Tag Archives: Voice of America

VOA museum marks 75th anniversary with gala

(Source: Journal News via Howard Bailen)

WEST CHESTER TWP. The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting will host “Celebrate the Voice of America under the Stars,” a romantic, Big Band dinner-and-dance party on Sept. 23 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the VOA museum.

The event will mark the 75th anniversary of the Voice of America and commemorate the Sept. 23, 1944 dedication of the VOA-Bethany Station.

Carmon DeLeone and his New Studio Big Band will provide entertainment and record a program for later broadcast on public radio station WVXU.

[…]For 50 years, the VOA-Bethany Station transmitted Voice of America broadcasts to countries worldwide that lacked a free press, first in Europe during World War II and to South America during the Cold War. It was decommissioned by the federal government in 1994.

The iconic art deco building has been developed into the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting with the help of the entire community, mostly with volunteer labor. Contributions and grants have been secured from local, regional and national companies and foundations.[…]

Read the full article at the Journal News online.

Click here to view our photos from the VOA Bethany Museum.

“Shifting away from shortwave”: Significant reductions for BBG under FY 2018 budget

Edward R. Murrow Transmission Site near Greenville, North Carolina

(Source: BBG Press Release via Dan Robinson)

FY 2018 budget request reflects key BBG priorities amid spending constraints

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Broadcasting Board of Governors today released the FY 2018 budget request to support key U.S. foreign policy goals by providing news and information around the world while accommodating the current tight fiscal climate.

“As is true throughout the federal government, the budgetary environment requires that we prioritize our resources while emphasizing impact and maintaining the level of excellence our audiences have come to expect,” said CEO John F. Lansing. “Despite reductions in spending, we are committed to our mission, impacting the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world by providing accurate, unbiased, and uncensored news and information.”

The tight fiscal environment necessitates BBG to improve operational efficiencies and make difficult resource trade-offs to effectively meet performance goals and support U.S. foreign policy priorities.

The $685.1 million budget request includes transmission, program and staffing reductions across all BBG networks—the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks—and the International Broadcasting Bureau, including the Office of Technology, Services and Innovation. This includes reducing, and in some cases, eliminating certain language service capacities; shifting away from shortwave transmissions where they have the least impact; and optimizing information technology.

Although the funding request represents a 12.9 percent reduction from the FY 2017 enacted budget, it prioritizes funding for U.S. foreign policy goals, including combatting violent extremism, countering Russian disinformation, and enhancing programming for North Korean audiences. It also capitalizes on the momentum gained from the streamlining of operations in 2016 and the aggressive shift to digital already underway at each of the five networks.

The request includes $680.4 million for International Broadcasting Operations, including Federal and non-Federal networks, as well as $4.7 million for Broadcasting Capital Improvements.

The FY 2018 budget request contains proposals to continue the agency’s responsive shift to the most effective media platforms, respond readily to crises, keep pace with shifts in audience demographics and interests, and sharpen strategy and results measurement to drive performance.

BBG’s extensive network of seasoned, professional and well-connected journalists is particularly strong in regions where ISIS, Russia, Iran, China and other global actors that do not share American values are attempting to make further inroads.

“Should Congress enact this budget, there is no doubt that staff reductions would be difficult,” Lansing said. “We will do everything possible to minimize the effect on our employees by emphasizing attrition, early retirement opportunities, and agency buyouts for federal employees wherever possible. Our staff and journalists are the core of what drives our impact around the world. We will do everything we can to safeguard our greatest asset.”

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.