Thursday, February 02, 2012

VOA Looks to Future on 70th Anniversary

Voice of America turned 70 on Wednesday, and VOA Director David Ensor says 
the international broadcast agency is aggressively moving forward with new
programs that ensure it remains an "information lifeline to people in closed
societies like Iran."

Addressing VOA journalists at the agency's Washington headquarters, Ensor
pointed to a television news show for Burma that began airing in January, a
popular video blog that has been viewed more than 7 million times in China,
expanded TV broadcasts to Iran, and new health programs on radio in Africa.
He also described plans for a Russian language TV program that will harness
popular social media programs to make citizen journalists and the audience a
key part of the show.
Ensor said the one-time cold war broadcaster is "as relevant today as it was
February 1st, 1942," the date of the first shortwave radio broadcast to

Created by the U.S. government in the opening days of World War Two, the
Voice of America has evolved into a global multi-media organization,
broadcasting balanced and comprehensive news in 43 languages to an estimated
weekly audience of 141 million.

The first shortwave radio transmission, spoken in German just weeks after
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, began with the words "Here speaks a
voice from America." The broadcast went on to promise, "The news may be
good. The news may be bad. We shall tell you the truth." Ensor, the 28th
Voice of America director, says the agency continues to be guided by those
VOA radio remains highly popular in many markets, including Somalia, parts
of Pakistan and Haiti. Ensor says the agency is moving forward with new
television and Internet programs that target countries like Iran, where the
government restricts the free flow of information.

VOA programs are delivered on satellite, cable TV, mobile, shortwave, FM,
medium wave, the Internet, and on a network of about 1,200 affiliate
stations around the world. In addition to more than 1,100 employees in
Washington, VOA works with contract journalists in trouble spots around the
world. Last month the Taliban claimed responsibility for the murder of a
reporter working for VOA in Pakistan.
For more information about this release please contact Kyle King at the VOA
Public Relations office in Washington at Visit our main
website at for information about all of our programs.

The Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcasting service
funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational,
and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of
about 141 million people. Programs are produced in 43 languages and are
intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States. For more
information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959. Follow us on
Twitter @VOABuzz and Facebook at InsideVOA.

(Press Release)

Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi, India