Voice of America: A History

Voice of America: A History

By: Alan L. Heil (author)Paperback

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The Voice of America is the nation's largest publicly funded broadcasting network, reaching more than 90 million people worldwide in over forty languages. Since it first went on the air as a regional wartime enterprise in February 1942, VOA has undergone a spectacular transformation, and it now employs scores of reporters worldwide and broadcasts around the clock every day of every year, reaching listeners in the four-fifths of the world still denied a completely free press. Alan L. Heil, Jr., former deputy director of VOA, chronicles this remarkable transformation from a fledgling short wave propaganda organ during World War II to a global multimedia giant encompassing radio, the Internet, and 1,500 affiliated radio and television stations across the globe. Using transcripts of radio broadcasts and numerous personal anecdotes, Heil gives the reader a front-row seat to the greatest events of the past sixty years, from the Cold War and the Vietnam conflict to the Watergate and Lewinsky scandals, from Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon in 1969 to ethnic strife in the Balkans and Rwanda in the mid-1990s, and from the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Yet Heil also relates the story of a perennially underfunded organization struggling against the political pressures, congressional investigations, massive reorganizations, and leadership purges that have attempted to shape-and, in some instances, control-VOA programming. Reporting first hand, high-quality news is a monumental task for any network, but the Voice faces obstacles unique to an organization that stands, as former director John Chancellor once observed, at "the crossroads of journalism and diplomacy." It is for this reason that many people still perceive VOA as an instrument of American propaganda. However, as a thirty-six-year veteran of VOA and its numerous policy wars, Heil believes that the Voice has always sought to deliver accurate, objective, and comprehensive news of the highest journalistic standard, news that reflects America's diversity and dynamism, and that presents not only U.S. policies but also critical debate about those policies. This in-depth history of VOA from its founding until its sixtieth anniversary is a vivid portrait of the people who made it great, depicting a news network that has overcome enormous challenges to steadfastly and faithfully report the most important news stories of our time.

About Author

Alan L. Heil Jr. worked for the Voice of America from 1962 until he retired in 1998. He held various positions at VOA, including foreign correspondent, chief of news and current affairs, and deputy director.


Tiananmen: The Burden of Truth The Struggle to Get It Straight: The Early Years The 50s and 60s: Forging a More Credible Voice The VOA Correspondent: To the Ends of the Earth From Here to Everywhere: Building a Global Network Into the Citadel of "Ramshackle Excellence" The Struggle to Get It Straight: The Charter as Law The Independence Debate: Up to the Brink and Back The Tumultuous 80s: A Lost Horizon Regained The Epochal Years: 1969 and 1989 Out of Africa: The Triumph of Straight Talk On Language: Words and Their Stories Music: The Universal Language To the Roof of the World: The Tibetan Service Miracle Middle East Flashbacks: VOA and the Wars of '67 and '91 Into the 90s: The Brave New World of Multimedia The Struggle to Get It Straight: Independence at the New Millennium America's Voice: A Voice for the Voiceless Yearning to Breathe Free: Tales of Great VOA Escapes The Struggle Goes On: VOA at the Dawn of the 21st Century Epilogue

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780231126755
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 544
  • ID: 9780231126755
  • ISBN10: 0231126751

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