Tag: BBG

RFE, VOA

Cold War Lessons for Voice of America in China

Cold War Radio Museum During the Cold War, it would have been unthinkable for the United States government to put in charge of U.S. international broadcasting through the Voice of America (VOA) an American businessman like Armand Hammer who had made millions for his company in various business deals with Soviet Russia. U.S. international broadcasting and business activities behind the…

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OWI, Presidents, VOA

Pro-Stalin Voice of America Propaganda Revealed in 1984 VOA Interview with Józef Czapski

Cold War Radio Museum A recent (2017) independent study by the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) focusing on Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts to Iran has found that under Obama administration officials these broadcasts “perpetuated to audiences the appearance of pro-regime [Iran] propaganda, rather than objective reporting, on the part of both the VOA and Farda.” Radio Farda broadcasts to…

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Audio, Glos Ameryki, History, Photo, Poland, Public Diplomacy, Radio, Russia, VOA

WWII Voice of America aired Stalin propaganda to cover up his role in Katyn massacre

WWII Voice of America aired Stalin propaganda to cover up his role in Katyn massacre

From deliberate pro-Stalin WWII propaganda to careless “pro-Puntin bias” — Avoiding propaganda pitfalls at Voice of America

By Ted Lipien

Official documents declassified and released by the National Archives since 2012 show that during World War II and for years afterwards, the U.S. Government-run Voice of America external radio station broadcast Soviet propaganda and disinformation to Poland and to other countries throughout the world with the intention of covering up Stalin’s crimes. This was done primarily in the interest of supporting immediate U.S. military and foreign policy wartime goals set by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and other high-ranking U.S. officials. It was a far cry from the promise enunciated in what was later presented as VOA’s first broadcast on February 25, 1942 or about that time. The Voice of America did not adopt its full official name until a few years later but it was the same broadcasting organization, first within the Office of War Information (OWI) and after 1945 within the U.S. State Department (VOA staff was reduced in 1945, but many former OWI broadcasters continued to be employed by the State Department. Sometime in early 1942, a broadcaster announced in the first German U.S. shortwave radio broadcast to Germany: “The news may be good. The news may be bad. But we shall tell you the truth.”

WWII diplomatic dispatches and other accounts prove beyond any doubt that following the wishes of the Roosevelt White House, its own parent agency, the Office of War Information–but largely on their own initiative and through the work of some of its staffers who later joined communist regimes in Eastern Europe–the Voice of America, although it was not yet its official name at the time, was guilty of hiding, censoring, distorting and minimizing news about Stalin’s order to kill Polish military officers and other POWs, estimated to number over 20,000, in in what became known as the 1940 Katyń Forest Massacre near Smolensk and at other locations in the Soviet Union.

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Cold War, Glos Ameryki, History, Photo, Poland, Public Diplomacy, VOA

Lech Walesa’s Nov. 15, 1989 speech in Congress was broadcast jointly by Voice of America and Polish Radio

Photograph of President George H.W. Bush and Lech Wałęsa was taken a day before Solidarity leader’s historic speech to the joint session of the United States Congress on November 15, 1989. The historic speech delivered on November 15, 1989 by Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa to the joint session of the United States Congress was broadcast to Poland in a joint…

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International Broadcasting

CUSIB Opposes BBG’s FY2013 Budget Proposal

Republished from CUSIB.org.February 17, 2012For Immediate Release Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting Opposes Broadcasting Board of Governors’ Budget Proposal for FY2013 The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) has issued the following statement after a careful review of the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ 161-page Budget Proposal for FY2013: “The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting is outraged by the Broadcasting Board…

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Glos Ameryki, History, International Broadcasting, Poland, VOA

CUSIB’s Ted Lipien warns against diminished public stake in U.S. international broadcasting

This report was published first by CUSIB. In an article published in American Diplomacy, a quarterly electronic journal of commentary, analysis, and research on American foreign policy and its practice, the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) director Ted Lipien warns against diminished public stake in U.S. international broadcasting. Lipien, a former acting associate director of the Voice of America,…

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International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy

Partial Victory Declared in Fight Over Censorship at Voice of America

Protest Rally Against Censorship at the Voice of America by the Broadcasting Board of GovernorsFreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org Truckee, CA, USA, July 28, 2011 –Press freedom advocates and Ethiopian Americans are declaring a partial victory in their fight with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a U.S. government agency, over the censorship of the Voice of America radio programs to Ethiopia. They credit massive protests and a demonstration held Monday in front of the BBG and VOA headquarters in Washington, DC with getting a senior Voice of America official to tell the journalists working for the Horn of Africa VOA Service “to continue their work without any restrictions or self-censorship,” the Ethiopian American news website Addis Voice reported.

Link to the demonstration video 1

Link to the demonstration video 2

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International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy

Censorship at the Voice of America: Broadcasting Board of Governors Sided with Ethiopian Regime Against VOA Journalist

Protest Rally Against Censorship at the Voice of America by the Broadcasting Board of GovernorsFreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org San Francisco, CA, USA, July 24, 2011 — Leaders of the Ethiopian American community joined by free media advocates are planning a protest rally on Monday, July 25, in front of the Voice of America (VOA) building in Washington, DC amid charges of censorship of VOA news programs to Ethiopia by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). According to Voice of America broadcasters who spoke on the condition that their names not be revealed because they fear reprisals, the BBG has tried to silence VOA journalist David Arnold who encouraged reporting that upset BBG members as well as officials of the Ethiopian regime. VOA journalists have complained of their reports being removed by the management from VOA websites and of being prevented from covering important political events. In a situation reminiscent of Soviet and East European communist media controls, a high-level manager reportedly forbade VOA Africa Division journalists to take written notes during a staff meeting in which complaints about censorship were raised. The BBG is a presidentially-appointed bipartisan group which runs VOA and other government-funded U.S. international broadcasters and is supposed to promote freedom of expression and anti-censorship efforts around the world, but has been accused of negotiating with repressive regimes, terminating VOA radio and TV programs to countries that restrict media freedom, including Russia and China, and firing VOA journalists who specialize in human rights reporting. BBG and VOA managers have been putting pressure on broadcasters to limit political reporting in favor of human-interest stories as a way of persuading various regimes to allow placement of such reports on local stations and websites. Numerous government surveys have rated the BBG as one of the worst-managed federal agencies. Independent journalists fighting censorship abroad have accused the BBG of being confused about its mission.

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International Broadcasting

Don’t silence Voice of America radio to China — Ted Lipien in The Washington Times

FreeMediaOnline.org Truckee, CA, USA, April 1, 2011– The Washington Times has published an op-ed by Free Media Online president Ted Lipien urging Congress to stop the Broadcasting Board of Governors from silencing the Voice of America radio to China. A Chinese free labor union leader like Poland’s Lech Walesa could be declared expendable by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which…

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