Tag Archives: Voice of America

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.

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.

 

Citing a diminishing audience, US to close Iranawila Station in Sri Lanka

(Source: US Embassy in Sri Lanka)

The United States values its strong relationship with Sri Lanka and our bilateral partnership over the past 60 years. The Iranawila shortwave station, managed by an independent U.S. agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), is an example of this partnership. The shortwave station has transmitted Voice of America programs from Washington through shortwave radio signals to audiences around the world, bringing them news, music, and special interest programs about the United States. Without the support of Sri Lankan governments over many years, Voice of America could not have succeeded in its mission of telling America’s story to the world.

Over time, however, the audience for shortwave broadcasts has diminished. People are increasingly turning to other sources of news and information – including, but not limited to FM radio, satellite television, websites, and social media – often delivered via mobile phones. The BBG is committed to reaching audiences on their preferred media. Given changing audience habits and the increasing costs of operating shortwave transmission stations, the BBG decided to close the Iranawila station.

The land where the station is located was leased from, and is being returned to, the Government of Sri Lanka. During the time of its operation, the U.S. government has developed the Iranawila property, building roads, clearing and levelling the land, building drainage canals, fences, and modern office buildings. The U.S. government has also installed service connections to public utilities and 4.2Mw of onsite self-generated power. All of these improvements have significantly increased the property’s value, and the flexibility of the site to serve many roles in the future. The United States government is returning with gratitude its lease of over 400 acres of property in Iranawila back to the Government of Sri Lanka in its entirety, including any and all improvements.

Voice of America provides trusted and objective news and information in 47 languages to a measured weekly audience of more than 236.6 million people around the world. For nearly 75 years, VOA journalists have told American stories and supplied objective news and information about the US, their region and the world. For more information on VOA – www.voanews.com