voice of america
A month after Trump was elected, Republicans in Congress changed the VOA’s governing structure, replacing its independent and bipartisan board of governors with a CEO appointed directly by the president. [...] Taken together, the moves indicate that Trump is poised to turn the government news service—which reaches a global audience of 236 million every week through its radio and TV broadcasts—into a mouthpiece for his personal brand.
VOA began radio broadcasting in 1942, to combat Nazi propaganda. Per its charter, it is mandated to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” Since WWII, it has been the front-edge of America’s informational interface with citizens around the world, particularly those battling dictatorships and tyranny. [...] VOA is the largest public diplomacy program of the United States government and broadcasts in more than 40 languages.
A new paper in our Perspectives series looks at U.S. international broadcasting.
If you were to ask the VOA’s editors why they run stories that violate their Charter, they would probably tell you that they don’t have the manpower to cover everything. But these lapses are, in the end, inexcusable. [...] If the VOA’s editors have to choose between running a one-sided story that violates their Charter, or no story at all, then they should run no story at all.
The Voice of America was never intended to do investigative reporting, nor should it.