BBG Watch Commentary

U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) has posted a rather curious portrayal of Americans and Thanksgiving for VOA’s overseas audiences. While the facts presented may be true, but perhaps only for those who surf the web on Thanksgiving in large cities, it is — in our view — not at all a complete picture of how many Americans of various ethnic backgrounds and religions, perhaps the vast majority of Americans, see and experience this unique American holiday.

Americans know how Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States and what it really means to them, but not all foreign readers of Voice of America online posts may have a good idea what that experience is like — not in terms of a few online trends, but in general for the population as a whole. The role of the Voice of America, according to its VOA Charter, is “[to] represent America, not any single segment of American society, and [VOA] will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions.”

Voice of America’s annual budget is about $206 million. The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency which oversees VOA, has a budget of about $751.5 million (FY2016 Budget Request including $206 million for VOA).

The article, “Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving” was posted on November 25th, 2015 on VOA’s “All About America” blog. The featured graphic, courtesy of Google, was used in the Voice of America article.

Read and decide for yourself.


Voice of America

READ: Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving being an American holiday, you may also be interested in reading these Voice of America portrayals of the United States for overseas audiences related to American holidays and American food.

Voice of America

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Voice of America

READ: 17 ‘All American’ Foods that Foreigners Find Gross


And this is how the Voice of America presented to the world another important day which Americans observed this year, the World War II Victory Day.


Voice of America

WATCH: WWII Victory Flyover Reaction