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.
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 22.214.171.124 (talk) 05:22, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
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. 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.
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.
It would be interesting to know why someone keeps adding the inaccurate and inflammatory description of VOA, calling it "the official external propaganda 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 (talk • contribs) 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)
VOA has been described as propaganda by these top-quality scholarly sources:
- "Propaganda seeks to achieve a response, a specific reaction or action from an audience that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist. ... For example, people who listened to the Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War found satisfaction for their hunger for information, and thus it appeared that VOA had altruistic motives. The information they received from VOA, however, was ideologically injected to shape positive perceptions about the United States and its allies and to manipulate attitudes toward democracy, capitalism, and freedom." Propaganda and persuasion. Garth S. Jowett, Victoria O'Donnell. SAGE, 2006.
- The Voice of America and the domestic propaganda battles, 1945–1953 David F. Krugler. University of Missouri Press, 2000.
- The Voice of America: propaganda and democracy, 1941–1945, Holly Cowan Shulman. University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.
- "The Voice of America and Iran, 1949–1953: U.S. Liberal Developmentalism, Propaganda, and the Cold War". Deborah Kisatsky. Intelligence and National Security, Autumn 1999, Volume 14, pp. 168–193.
- "By far, the most well-known propaganda arm of the U.S. government during the early years of the Cold War was the State Department's Voice of America." The rhetorical presidency, propaganda, and the Cold War, 1945–1955. Shawn J. Parry-Giles. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002.
- Historical dictionary of American propaganda. Martin J. Manning, Herbert Romerstein. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004.
- Britain, America and Anti-Communist: The Information Research Department, Andrew Defty. Psychology Press, 2007
- "In West Germany, for example, while only 9 percent of the population listened to the blatantly propagandist East German broadcasts, 65 percent listened to the Voice of America. Although both stations were designed to disseminate propaganda, the subtle tone and high news and entertainment value of the Voice of America attracted a far larger audience." Propaganda and information warfare in the twenty-first century: altered images and deception operations. Scot Macdonald. Taylor & Francis, 2007.
- "It is for this reason that many people still perceive the VOA as an instrument of American propaganda." Page 4 of the introduction, Voice of America: a history. Alan L. Heil. Columbia University Press, 2003
- "The governments of many states have information, publicity, policy, or propaganda departments, which are well organized, staffed, and generously financed, functioning at home as well as abroad." (VOA is given as a "vast" example in the footnotes.) The international law of propaganda: the ideological instrument and world public order. Bhagevatula Satyanarayana Murty. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1989.
- "...the first peacetime propaganda program in American history." Propaganda and democracy: the American experience of media and mass persuasion. J. Michael Sproule. Cambridge University Press, 1997.
- "Weekly Propaganda Directive" ... guidelines for Voice of America broadcasts for Palestine. Nazi propaganda for the Arab world. Jeffrey Herf. Yale University Press, 2009.
- "American broadcast propaganda such as Voice of America and Voice of Victory." "Sherwood saw telling the truth as the most effective propaganda approach, and in due course inaugurated Voice of America, which in the long run probably was America's best propaganda channel." Propaganda, censorship and Irish neutrality in the Second World War. Robert Cole. Edinburgh University Press, 2006.
- "By accepted definition VOA is a propaganda broadcaster and hence cannot go against the foreign policy of the government of the day." History of international broadcasting, volume 2. James Wood. IET, 2000.
- "The Reagan Doctrine's rearticulation of Cold War policies and virulent anti-communist sentiment, has once again brought ideological clarity to America's propaganda efforts, and the VOA's participation in a highly centralized and technologically sophisticated governmental media diplomacy apparatus has been significant." Page 4 of the Introduction, The Voice of America: from detente to the Reagan doctrine. Laurien Alexandre. Ablex Pub. Corp., 1988.
- "By 1950 the United States had embarked on a full-throttle overseas propaganda offensive..." (using VOA). U.S. television news and Cold War propaganda, 1947–1960. Nancy E. Bernhard. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
- "Finally, in the 1970s, VOA changed its 'propaganda' delivery style, adopting a format of accurate, objective, and wider coverage, factual and balanced news, and a clear distinction between news and commentary. The dramatic changes not only preserved the broadcasts' effectiveness as propaganda, but actually enhanced the station's image as a genuine 'voice of America'." An orchestra of voices: making the argument for greater speech and press. Xupei Sun, Elizabeth C. Michel. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001.
- Selling the American way: U.S. propaganda and the Cold War. Laura A. Belmonte. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.
- "...Truman administration had achieved with its revived postwar radio propaganda program. In five years the VOA had emerged..." "The appeal of VOA propaganda..." Parting the curtain: propaganda, culture, and the Cold War, 1945–1961. Walter L. Hixson. Palgrave Macmillan, 1997.
- "These characteristics vary according to the intensity of the propaganda: white propaganda is a relatively mild message in which the true source is identified and the message is accurate (e.g. Voice of America broadcasts during the Cold War.)" The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, volume 3. Irving B. Weiner, W. Edward Craighead. John Wiley and Sons, 2010.
- Radio wars: truth, propaganda, and the struggle for radio Australia. Errol Hodge. Cambridge University Press Archive, 1995.
Reverted good faith 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
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.) http://www.bbg.gov/pressroom/press-releases/VOA_Ends_Croatian_Broadcasts.html
The Croatian homepage remains online, but is frozen as of Nov. 23. It includes a farewell message from the staff of the Croatian Service. http://www.voanews.com/croatian/news/
This change should be reflected in the main VOA page.
Edit request regarding BBG
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)
VOA vis a vis FCC
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)