Tag Archives: VOA

Dan Robinson: “Voice of America has never been independent”

SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, is the former White House, Congressional and foreign correspondent for the Voice of America.

I’ve just learned that Dan has authored a piece in the Columbia Journalism Review titled Spare the indignation: Voice of America has never been independent“:

Spare the indignation: Voice of America has never been independent

I encourage you to read his full article and please direct your comments to the original post on the Columbia Journalism Review website.

VOA Museum celebrates VOA 75th anniversary

Photo from the control room at the VOA Bethany museum.

(Source: Southgate ARC)

National VOA Museum to celebrate 75th anniversary of Voice of America

There’s an important birthday celebration in West Chester this year: the 75th anniversary of the Voice of America.

“We’re planning a series of events and exhibits this year to celebrate the VOA’s commitment across America and the world to embrace best practices in telling the truth in order to let the world decide,” said Jack Dominic, museum executive director.

The VOA was formed in 1942 as a way to counteract Nazi propaganda in Germany and provide war news to American troops and Allies overseas.

“WLWO, a division of WLW, was transmitting news via shortwave radio overseas long before 1942,” said Dominic. “In fact, broadcasters from WLWO provided the nucleus of the early VOA broadcasting team. Cincinnati’s shortwave technology and its broadcasters truly helped the U.S. win the war.”

The reentrant rhombic antennas at the VOA-Bethany station in West Chester were so powerful that they became quickly known as the “siege guns of radio” for their capacity to reach the far corners of Nazi-occupied countries with little audible distortion. A frustrated Adolph Hitler was known to call the VOA “those Cincinnati liars.”

The VOA-Bethany station transmitted VOA news to Europe during WW II and South America during the Cold War through its innovative shortwave rhombic antenna network developed by the Crosley Corporation. The Bethany station was decommissioned by the federal government in 1994, after shortwave radio technology was supplanted by television and satellite technology.

“The men and women who made up the VOA broadcasting system were our journalistic beacons of light during the 20th century,” said Ken Rieser, president of the VOA museum board.

“Elmer Davis, John Houseman, Edward R. Murrow and Robert Bauer all had positions of leadership within the VOA.

“We hope that the VOA enjoys many more years of embracing the highest of journalistic standards in its reporting so it inspires people in war-torn and oppressed countries to hope, dream and work toward democracy.”

The Voice of America, based in Washington, D.C., is the world’s largest international broadcaster, providing balanced and comprehensive news and information in 47 languages to 236 million people each week, according to the VOA website. It continues to reach people in countries lacking a fee press today and its languages include: Russian; Ukrainian; Azerbaijani; Serbian; Armenian; Thai; and Somali.

The National VOA Museum of Broadcasting is located in the art deco Bethany station building and houses three collections: Gray History of Wireless radios; VOA-Bethany station’s Voice of America control room; and the Media Heritage Cincinnati Museum of Broadcast History. The West Chester Amateur Radio Assn. operates station WC8VOA from the museum building.

The VOA museum now offers an annual $50 membership that provides free admission for the member, an adult guest, and up to three children under 12. Members also receive updates and advance information about new exhibits and programs.

For $250, members receive the benefits above, as well as a 50 percent discount on any and all lectures, programs or visiting exhibit tickets.

The National VOA Museum of Broadcasting is open the third Saturday of each month from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children. The museum is located at 8070 Tylersville Road in West Chester.

Museum will be open this Saturday, Feb. 18

For more information, visit the VOA Museum website at www.voamuseum.org or call (513) 777-0027.

To access Voice of America programs, visit www.voanews.com

The VOA Bethany museum is certainly worth a visit! I went there in 2015 and was most impressed with the work these volunteers have accomplished.

Click here for our short photo tour.

NPR: VOA Chief On The Future Of The News Service

(Source: NPR)

John Lansing is the CEO of the governing body in charge of the government-funded Voice of America news service.

He talks with Steve Inskeep about the agency’s operations under the new administration.

Click here for the full story at NPR.

The Voice of America celebrates 75 years

Willis Conover interviewing Louis Armstrong (Photo source: Inside VOA)

(Source: VOA News)

A little more than seven weeks after the United States officially entered World War II, a live, 15-minute shortwave radio broadcast was transmitted into Germany from a small studio in New York City on February 1, 1942.

It was introduced by the American patriotic song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Then, announcer William Harlan Hale’s voice could be heard saying: “We bring you Voices from America. Today, and daily from now on, we shall speak to you about America and the war. The news may be good for us. The news may be bad. But we shall tell you the truth.”

That was the very first broadcast from what, 75 years later, is now the Washington-headquartered Voice of America.

By the end of the war, VOA was broadcasting in 40 languages, with programming consisting of music, news and commentary.

Since then, VOA has grown into a multimedia international broadcasting service, with programming and content in 47 languages on multiple platforms, including radio, television and mobile.

On that first broadcast, announcer Hale’s words set the standard for future programs.

?And since 1976, his words have carried the weight of the VOA Charter, which by law requires VOA to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” What’s more, it says VOA news must “be accurate, objective and comprehensive.”

“It’s been 75 years since we first began broadcasting objective news and information around the world,” said VOA Director Amanda Bennett. “And now, I think what we do here is more important than ever.”

Over the years, VOA correspondents and freelance reporters in many parts of the world have been on the scene to cover major world events.

In 1989, VOA East European correspondent Jolyon Naegele reported on demonstrations in Czechoslovakia and the fall of the communist government. Later that year, on the other side of the world, VOA increased programming and added staff to its Beijing bureau to cover the student-led demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Beijing Bureau chief Al Pessin was expelled from China for his reporting.

Today, VOA broadcasts news and other programming through 2,500 television and radio affiliates around the world. At the same time, it provides content for mobile devices and interacts with audiences through social media.

As of 2016, VOA’s weekly audience across all platforms averaged more than 236 million people worldwide.

Check out more information on our VOA 75th anniversary page.

Click here to read this article on the VOA News website.

75 years ago today, VOA started German broadcasts

Voice of America Bethany Relay Station, May 2015

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alexander (DL4NO), who writes:

Hello Thomas,

I just heard a short feature on Deutschlandfunk: 75 years ago today VoA started transmitting – in German.

vy 73
Alexander
DL4NO

Many thanks for the tip, Alexander!

The Deutschlandfunk article, of course, is in German. I found, that Google Translate did an acceptable job translating it into English.