We could not find any reference to VOA’s 70th anniversary on the official home page of the BBG website or any official statement from the Broadcasting Board of Governors to honor VOA journalists on February 1, 2012, 70 years after VOA’s first radio program to Germany.

The official BBG website is also ignoring the resignation of the BBG Chairman Walter Isaacson.

The independent Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB), which opposed the BBG’s plan to end VOA radio and television broadcasts to China, issued a special statement to honor Voice of America employees on their anniversary.

February 1, 2012

70th Anniversary of the Voice of America

Today, the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) joins hands with Americans, journalists, freedom fighters, scholars, and elected officials to congratulate Voice of America on their 70th Anniversary. For the past 70 years, Voice of America has served to fulfill a Congressional mandate to provide news broadcasts that promote freedom and democracy from the United States to the world.

As people throughout the world continue to risk their lives for basic human rights, freedom, and the right to participate in governing themselves, we know that they look to our country and Voice of America for inspiration.

We encourage Members of Congress and human rights supporters to remain vigilant to maintain Voice of American radio and television broadcast services as a reliable and authoritative source for news.

We’d like to invite our readers to view the Women’s Rights in China video celebrating Voice of America’s 70th Anniversary in China to thank VOA journalists for their continued radio broadcasts. CUSIB regrets that VOA and Radio Free Asia news websites are blocked by the Chinese government and urges the Administration and the Congress to take measures to overcome such censorship by expanding radio and television broadcasts and using more effective circumvention tools.

The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) is an independent, nongovernmental organization which supports free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries without free media.

For further information, please contact:

The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB)
New York, New York

Ann Noonan, co-founder and Executive Director
Tel. 646-251-6069

Ted Lipien, co-founder and Director
Tel. 415-793-1642

Email: contact@cusib.org
www.cusib.org

There were no references to VOA’s 70th anniversary on the English home page of the main VOA news website, but the Inside VOA website, which offers news about VOA, did have a report on VOA Director David Ensor’s statement on the anniversary.

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From the Inside VOA website:

PRESS RELEASES AND STATEMENTS

PRESS RELEASE

VOA Looks to Future on 70th Anniversary

Washington, D.C. — February 1, 2012 — 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 Germany.”

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 words.

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 kking@voanews.com. Visit our main website at www.voanews.com 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.

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