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Portion of a Voice of America VOA QSL Card circa 1949.
Featured, Glos Ameryki, History, Newspaper Articles, OWI, Public Diplomacy, Radio, RFE, RL, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Biden can combat foreign propaganda by reforming Voice of America

OPINION My op-ed in The Washington Examiner was written in response to recent media reports suggesting that leaders who have been long in charge of both the Voice of America (VOA) and the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) are responsible for a management culture which allows major abuses of journalistic practices and the VOA Charter to occur, such as…

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Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty Building in Prague. Photo by Ted Lipien. January 17, 2021.
Featured, Radio, RFE, RL, Russia

Putin is blackmailing US taxpayer-funded Radio Liberty | Washington Examiner

by Ted Lipien in The Washington Examiner May 03, 2021 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, where I served briefly as president and CEO until earlier this year, is under assault by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Through his agencies and obedient courts, he is blackmailing the media organization funded by U.S. taxpayers, issuing fines and threats of criminal prosecutions unless Radio Liberty agrees…

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Cold War, Featured, Glos Ameryki, History, International Broadcasting, VOA, VOA80, Women

Discrimination of Refugee Broadcasters by Voice of America Management Has Been Hidden for Decades

Treated for decades as second-class citizens and denied direct access to wire services by native-born, mostly white, mostly left-leaning, and mostly male Voice of America (VOA) managers and reporters, these VOA immigrant broadcasters, some of them outstanding women journalists who spent time in communist prisons, did their best to win the propaganda war with the Soviet Union and its satellite…

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Children, Cold War, Featured, Glos Ameryki, History, International Broadcasting, Media, Poland, Radio, RFE, VOA, Women

Radio was a ‘childhood companion’ of Polish Nobel Prize author Olga Tokarczuk

I learned something today by reading on the Internet the Nobel Prize in Literature Lecture delivered on December 7, 2019 at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm by Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk. As a young girl growing up in Poland in the 1960s and the 1970s, a country at that time still under communist rule until 1989, she was often listening…

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Cold War, Featured, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Russia, VOA

George Soros’ building in NYC saw Voice of America’s early love affair with Stalin

By Ted Lipien for Cold War Radio Museum The Argonaut Building in New York City at 224 West 57 and Broadway, where first Voice of America (VOA) radio programs were produced in 1942, is now the headquarters of Open Society Foundations (OSF), formerly the Open Society Institute, originally created and funded by billionaire investor and philanthropist  George Soros to help countries move…

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Featured, Glos Ameryki, History, Photos, Poland, VOA

Stefan Korboński with Tadeusz Lipień in 1976

My photo with the great Polish patriot, anti-Nazi fighter, and political leader Stefan Korboński was taken on June 20, 1976 in front of the White House on the day of my daughter’s baptism. Stefan and his wife, Zofia Korbońska, my colleague in the Polish Service of the Voice of America (VOA), were Leokadia W. Lipien’s (Lodi Rohrer) godparents. Stefan Korboński (2…

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Cold War, Featured, OWI, VOA

Voice of America? – Why The Question Mark?

In 1948, Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate charged that Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts contained “baloney,” “lies,” “insults,” “drivel,” “nonsense and falsehoods,” amounting to “useless expenditures” and “a downright tragedy.”

In 1948, U.S. senators called VOA programs “ridiculous,” “unjustified” and “deplorable.” Liberal, moderate, and conservative lawmakers, some of whom even accused the Voice of America of “slander” and “libel” in how several U.S. states were described in radio programs acquired from NBC under a government contract, did not seek to de-fund and close down VOA but wanted to make it more effective in presenting America to the world and in countering propaganda from Soviet Russia. Their criticism eventually led to partial personnel and programming reforms in the early 1950s. In 2019, history seems to be repeating itself, with similar problems being reported at the Voice of America as the United States tries to respond to propaganda from Putin’s Russia, communist China, theocratic Iran and other nations under authoritarian rule. Today, there is little interest in the U.S. Congress and no obvious signs of management reforms, while some of the problems seem now more difficult to solve than those besetting the broadcaster in 1948.

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Featured, History, VOA

Stalin Prize-Winning Chief Writer of Voice of America News

Cold War Radio Museum

The News Bureau room of the Office of War Information (OWI), November 1942, at about the same time Howard Fast started writing Voice of America newscasts. The photograph’s official caption said: “It is arranged much the same way as the city room of a daily newspaper. Here, war news of the world is disseminated. In the foreground, are editors’ desks handling such special services as trade press, women’s activities, and campaigns. The news desk is in the background.” Smith, Roger, photographer. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540.

VOA logo, 2019.
Yankee Doodle Voice of America (VOA) signature tune reportedly proposed by VOA chief news writer (1942-1943) Howard Fast who later received the 1953 Stalin International Peace Prize.

 “I established contact at the Soviet embassy with people who spoke English and were willing to feed me important bits and pieces from their side of the wire. I had long ago, somewhat facetiously, suggested ‘Yankee Doodle’ as our musical signal, and now that silly little jingle was a power cue, a note of hope everywhere on earth…” 1

Howard Fast, 1953 Stalin Peace Prize winner, best-selling author, journalist, former Communist Party member and reporter for its newspaper The Daily Worker, decribing his role as the chief writer of Voice of America (VOA) radio news translated into multiple languages and rebroadcast for four hours daily to Europe through medium wave transmitters leased from the BBC in 1942-1943. Howard Fast, Being Red (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), pp. 18-19.

Notes:

  1. Howard Fast, Being Red (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), 18-19.
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