Enhancing the Spread of True Facts: VOA’s Expanding Role

Voice of America Director Amanda Bennett, in a wide-ranging conversation Nov. 6 with American University students and public diplomacy advocates, reminded her audience that VOA “is all about a free press.” Examples abound:  A VOA multilingual VOA team has been in Hong Kong to report pro-democracy demonstrations in that Chinese territory. Objective journalism IS public…

TV camera pointed at announcer in a studio

U.S-Funded Overseas Media: Foundations for a New Leadership Team? 

October heralds the formation of a new management team overseeing the nation’s five taxpayer-funded networks that reach an estimated unduplicated 345 million users online, TV and radio listeners each week. The networks are the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE-RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), The Middle East Broadcast Network (NBN) in Arabic.…

John Lansing departs USAGM for National Public Radio

John Lansing, who has headed the five U.S. overseas taxpayer-funded networks since 2015, will become president and CEO of National Public Radio on October 1. The five U.S. networks are:   Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), the Middle East Broadcasting Network in Arabic, (MBN) and Radio-TV Marti in…

The Voice of America is Not a Wire Service, And It Shouldn’t Be Expected to Act Like One

There’s been a growing tendency lately (particularly on BBGWatch, an online watchdog) to compare, unfavorably, VOA’s performance, as measured by number of stories or live reports from the scene of breaking news, with other national and international news organizations. Behind much of this criticism is an implicit expectation that VOA’s coverage should be as fast…

Two figures walk bathed in colored lights

U.S. Broadcasting Chronicles Revival in America’s Heartland

Noted columnist David Brooks recently asserted that what he termed “an American renaissance is already happening.”  He noted that as the national government appears to be divided and polarized, cities far from Washington’s corridors of power are working to transform their communities — large and small. I recently experienced this firsthand in Houston, Texas, America’s fourth…