voice of america

U.S. National Security Advisor to President Obama Susan Rice and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel are promoting through social media State Department’s response to Putin’s propaganda machine. The Obama Administration has offered so far very little help to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees such journalistic media outlets as Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and the Voice of America (VOA).

Audiences in Nigeria can now get their news on the go with DandalinVOA (VOA’s Platform), a dynamic new 24/7 mobile phone stream, which features a fresh mix of Nigerian and American music, with the latest news, sports and entertainment updates. “The 24/7 Hausa mobile stream looks past legacy broadcasting and uses mobile technology to reach the next generation,” said VOA Africa Division Director Gwen Dillard. 

I had the pleasure and privilege to attend yesterday’s meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors as a member of the public. The session featured two fascinating presentations and discussions. First, Voice of America Director David Ensor gave an inspirational presentation on the mission, goals, accomplishments, and challenges facing the Voice of America.

When Ismail Sheikho recalls his days at the Silopi refugee camp in Turkey--for Iraqi Kurds escaping Saddam Hussein’s 1992 crackdown--he remembers waiting all day just to hear the 15-minute Kurdish news broadcast of the Voice of America (VOA). “I bought a radio back then just to listen to the news,” says Sheikho, remembering that at the time the VOA was just about the only international broadcaster offering a Kurdish service.

Getting the latest news from VOA’s many language services just got easier with the launch of new mobile and tablet apps that work on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. “Everything is available in one place now,” says VOA Director David Ensor. “This is a big step forward, and these apps open up the Internet to a new generation of mobile users.” Chinese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, English and more – they are all there at the touch of a button on two of the world’s most popular mobile platforms.

Federal employees were told to identify U.S. stations but not to make offers of government-funded news to domestic media. With the controversy swirling over media reports that after a recent congressional modification in the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act, U.S. officials may try to target Americans with government propaganda, the federal agency in charge of news and information programs for foreign audiences told its employees that they can start identifying U.S. stations that may be interested in taking their programming but should not contact them specifically to market such programs.