Tag: propaganda

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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Cold War, Glos Ameryki, History, International Broadcasting, Poland, Radio, RFE, VOA

Voice of America Polish Service journalists accused of being anti-communist Reagan saboteurs

by Ted Lipien Kazimierz Adamski, “Dywersja Głosu Ameryki: Polska na specjalny obstalunek,” Głos Pomorza, January 9, 1986. An article titled, “DYWERSJA ‘GŁOSU AMERYKI’ Polska na specjalny obstalunek” (“‘Voice of America’ Sabotage: Poland by Special Order“), appeared in the regional Polish Communist Party newspaper Głos Pomorza on Poland’s Baltic coast on January 9, 1986. It was a review of a book…

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Children, Iran, OWI, Photo, Photos, Russia, VOA, Women

Polish children refugees from Russia – silenced by Soviet and U.S. propaganda

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo (1943) By Ted Lipien U.S. government propaganda pictures taken in 1943 by the U.S. Office of War Information (OWI) photographer in Iran showed Polish children and women several months after they had come out of Soviet Russia in a mass exodus of former Gulag prisoners and their families. The OWI photographs were carefully staged and their…

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Audio, Cold War, Glos Ameryki, Radio, RFE, VOA

Soviet Block Jamming of Western Freedom Radios

Toward the end of the Cold War in the 1980s, the Republican administration of conservative President Ronald Reagan greatly increased spending on U.S. international broadcasting to the Soviet Union and to other communist-ruled nations. Broadcasts to nations behind the Iron Curtain were carried out by the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL). President Reagan…

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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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VOA

Rep. Howard H. Buffett, Warren Buffett’s father, feared domestic VOA propaganda

Cold War Radio Museum

Rep. Howard H. Buffett, father of American investor Warren Buffett, was concerned in 1947 about domestic propaganda activities by the Voice of America.

As the U.S. Congress was debating in June 1947 the eventual passage of the Smith-Mundt Act, which implicitly placed restrictions on domestic dissemination of government news through the Voice of America (VOA) while funding expansion of State Department’s cultural and academic exchange programs, Congressman Howard Buffett (R-NE) expressed concerns that officials in charge of VOA may have been secretly planning domestic propaganda activities. As it turned out, State Department officials had no plans to distribute U.S. government radio broadcasts domestically because such a move would kill the funding not only for VOA but also for the public diplomacy programs the State Department cared about most of all. Congressman Buffett was right, however, that U.S. diplomats were using VOA to influence U.S. public opinion to drum up support for their information outreach budget.

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