Talk:Voice of America

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Wasn't Voice of America created by Robert E. Sherwood within the Foreign Information Service of the COI ? I read that in: Allan M. Winkler, The Politics of Propaganda (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1978), page 27.

Update: There was only mentioned the "newly founded VOA", not by wohm it was created.

Lib hist (talk) 10:54, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

The Voice of America was created under the aegis of the Coordinator of Information. Some of the earlier text in this entry conflates the Coordinator of Information (William J. Donovan) with the Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs (Nelson A. Rockefeller). I haven't attempted to correct this error -- the text is rather confused, and really deserves a thorough write-through -- but I have updated the specific information relating to the first VOA broadcast. Robert Sherwood coined what became the name of the organization (it began, in German, as "Voices from America" and eventually morphed into "Voice of America"), but I don't know that it is correct to say he "created" VOA. Donovan was the COI when the first VOA program went on the air. Sherwood was his nominal subordinate. (Sherwood was a presidential speechwriter, and a confidant of Roosevelt.) The actual work of putting VOA on the air was performed under the direction of John Houseman. All three men probably deserve some credit for "creating" the institution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:22, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Ethiopia jamming[edit]

This section should be removed or heavily revised, especially the BOLD:

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]

Who are all these "critics"? And what's with this homage to the un-linked Sheckler? (And don't get me started on the syntax.) This passage was written by someone with an agenda.

KWWinch (talk) 23:59, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


It would be interesting to know why someone keeps adding the inaccurate and inflammatory description of VOA, calling it "the official external propaganda[1] institution of the United States federal government." If you look up "propaganda" in the Wikipedia, or any dictionary, it is clearly not the appropriate term to apply to VOA, the BBC, CBC, Radio France International or any other international broadcaster that presents "balanced and comprehensive" news. Propaganda is one-sided. If you look at the VOA product you can see there is professional journalistic balance. Propaganda is by its very definition not balanced. Does VOA support democracy and a free press, yes. Does that goal make it a propaganda organization, no. Also, there is nothing in the "references" cited by this person that would support any kind of a legitimate argument; in fact one of the references cited is about migratory bird patterns; how exactly does this apply? Just because the word "propaganda" appears in the title of a so-called reference, does not mean that term applies to everything mentioned in the book. If you want to have a legitimate debate about the balance of a story or VOA’s news coverage that is one thing, but repeatedly misusing a derogatory label simply indicates some hidden motive rather than a serious effort to explain anything to Wikipedia’s readers that would be useful to them. Slinging around a label to tar the reputation or an organization is not serious journalism. And in the interests of full disclosure, I am an employee of the Voice of America. VOAKyle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by VOAKyle (talkcontribs) 14:48, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

The PBS URL was no good, as you pointed out on your user talk page. However, the article here lists a number of reliable sources describing VOA as propaganda. Certainly, the word propaganda has a widely known negative aspect, but it is also used to describe positive messages, or neutral messages which downplay the negative. Common advertising has been described as propaganda by scholarly sources. Propaganda at its most neutral sense, means "to disseminate or promote particular ideas." Propaganda is communication from a large organization given with the intent to persuade. White propaganda is never deceitful or false. A spin doctor who launders the news to minimize negative information is a propagandist. Binksternet (talk) 17:28, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

RT essentially uses the same narrative you are using here, so if the RT page has a line for propaganda, then in fairness so should VoA - or both should not be labelled such and let the reader decide for themselves. Slipping in token opposition doesn't make VoA any less suspicious than other state-run agencies. and I'm not sure you are listing good examples....Even in Canada itself the CBC has been known as biased and there are calls to abolish / privatize it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 9 December 2016 (UTC)


VOA has been described as propaganda by these top-quality scholarly sources:

Seems like we have enough here to back up the fact that VOA is considered propaganda. Binksternet (talk) 19:25, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Reverted good faith edit[edit]

The recent reversion of an IP edit appears to be removing of additions that push a certain point of view and where it was placed, in the intro, may be considered WP:UNDUE. Furthermore, it was unreferenced by a reliable source(s). If this content belongs anywhere perhaps it belongs in the Controversy section. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:46, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

That text was removed before though and he just reverted the edit even though he was told why it was bad. Do we still assume good faith or no? Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 00:37, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
The POV was that the VOA has never proved itself to be objective, though that is in its directive. Nothing in the article body discussed this so the addition was a violation of WP:LEAD. This problem could not be easily fixed by putting the "objective" complaint in the article body, but there was no cited reference. Until a reliable source can be found to say the VOA has not been objective, the IP addition cannot be used. Binksternet (talk) 04:47, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Croatian Service now defunct[edit]

The Broadcasting Board of Governors ended VOA Croatian Service broadcasts and its associated website on November 23, 2011, almost 20 years after it first went on the air in 1992. (The former Serbo-Croatian service was among VOA's earliest, dating to 1943.)

The Croatian homepage remains online, but is frozen as of Nov. 23. It includes a farewell message from the staff of the Croatian Service.

This change should be reflected in the main VOA page.

Edit request regarding BBG[edit]

Under the "Overview" section, it says that the Voice of America in 1999 fell under the Broadcasting Board of directors, but this should say "Broadcasting Board of Governors," otherwise known as the BBG (as stated immediately following this error). Fantasy7 (talk) 18:05, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Okay, I will fix that. Thanks for bringing it up! Binksternet (talk) 19:03, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

VOA vis a vis FCC[edit]

The reason that the VOA does not have an FCC call sign is that the FCC does not regulate US-government radio stations. The NTIA regulates government stations while the FCC regulates civilian stations. NTIA doesn't license stations since it's silly for the government to license itself. It does coordinate government radio stations and issues blocks of call signs for delegation to government agencies (including the FCC for civilian use!). Co149 (talk) 23:28, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Out of date programming section[edit]

Briefly comparing the programming section to the broadcast list at VOA, I see only one program that is still on (Straight Talk Africa). Richigi (talk) 01:46, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

governments sponsored jamming[edit]

You hardly can sponsor anything in a Communist state, where everything belongs to the state - ground for jamming devices, energy, staff.Xx236 (talk) 10:20, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Radio Moscow[edit]

The Soviets not only jammed but distributed their propaganda.Xx236 (talk) 10:41, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

So? The Soviet Union no longer exists. How exactly is this related to the article? Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 08:59, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Trump in lead[edit]

How is this not WP:Undue? Seems to fail WP:Recent and purely speculative criticism like this should not be singled out in the lead. Marquis de Faux (talk) 01:17, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

I agree. I was planning on bringing up the same point. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 01:23, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, undue. Conjecture about what will happen is not for the lead section. That lead is for stuff that has actually happened. Binksternet (talk) 07:53, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Requested Move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Andrewa (talk) 01:04, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Voice of AmericaVOA – The news source is known by the initials VOA. (talk) 20:45, 16 September 2017 (UTC).

  • Oppose Deeply known WP:COMMONNAME; Americans know it by the full name, and overseas its the same. Nate (chatter) 22:59, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Most commonly known by the unambiguous name "Voice of America" - no need to move to a lesser known acronym. AusLondonder (talk) 01:25, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the common name should stay. Randy Kryn (talk) 15:12, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.