Voice of America: Wikis


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Voice of America
Voice of America Logo.svg
Type International public broadcaster
Country United States (for external consumption only)
Owner Federal government of the United States
Affiliation World Radio Network
Official Website www.voanews.com

Voice of America (VOA) is the official external radio and television broadcasting service of the United States federal government. Its oversight entity is the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet around the world in forty-six languages, promoting a positive view of the United States.[1] Its day-to-day operations are supported by the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB).

VOA broadcasts by satellite and on FM, AM, and shortwave radio frequencies. It is also available through the Internet in both streaming media and downloadable formats at VOANews.com. VOA has affiliate and contract agreements with many radio and television stations and cable networks worldwide.


Transmission facilities

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

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 Bethany Relay Station operated from 1944 to 1994. Other former sites include California (Dixon, Delano), Hawaii, Okinawa, Liberia, Costa Rica, and Belize.

Currently, the VOA and the IBB continue to operate shortwave radio transmitters and antenna farms at one site in the United States, located near Greenville, North Carolina. They do not use FCC issued callsigns. Other radio stations on US soil are required by FCC rules to have and use callsigns.

The Voice of America is fully funded by the U.S. taxpayer. Congress appropriates funds annually. VOA's FY 2007 budget was $172.4 million.


The Voice of America currently broadcasts in 45 languages (TV marked with an asterisk):

The number of languages broadcast and the number of hours broadcast in each language vary according to the priorities of the United States Government and the world situation. In 2001, according to an International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) fact sheet, VOA broadcast in 53 languages, with 12 televised.[2] For example, in July 2007, VOA added 30 minutes to its daily Somali radio broadcast, providing a full hour of live, up-to-the-minute news and information to listeners.[3]


The Voice of America has been a part of several agencies:

From 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. The VOA was placed under the U.S. Information Agency in 1953. When the USIA was abolished in 1999, the VOA was placed under the Broadcasting Board of Directors, which is an autonomous U.S. government agency, with bipartisan membership. The Secretary of State has a seat on the BBG. [4].

VOA's parent organization is the presidentially-appointed Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The BBG was established as a buffer to protect VOA and other U.S.-sponsored, non-military, international broadcasters from political interference.



American private shortwave broadcasting before World War II

Before the Second World War, all American shortwave stations were in private hands.[5 ] The National Broadcasting Company's International, or White Network, which broadcast in six languages,[6] The Columbia Broadcasting System, whose Latin American international network consisted of sixty-four stations located in eighteen different countries, [7] as well as the Crosley Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, had shortwave transmitters. Experimental programming began in the 1930s. There were less than 12 transmitters, however. [8]

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. [9]

Washington observers felt this policy was to enforce the State Department's Good Neighbor Policy but many broadcasters felt that this was an attempt to direct censorship. [10]

In 1940, the Office of the Coordinator of Interamerican Affairs, a semi-independent agency of the U.S. State Department headed by Nelson Rockefeller, began operations. Shortwave signals to Latin America were regarded as vital to counter Nazi propaganda.[11] Initially, the Office of Coordination of Information sent releases to each station, but this was seen as an inefficient means of transmitting news. [5 ].

World War II: VOA Begins

In January 1942,[12] the U.S. government leased 15-minute blocks of time on each station, calling the program "The Voice of America," which included the Yankee Doodle interval signal. [13]

VOA was organized in 1942 under the Office of War Information with news programs aimed at areas in Japan and the south Pacific and in Europe and North Africa under the occupation of Nazi Germany and Japan. VOA began broadcasting on February 24, 1942. The initial announcement of the VOA stated, “Daily at this time, we shall speak to you about America and the war. The news may be good or bad. We shall tell you the truth.”[14] The Office of War Information took over VOA's operations when it was formed in mid 1942. The 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 [15].

Asian transmissions started with one transmitter in California in 1941; services were expanded by adding transmitters in Hawaii and, after recapture, the Philippines. [16].

By the end of the war, VOA had 39 transmitters and provided service in 40 languages. [17].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. [18]

About half of VOA’s services, including the Arabic service, were discontinued in 1945. [19]. Also in 1945, VOA was transferred to the Department of State.

The Cold War

In 1946, Voice of America was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of State.

In 1947, VOA started broadcasting in Russian with the intent to counter more harmful instances of Soviet propaganda directed against American leaders and policies.[20] The Soviet Union responded by initiating aggressive, electronic jamming of VOA broadcasts on 24 April 1949.[20]

Over the next few years, U.S. government debated the best role of the 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 6 hours a day by 1958. [21].

In 1952, the Voice of America installed a studio and relay facility aboard a converted U.S. Coast Guard cutter renamed Courier whose target audience was Russia and its allies. 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 the VOA passed from the State Department to the U.S. Information Agency when the latter was established in 1953. [22] to transmit worldwide, including to the countries behind the Iron Curtain and to the People's Republic of China (PRC). In the 1980s, the USIA established the WORLDNET satellite television service, and in 2004 WORLDNET was merged into VOA.

During the 1950s and 1960s, VOA broadcast American jazz, which was highly popular, world wide. For example, a program aimed at South Africa in 1956 broadcast 2 hours nightly, along with special programs such as “The Newport Jazz Festival”. This was done in association of tours by U.S. musicians, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington, sponsored by the State Department.[23]

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, Poland stopped jamming VOA, but Bulgaria continued to jam the signal through the 1970s. and Chinese-language VOA broadcasts were jammed beginning in 1956 and extending through 1976.[24] 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. [25] The People's Republic of China diligently jams VOA broadcasts[26]. Cuba has also been reported to interfere with VOA satellite transmissions to Iran from its Russian-built transmission site at Bejucal.[27] David Jackson, former director of the 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."[28]

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, VOA deftly 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 (even to its own audience) in January, 1997, as a cost-cutting measure. Today, stations are offered the VOA Music Mix service.

In 1989, Voice of America expanded 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 (1991 – present): Changes in services

With the break up of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, VOA added many additional language services to reach those areas. During the 1990s, VOA reached out to oppressed peoples around the world. This decade was marked by the additions of Tibetan, Kurdish (to Iran and Iraq), Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, and Kirundi and Kinyarwanda (to Central Africa/Rwanda) language services.

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, the Voice of America became the first[29] broadcast-news organization to offer continuously updated programs on the Internet. Content in English and 44 other languages is currently available online through a distributed network of commercial providers, using more than 20,000 servers across 71 countries. Since many listeners in Africa and other areas still receive much of their information via radio and have only limited access to computers, VOA continues to maintain regular shortwave-radio broadcasts.

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 American popular music with periodic brief news bulletins.

Laws governing VOA-IBB's activities

Under United States law (Section 501 of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948), the Voice of America is forbidden to broadcast directly to American citizens. The intent of the legislation is to protect the American public from propaganda actions by its own government.[30]

Although VOA does not broadcast domestically, Americans can access the programs through shortwave and streaming audio over the Internet.

Internal policies

The VOA Charter

Under the Eisenhower administration in 1959, VOA Director Harry Loomis commissioned a formal statement of principles to protect the integrity of VOA programming and define the organization's mission, This principle was issued by Director George V. Allen as a directive in 1960 and was endorsed in 1962 by USIA director Edward R. Murrow[31]. On July 12, 1976, 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.

"Two-Source Rule"

An internal policy of VOA News to build reliability is that any story broadcast must have two independently corroborating sources or have a staff correspondent actually witnessing an event, according to former VOA correspondent Alan Heil.[32] This rule was confirmed by Ted Iliff, Associate Director for Central Programming for VOA.[33]

Broadcasting Board of Governors services

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a bipartisan panel of eight private citizens appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate (the U.S. Secretary of State is an ex officio member of the Board), is the oversight body for official U.S. international broadcasts by both federal agencies and government-funded corporations. In addition to VOA, these include the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB, which includes Radio and TV Marti) and grantee corporations: the Middle East Broadcasting Network (MBN, which includes Radio Sawa and Al Hurra television in Arabic); Radio Farda (in Persian) for Iran; Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia, which are aimed at the ex-communist states and countries under oppressive regimes in Asia. In recent years, VOA has expanded its television coverage to many areas of the world.

Many Voice of America announcers, such as Willis Conover, host of Jazz USA, Pat Gates, host of the Breakfast Show in the 1980s, and Judy Massa became worldwide celebrities, although not in the United States.

The Voice of America headquarters is located at 330 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20237, USA.

Urdu Service

The Voice of America program Khabron Se Aage (Beyond the Headlines) is telecast in Pakistan by GEO TV, VOA's affiliate and one of the country's most popular stations. Voice of America pays an undisclosed amount of money to GEO TV to telecast its broadcast but in spite of this arrangement has been forced to take off many of its programmes on numerous occasions due to conflicts with GEO TV management. This half-hour program features reports on politics, social issues, science, sports, culture, entertainment, and other issues of interest to Pakistanis as seen by the US government.

Comparing VOA-RFE-RL-RM to other broadcasters

In 1996, the USA's international radio output consisted of 992 hours per week by VOA, 667 hpw by RFE/RL, and 162 hpw by Radio Marti.


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 part-time "stringers" throughout the world, who file in English or in one of the VOA's 44 other radio broadcast languages, 25 of which are also broadcast on television.

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.

Many of the radio and television broadcasts are available through VOA's website at www.VOANews.com.

Voice of America on relays & simulcasts on Radio Australia on digital radio.


VOA as a propaganda tool

Various sources consider Voice of America an instrument of the United States' propaganda campaigns.[34][35][36]

National sovereignty

The Cuban government and allied critics have suggested that the U.S. government violates national sovereignty by broadcasting and operating in their countries,[37] despite Cuba's own broadcasts to the US and elsewhere. This argument has been used to justify open attempts by the Cuban government to jam VOA broadcasts,[38][39][40] as well as respond with equally powerful shortwave transmissions of English-language political broadcasts and communiques directed at the United States. Time interval signals identical to those used by Radio Havana Cuba have also been detected in coded numbers station broadcasts that are allegedly linked to espionage activity in the U.S.[41]

Paying for appearances

Recently, news media have reported that VOA has for years been paying mainstream media journalists to appear on VOA shows. According to El Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald, these include: David Lightman, the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau chief; Tom DeFrank, head of the New York Daily News' Washington office; Helle Dale, a former director of the opinion pages of the Washington Times; and Georgie Anne Geyer, a nationally syndicated columnist.[42]

In response, spokesmen for the Broadcasting Board of Governors told the newspaper El Nuevo Herald that such payments do not pose a conflict of interest. "For decades, for many years, some of the most respectable journalists in the country have received payments to participate in programs of the Voice of America," one of the spokesmen, Larry Hart, told El Nuevo Herald.[42]

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 VOA's editorial independence from its governors. The 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.

Abdul Malik Rigi interview

On April 2, 2007, Abdul Malik Rigi, the leader of Jundullah, appeared on Voice of America Persian service. The network introduced him as "the leader of popular Iranian resistance movement". The interview and the introduction caused condemnation among some Iranian media that are funded by the Iranian government.[43][44] Jundullah is a Sunni Islamic insurgent organization based in Balochistan that claims to be fighting for the rights of the minority Sunni Muslims in Iran[45][46]

In January 2008, Ethiopia was accused of jamming the VOA Amharic and Oromifa programs.[47] The government denied the accusations claiming technical difficulties as the cause of radio disruptions. As jamming in Ethiopia continued, VOA was also accused of censoring news about death of civilians at the hand of the opposition. According to critics of VOA, the Amharic language VOA program "systematically excluded" news about the armed group ONLF's killing of numerous Ethiopian civilians near the end of 2007.[48]Pro-Ethiopian government critics of VOA will honor and remember "the bravery" of Annette Sheckler - the former head of the Horn of Africa VOA service who was fired after complaining against her bosses at the VOA executive management.[49]

See also


  1. ^ "Propaganda Reference. RED FILES: Propaganda Deep Background. 1999. PBS.org. BPS
  2. ^ International Broadcasting Board (IBB) Fact Sheet, Voice of America , 1942-2002 ; The World's Source for News
  3. ^ VOA Press Release, VOA Expands Broadcasts to Somalia
  4. ^ Rugh 2006, 14
  5. ^ a b Berg, Jerome S. On the Short Waves, 1923-1945: Broadcast Listening in the Pioneer Days of Radio. 1999, McFarland. ISBN 0786405066, page 105
  6. ^ Library of Congress. "NBC Resources Held by the Recorded Sound Section". Library of Congress
  7. ^ Chamberlain, A.B. "CBS International Broadcast Facilities". Proceedings of the IRE, Volume 30, Issue 3, March 1942 Page(s): 118 - 129, abstract at IEEE
  8. ^ Dizard, Wilson P. Inventing Public Diplomacy: The Story of the U.S. Information Agency 2004, Lynne Rienner Publishers, ISBN 158826288X, p. 24
  9. ^ Rose, Cornelia Bruère. National Policy for Radio Broadcasting. 1971, Ayer Publishing. ISBN 0405035802. Page 244
  10. ^ Time magazine. "NABusiness". Monday, July 24, 1939. Time.com
  11. ^ Dizard, ibid, p. 24
  12. ^ Sterling, Christopher H., and John M. Kittross. Stay Tuned: A History of American Broadcasting.2002, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0805826246. Page 263
  13. ^ Berg, op. cit, p. 105
  14. ^ Rugh, William A. American Encounters with Arabs: The "Soft Power" of U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Middle East. 2006, Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0275988171, page 13.
  15. ^ Dizard, ibid, p. 24-25
  16. ^ Dizard, ibid, p. 25
  17. ^ Dizard, ibid, p. 25
  18. ^ Sterling and Kittross, op. cit., p. 263
  19. ^ Rugh 2006, op. cit., 13
  20. ^ a b Cold War Propaganda by John B. Whitton, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Jan., 1951), pp. 151–153
  21. ^ Rugh 2006, op. cit., 13
  22. ^ Rugh 2006, op. cit., 13
  23. ^ Appy, Christian G. Cold War Constructions: The Political Culture of United States Imperialism. 2000, University of Massachusetts Press; ISBN 1558492186, page 126.
  24. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook, 1976 and 1979 editions
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ Bihlmayer, Ulrich (2006-09-12). "Fighting the Chinese Government “Firedragon”- Music Jammer AND “Sound of Hope” Broadcasting (SOH), Taiwan" (PDF). IARU Region 1 Monitoring System. http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/prcdragon.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  27. ^ "U.S.: Cuba Jamming TV Signals To Iran - Local News Story - WTVJ". http://www.nbc6.net/news/2334674/detail.html. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  28. ^ Jackson, David. "The Future of Radio II". World Radio TV Handbook, 2007 edition. 2007, Billboard Books. ISBN 0823059979. p 38.
  29. ^ Kern, Chris. "The Voice of America: First on the Internet". http://www.chriskern.net/history/voaFirstOnTheInternet.html. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  30. ^ Broderick, James F., and Darren W. Miller. Consider the Source: A Critical Guide to . Medford, NJ: Information Today, 2007. ISBN 0910965773, 9780910965774. p. 388
  31. ^ Rugh 2006, 13 - 14
  32. ^ Columbia University Press. Interview with Alan Heil, author of Voice of America
  33. ^ George Washington University Center for the Study of Globalization. Whose News? Implications of the Global Media Panel discussion, held April 5, 2005.
  34. ^ Shulman, Holly Cowan. The Voice of America: Propaganda and Democracy, 1941-1945. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.
  35. ^ Scott, Julia. "America's Propaganda War". 2 March 2005. Salon.com. Salon.com archive
  36. ^ Joyce, Christopher, and David Nordell. "Migrating Birds Fall Foul of America's Propaganda War". New Scientist. Issue 1708. March 1990. New Scientist
  37. ^ Karen Wald. "Cuba Battles for Sovereignty of the Airwaves". Latin America Press. http://www.skepticfiles.org/socialis/cuba_tv.htm.  
  38. ^ "IBB Fact Sheet". http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/usia/usiahome/ibbfacts.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  39. ^ "OCB Fact Sheet". http://ibb7-2.ibb.gov/pubaff/ocbfact.html. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  40. ^ "Harr, Radio and TV Marti". http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_12/issue_07/opinion_04.html. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  41. ^ Miami New Times, Espionage Is In The Air, February 8, 2001
  42. ^ a b Casey Woods. "Report: U.S. paid many other journalists". Miami Herald. http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/15513470.htm.  
  43. ^ "VoA interviews Iranian terrorist culprit in a sign of backing". Press TV. http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=4710&sectionid=351020101. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  44. ^ "Iranian speaker says U.S. supports "terrorists" - swissinfo". http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/international/ticker/detail/Iranian_speaker_says_U_S_supports_terrorists.html?siteSect=143&sid=7692846&cKey=1175790190000. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  45. ^ Preparing the Battlefield
  46. ^ Massoud, Ansari (January 16, 2006). "Sunni Muslim group vows to behead Iranians". Washington Times. http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060116-124019-6619r.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-05.  
  47. ^ Ethiopia accused of jamming VOA and DW programs
  48. ^ VOA Amharic accused of "systematically" censoring negative news about Ethiopian opposition
  49. ^ Ethiopians honor Annette Sheckler

External links

Simple English

Voice of America
File:Voice of America
Type International public broadcaster
Country United States (for people outside the United States)
Owner United States federal government
Official Website www.voa.gov

The Voice of America (VOA) is the official broadcasting service of the United States government. It is one of the best-known stations in international broadcasting. Along with English, VOA broadcasts in many other languages. VOA's broadcasts are made to share a positive view of the United States with the world. Americans in the United States are not part of VOA's intended audience, but many Americans do listen to the programming.

VOA was organized in 1942 under the Office of War Information with news programs aimed at Europe and North Africa occupied by Germany. VOA began broadcasting on February 24, 1942. Transmitters used by VOA came from shortwave transmitters used by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Voice of America began to transmit radio broadcasts into the Soviet Union on February 17, 1947.

During the Cold War, VOA was placed under the United States Information Agency. In the 1980s, VOA also added a television service, as well as special regional programs to Cuba, Radio Marti and TV Marti.


The Voice of America broadcasts in 46 different languages. Television broadcasts are marked with a star:

Other pages

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