaganda concerns over the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, signed into law by Barack Obama, which replaced the board of the Broadcasting Board of Governors with a CEO appointed by the president and to allow the VOA to broadcast to American audiences. Trump sent two of his political aides, Matthew Ciepielowski and Matthew Schuck, to the agency to aid its current CEO during the transition to the Trump administration. Criticism was raised over Trump's choice of aides; Schuck was a staff writer for right-wing website The Daily Surge until April 2015, while Ciepielowski was a field director at the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.[64] VOA officials responded with assurances that they would not become "Trump TV".[64] BBG head John F. Lansing told NPR that it would be illegal for the administration to tell VOA what to broadcast, while VOA director Amanda Bennett stressed that while "government-funded", the agency is not "government-run".[66]

Guo Wengui interview

On April 19, 2017, VOA interviewed the Chinese real estate tycoon Guo Wengui in a live broadcast. The whole interview was scheduled for 3 hours. After Guo Weigui alleged to own evidence of corruption among the members of the Politburo Standing Committee of China, the highest political authority of China, the interview was abruptly cut off, after only one hour and seventeen minutes of broadcasting. Guo's allegations involved Fu Zhenhua and Wang Qishan, the latter being a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and the leader of the massive anti-graft movement.[68] It was reported that Beijing warned VOA's representatives not to interview Guo for his "unsubstantiated allegations".[69] Four members of the U.S. Congress requested the Office of Inspector General to conduct an investigation into this interruption on August 27, 2017.[70]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Borchers, Callum (January 26, 2017). "Voice of America says it won't become Trump TV". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  2. ^ VOA Public Relations. "Mission and Values". InsideVOA.com. Voice of America. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  3. ^ 90 Stat. 823, 108 Stat. 4299
  4. ^ a b VOA Public Relations (December 5, 2016). "The Largest U.S. International Broadcaster" (PDF). VOANews.com. Voice of America. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  5. ^ a b VOA Public Relations. "VOA Charter". InsideVOA.com. Voice of America. Archived from the original on November 20, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Chuck, Elizabeth (July 20, 2013). "Taxpayer money at work: US-funded foreign broadcasts finally available in the US". NBC News.
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  8. ^ Stahl, Lesley. "RT's editor-in-chief on election meddling, being labeled Russian propaganda". CBS News. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
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  11. ^ a b Berg, Jerome S. On the Short Waves, 1923–1945: Broadcast Listening in the Pioneer Days of Radio. 1999, McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0506-6, 105
  12. ^ Library of Congress. "NBC Resources Held by the Recorded Sound Section." Library of Congress
  13. ^ Chamberlain, A.B. "CBS International Broadcast Facilities". Proceedings of the IRE, Volume 30, Issue 3, March 1942 pp. 118–29, abstract at IEEE
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  15. ^ Rose, Cornelia Bruère. National Policy for Radio Broadcasting. 1971, Ayer Publishing. ISBN 0-405-03580-2. p. 244
  16. ^ Time magazine. "NABusiness." Monday, July 24, 1939. Time.com
  17. ^ Dissonant Divas In Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda Deborah R. Vargas. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2012 ISBN 978-0-8166-7316-2 p. 152-153 Edmund Chester, CBS, Franklin Roosevelt and "La Cadena De Las Americas" on google.books.com
  18. ^ A Pictorial History of Radio, Settel Irving Grosset & Dunlap Publishers, New York, 1960 & 1967, Pg. 146, Library of Congress #67-23789
  19. ^ Media Sound & Culture in Latin America. Editors: Bronfman, Alejanda & Wood, Andrew Grant. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburg, PA, USA, 2012, Pg. 49 ISBN 978-0-8229-6187-1 books.google.com See pg. 49
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  21. ^ Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda Deborah R. Vargas. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2012 p. 152-155 ISBN 978-0-8166-7316-2 OCIAA (Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs), FDR's Good Neighbor Policy, CBS, Viva America, La Cadena de las Americas on google.books.com
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  23. ^ Roberts, Walter R. UNC.edu See also: Kern, Chris. "A Belated Correction: The Real First Broadcast of the Voice of America". Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  24. ^ Dizard (2004), pp. 24–25
  25. ^ a b Dizard (2004), p. 25
  26. ^ Sterling, Christopher H.; Kittross, John Michael (2001). Stay Tuned: a History of American Broadcasting. LEA's Communication Series (3rd ed.). Lawernce Erlbaum Associates. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-8058-2624-1.
  27. ^ a b c Rugh (2006), p. 13
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  29. ^ Appy, Christian G. Cold War Constructions: The Political Culture of United States Imperialism. 2000, University of Massachusetts Press; ISBN 1-55849-218-6, p. 126.
  30. ^ Folsom, Merrill (28 May 1953). "'Voice' to Drop Boy's Broadcasts; Can't Afford to Answer Fan Mail". The New York Times (Vol CII, No 34823, pg 1).
  31. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook, 1976 and 1979 editions.
  32. ^ Conference Report, Cold War Impact of VOA Broadcasts, Hoover Institution and the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Oct. 13–16, 2004
  33. ^ Bihlmayer, Ulrich (September 12, 2006). "Fighting the Chinese Government "Firedragon" – Music Jammer AND "Sound of Hope" Broadcasting (SOH), Taiwan" (PDF). IARU Region 1 Monitoring System. Retrieved January 15, 2008.
  34. ^ "U.S.: Cuba Jamming TV Signals To Iran – Local News Story – WTVJ". Retrieved January 15, 2008.
  35. ^ Jackson, David. "The Future of Radio II." World Radio TV Handbook, 2007 edition. 2007, Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-5997-9. p 38.
  36. ^ Holland, Bill (March 8, 1997). "VOA Europe: A Victim of Bureaucracy?". Billboard. 109 (10). Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  37. ^ a b Raghavan, Sudarsan V., Stephen S. Johnson, and Kristi K. Bahrenburg. "Sending cross-border static: on the fate of Radio Free Europe and the influence of international broadcasting," Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 47, 1993, access on March 25, 2011.
  38. ^ Kern, Chris. "The Voice of America: First on the Internet". Retrieved January 15, 2008.
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  44. ^ "Voice of America Ends Greek Broadcasts". bbg.gov. August 11, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
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  46. ^ Voice of America History, VOA Language Service Fact Sheets
  47. ^ Rugh (2006), p. 14
  48. ^ Broderick, James F., and Darren W. Miller. Consider the Source: A Critical Guide to 100 prominent news and information sites on the Web. Medford, NJ: Information Today, 2007. ISBN 0-910965-77-3, ISBN 978-0-910965-77-4, p. 388.
  49. ^ Rugh (2006), pp. 13–14
  50. ^ Columbia University Press. Interview with Alan Heil, author of Voice of America Archived July 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
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  65. ^ Trump moves to put his own stamp on Voice of America, Politico
  66. ^ a b Can Donald Trump turn Voice of America into his own private megaphone?, LA Times
  67. ^ Donald Trump sends two aides to Voice of America studios, raising fears he’s going to politicize the outlet, Salon
  68. ^ China’s most wanted man is in the United States. Quartz.
  69. ^ China says Interpol notice issued for outspoken tycoon Guo. Associated Press.
  70. ^ "Members of Congress request OIG investigation of VOA and BBG handling of Guo Wengui interview EXCLUSIVE". BBG Watch. September 30, 2017.

Bibliography

  • Dizard, Wilson P. (2004). Inventing Public Diplomacy: The Story of the U.S. Information Agency. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 1-58826-288-X.
  • Rugh, William A. (2006). American Encounters with Arabs: the "Soft Power" of U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Middle East. Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-98817-3.

External links

Burdhubo District

Burdhubo District, also spelled Buurdhuubo, is a district in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia. Its capital lies at Burdhubo.

The terrorist group Al-Shabaab has operated in the district in recent years. On 4 November 2011, some of its members kidnapped ten district clan elders. On 6 January 2012, Voice of America reported that the Somali media had stated that government troops, backed by Kenyan forces, were advancing into the area, while "al-Shabab" had withdrawn from the district. In March 2014, it was reported that heavy fighting had broken out and that government forces, this time aided by Ethiopian soldiers, had forced Al-Shabaab to vacate the district.A 12 April 2014 government decree announced that Hassan Mohamed Ali and Ali Mataan Ali had been appointed district commissioner and deputy commissioner respectively. On 30 January 2015, Hassan Mohamed Ali confirmed that his deputy had been shot and killed by government troops.

Delano, California

Delano ( də-LAY-noh) is a city in Kern County, California, United States. Delano is located 31 miles (50 km) north-northwest of Bakersfield at an elevation of 315 feet (96 m). The population was 52,088 in 2016, up from 38,824 in 2000. It is Kern County's second largest city after Bakersfield.

Agriculture is Delano's major industry. The area is particularly well known as a center for the growing of table grapes. Delano is also home to two California state prisons, North Kern State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison. The Voice of America once operated its largest, most powerful shortwave broadcast facility outside Delano at 35°45′15″N 119°17′7″W. However, the Voice of America ceased broadcasts in October 2007, citing a changing political mission, reduced budgets, and changes in technology.Delano's two school districts currently operate eight elementary schools, three middle schools, three comprehensive high schools and two alternative high schools. The city has its own police department and contracts with the Kern County Fire Department for fire services, EMS services are privately provided by local company, Delano Ambulance Service.

Greta Van Susteren

Greta Conway Van Susteren (born June 11, 1954) is an American commentator and former television news anchor for CNN, Fox News, and NBC News. She hosted Fox News's On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren for 14 years (2002–2016) before departing for MSNBC, where she hosted For the Record with Greta for roughly six months in 2017. A former criminal defense and civil trial lawyer, she appeared as a legal analyst on CNN co-hosting Burden of Proof with Roger Cossack from 1994 to 2002, playing defense attorney to Cossack's prosecutor. In 2016, she was listed as the 94th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, up from 99th in 2015.

Jill Dougherty

Jill Dougherty (born 1949) is an American journalist who has worked as a correspondent for CNN for more than 30 years. She served as White House Correspondent, Foreign Affairs correspondent covering the US State Department, US Affairs Editor, Managing Editor for CNN Asia/Pacific, and for almost a decade, as Moscow Bureau Chief.

Dougherty began her career as a Russian-language broadcaster and writer for Voice of America, USSR Division. After three decades at CNN, she left in 2013, but continues to report on Russia as an analyst and independent consultant.

John Chancellor

John William Chancellor (July 14, 1927 – July 12, 1996) was an American journalist who spent most of his career with NBC News. He served as anchor of the NBC Nightly News from 1970 to 1982 and continued to do editorials and commentaries for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw until 1993.

John Charles Daly

John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly (February 20, 1914 – February 24, 1991), generally known as John Charles Daly or simply John Daly, was an American radio and television personality, CBS News broadcast journalist, ABC News executive and TV anchor and a game show host, best known as the host and moderator of the CBS television panel show What's My Line?

In World War II, he was the first national correspondent to report the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as covering much of the front-line news from Europe and North Africa.

John Houseman

John Houseman (born Jacques Haussmann; September 22, 1902 – October 31, 1988) was a British-American actor and producer who became known for his highly publicized collaboration with director Orson Welles from their days in the Federal Theatre Project through to the production of Citizen Kane and his collaboration, as producer of The Blue Dahlia, with writer Raymond Chandler on the screenplay. He is perhaps best known for his role as Professor Charles W. Kingsfield in the film The Paper Chase (1973), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He reprised his role as Kingsfield in the 1978 television series adaptation.

Houseman was also known for his commercials for the brokerage firm Smith Barney. He had a distinctive English accent, a product of his schooling.

KWIX

KWIX (1230 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a news talk format. Licensed to Moberly, Missouri, United States, the station serves the Moberly MO Metro area. The station is currently owned by Alpha Media, through licensee Alpha Media Licensee LLC and features programming from CBS Radio, Missouri Net, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, Lou Dobbs, Jim Bohannon, Gary Sullivan, Red Eye Radio and Dave Ramsey.Throughout the day the on-air programmers who can be heard on KWIX include, Brad Boyer, Bill Peterson, Brad Tregnago, Aaron Wood, Eric Messersmith, Brian Hauswirth, Matt Tarnawa, Matt Elliott, Brennan Holtzclaw, Dan Patterson and Curt Derr.

In the early 1990s, KWIX-KRES radio's on-air staff included St. Louis-area transplants such as Bryan Polcyn, Doug Stewart, Mike Roberts and Paul Lewandowski.

This is a reassignment of a callsign. The original KWIX was a shortwave radio station based in San Francisco, California, commissioned by the federal government in World War II. It served as the basis for what later became the Voice of America.

Pashto media

Pashto media includes Pashto literature, Pashto-language newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations, as well as Pashto films and Pashto internet. Pashto media involves the Pashtuns of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Pashtun diaspora around the world.

Sanford J. Ungar

Sanford J. "Sandy" Ungar (born 1945) is an American journalist, author, and the inaugural director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University. He was the tenth president of Goucher College and the 24th director of Voice of America.

Simple English

Simple English may refer to:

Basic English, a controlled language, created by Charles Kay Ogden, which only contains a small number of words

Simplified Technical English, a controlled language originally developed for aerospace industry maintenance manuals

Special English, a form of English used by the Voice of America broadcasting service

Special English

Special English is a controlled version of the English language first used on 19 October 1959, and still presented daily by the United States broadcasting service Voice of America (VOA). World news and other programs are read one-third slower than regular VOA English. Reporters avoid idioms and use a core vocabulary of about 1500 words, plus any terms needed to explain a story. The intended audience is intermediate to advanced learners of English.

The Voice (U.S. TV series)

The Voice is an American singing competition television series broadcast on NBC. It premiered during the spring television cycle on April 26, 2011, and expanded into the fall cycle with the premiere of the third season on September 10, 2012. Based on the original The Voice of Holland, it has aired fifteen seasons and aims to find currently unsigned singing talent (solo or duets, professional and amateur) contested by aspiring singers, age 13 or over, drawn from public auditions.The winner is determined by television viewers voting by telephone, internet, SMS text, and iTunes Store purchases of the audio-recorded artists' vocal performances. They receive US$100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group for winning the competition. The winners of the fifteen seasons have been: Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, Tessanne Chin, Josh Kaufman, Craig Wayne Boyd, Sawyer Fredericks, Jordan Smith, Alisan Porter, Sundance Head, Chris Blue, Chloe Kohanski, Brynn Cartelli, and Chevel Shepherd.

The series employs a panel of four coaches who critique the artists' performances and guide their teams of selected artists through the remainder of the season. They also compete to ensure that their act wins the competition, thus making them the winning coach. The original panel featured Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton; the panel for the sixteenth season features Levine, Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. Other coaches from previous seasons include Shakira, Usher, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, and Jennifer Hudson. In the fifteenth season, Kelsea Ballerini was featured as an off-screen fifth coach for "Comeback Stage" contestants. Bebe Rexha took over as the "Comeback Stage" coach for the sixteenth season.

Tom Shales

Thomas William Shales (born November 3, 1944) is an American writer and critic of television programming and operations. He is best known as the television critic for The Washington Post, for which Shales received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1988. He also writes a column for the television news trade publication NewsPro, published by Crain Communications.

Voice of America Bethany Relay Station

The Voice of America's Bethany Relay Station was located in Butler County, Ohio's Union Township about 25 miles (40 km) north of Cincinnati, adjacent to the transmitter site of WLW. Starting in 1944 during World War II it transmitted American radio programming abroad on shortwave frequencies, using 200,000-watt transmitters built by Crosley engineers under the direction of R.J. Rockwell. The site was developed to provide 'fallback' transmission facilities inland and away from the East Coast, where transmitters were located in Massachusetts, on Long Island in New York, and in New Jersey, all close to the ocean, subject to attack from German submarines or other invading forces.

Programming originated from studios in New York until 1954, when VOA headquarters moved to Washington.

The station operated until 1994. The facility took its name from the Liberty Township community of Bethany, which was about two miles north of the facility.

WRMI

WRMI (Radio Miami International) is a shortwave radio station broadcasting from Okeechobee, Florida, United States. WRMI is a commercial radio station that sells airtime to businesses and organizations. It also relays several international news stations including Radio Ukraine International, Radio Slovakia International, Radio Tirana, Radio France International, Famagusta Gazette Radio, Radio Prague, the Italian Broadcasting Corporation, NHK World Radio Japan, and Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior, all of which would otherwise be difficult to receive in the Western Hemisphere. It also features headline news stories from the Voice of America, several religious programs, as well as original and syndicated programs. According to its 1996 station record from the Federal Communications Commission, WRMI's broadcast target zones were the Caribbean, Central America and South America. In particular, much of its programming was targeted towards Cuba. However, as of 2016, WRMI had 23 antennas targeting many zones worldwide. Its broadcasts are also easily received in the United States and Canada. WRMI airs programs in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Slovak.

WRN Broadcast

WRN Broadcast, formerly known as World Radio Network, is an international broadcast services company based in the United Kingdom that works with television channels and radio broadcasters, media owners and brands enabling them to deliver content to target audiences worldwide. WRN Broadcast has developed since 1992 when it was founded as an international radio distribution company known as World Radio Network, which redistributed news and information programs produced by various international public radio networks.

Following its acquisition of TSI Broadcast in April 2009, the company expanded its offering to become a comprehensive global broadcast services provider working across traditional and digital platforms to supply television and radio clients with worldwide coverage and managed services.

Clients include Top Up TV and Wananchi Group Holdings. WRN Broadcast also works with MUTV, Jazz FM and Voice of America.WRN Broadcast Limited was acquired by Babcock International Group plc in March 2015.

Willis Conover

Willis Clark Conover, Jr. (December 18, 1920 – May 17, 1996) was a jazz producer and broadcaster on the Voice of America for over forty years. He produced jazz concerts at the White House, the Newport Jazz Festival, and for movies and television. By arranging concerts where people of all races were welcome, he is credited with desegregating Washington D.C. nightclubs. Conover is credited with keeping interest in jazz alive in the countries of Eastern Europe through his nightly broadcasts during the Cold War.

Yusuf Jameel

Yusuf Jameel is a Kashmiri journalist known for his coverage of the Kashmir conflict, the disputed Himalayan region over which India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. Kashmir. Jameel has written for BBC News, Reuters, Time, Voice of America, the New York Times, and the Indian newspapers Deccan Chronicle and the Asian Age. He received an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists in 1996, which recognized him as having had "to withstand pressure and attacks from all parties to the conflict in Kashmir".

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