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--: Biography of VOICE OF AMERICA, URDU :--



Type International public broadcaster
Country United States (for external consumption only)
Owner Federal government of the United States
Affiliation World Radio Network
Official website


Voice of America (VOA) is the official external radio and television broadcasting service of the United States federal government. Its oversight entity is the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet around the world in forty-four languages, promoting a positive view of the United States. Its day-to-day operations are supported by the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). 

VOA broadcasts by satellite and on FM, AM, and shortwave radio frequencies. It is also available through the Internet in both streaming media and downloadable formats at VOA has affiliate and contract agreements with many radio and television stations and cable networks worldwide. 

One of VOA's radio transmitter facilities was originally based on a 625-acre (2.53 km2) site in Union Township (now West Chester Township) in Butler County, Ohio, near Cincinnati. The Bethany Relay Station operated from 1944 to 1994. Other former sites include California (Dixon, Delano), Hawaii, Okinawa, Liberia, Costa Rica, and Belize. 

Currently, the VOA and the IBB continue to operate shortwave radio transmitters and antenna farms at one site in the United States, located near Greenville, North Carolina. They do not use FCC issued callsigns. Other radio stations on US soil are required by FCC rules to have and use callsigns. 

The Voice of America is fully funded by the U.S. taxpayer. Congress appropriates funds annually. VOA's FY 2007 budget was $172.4 million. 


The Delano Transmitting Station, which used a very large curtain array, was closed in October 2007. 

One of VOA's radio transmitter facilities was originally based on a 625-acre (2.53 km2) site in Union Township (now West Chester Township) in Butler County, Ohio, near Cincinnati. The Bethany Relay Station operated from 1944 to 1994. Other former sites include California (Dixon, Delano), Hawaii, Okinawa, Liberia, Costa Rica, and Belize. 

Currently, the VOA and the IBB continue to operate shortwave radio transmitters and antenna farms at one site in the United States, located near Greenville, North Carolina. They do not use FCC issued callsigns. Other radio stations on US soil are required by FCC rules to have and use callsigns. 

The Voice of America is fully funded by the U.S. taxpayer. Congress appropriates funds annually. VOA's FY 2007 budget was $172.4 million. 

The Voice of America currently broadcasts in 45 languages (TV marked with an asterisk): 
• Afan Oromo 
• Albanian* 
• Amharic 
• Armenian* 
• Azerbaijani* 
• Bangla* 
• Bosnian* 
• Burmese 
• Cantonese* 
• Creole 
• Croatian* 
• Dari* 
• English* (also Special English) 
• French* 
• Georgian 
• Greek* 
• Hausa 
• Indonesian* 
• Khmer 
• Kinyarwanda 
• Kirundi 
• Korean 
• Kurdish 
• Lao 
• Macedonian* 
• Mandarin* 
• Ndebele 
• Pashto* 
• Persian* 
• Portuguese 
• Russian* 
• Serbian* 
• Shona 
• Somali 
• Spanish* 
• Swahili 
• Thai 
• Tibetan* 
• Tigrigna 
• Turkish* 
• Ukrainian* 
• Urdu* 
• Uzbek* 
• Vietnamese 

The number of languages broadcast and the number of hours broadcast in each language vary according to the priorities of the United States Government and the world situation. In 2001, according to an International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) fact sheet, VOA broadcast in 53 languages, with 12 televised. For example, in July 2007, VOA added 30 minutes to its daily Somali radio broadcast, providing a full hour of live, up-to-the-minute news and information to listeners. 

The Voice of America has been a part of several agencies: 
From 1942 to 1945, it was part of the Office of War Information, and then from 1945 to 1953 as a function of the State Department. The VOA was placed under the U.S. Information Agency in 1953. When the USIA was abolished in 1999, the VOA was placed under the Broadcasting Board of Directors, which is an autonomous U.S. government agency, with bipartisan membership. The Secretary of State has a seat on the BBG 

VOA's parent organization is the presidentially-appointed Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The BBG was established as a buffer to protect VOA and other U.S.-sponsored, non-military, international broadcasters from political interference. 
Before the Second World War, all American shortwave stations were in private hands. The National Broadcasting Company's International, or White Network, which broadcast in six languages, The Columbia Broadcasting System, whose Latin American international network consisted of sixty-four stations located in eighteen different countries, as well as the Crosley Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, had shortwave transmitters. Experimental programming began in the 1930s. There were less than 12 transmitters, however. In 1939, the Federal Communications Commission set the following policy: 

A licensee of an international broadcast station shall render only an international broadcast service which will reflect the culture of this country and which will promote international goodwill, understanding and cooperation. Any program solely intended for, and directed to an audience in the continental United States does not meet the requirements for this service. 

Washington observers felt this policy was to enforce the State Department's Good Neighbor Policy but many broadcasters felt that this was an attempt to direct censorship. 

In 1940, the Office of the Coordinator of Interamerican Affairs, a semi-independent agency of the U.S. State Department headed by Nelson Rockefeller, began operations. Shortwave signals to Latin America were regarded as vital to counter Nazi propaganda Initially, the Office of Coordination of Information sent releases to each station, but this was seen as an inefficient means of transmitting news 

In January 1942 the U.S. government leased 15-minute blocks of time on each station, calling the program "The Voice of America," which included the Yankee Doodle interval signal 

VOA was organized in 1942 under the Office of War Information with news programs aimed at areas in Japan and the south Pacific and in Europe and North Africa under the occupation of Nazi Germany and Japan. VOA began broadcasting on February 24, 1942. The initial announcement of the VOA stated, "Daily at this time, we shall speak to you about America and the war. The news may be good or bad. We shall tell you the truth. The Office of War Information took over VOA's operations when it was formed in mid 1942. The VOA reached an agreement with the British Broadcasting Corporation to share medium-wave transmitters in Britain, and expanded into Tunis in North Africa and Palermo and Bari, Italy as the Allies captured these territories. The OWI also set up the American Broadcasting Station in Europe. 

Asian transmissions started with one transmitter in California in 1941; services were expanded by adding transmitters in Hawaii and, after recapture, the Philippines. 
By the end of the war, VOA had 39 transmitters and provided service in 40 languages. Programming was broadcast from production centers in New York and San Francisco, with more than 1,000 programs originating from New York. Programming consisted of music, news, commentary, and relays of U.S. domestic programming, in addition to specialized VOA programming. 

About half of VOA's services, including the Arabic service, were discontinued in 1945 Also in 1945, VOA was transferred to the Department of State. 
In 1946, Voice of America was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of State. 

In 1947, VOA started broadcasting in Russian with the intent to counter more harmful instances of Soviet propaganda directed against American leaders and policies The Soviet Union responded by initiating aggressive, electronic jamming of VOA broadcasts on 24 April 1949. 

Over the next few years, U.S. government debated the best role of the Voice of America. The decision was made to use VOA broadcasts as a part of its Foreign Policy to fight the propaganda of the Soviet Union and other countries. 
The Arabic service resumed on January 1, 1950, with a half-hour program. This program grew to 14.5 hours daily during the Suez Crisis of 1956, and was 6 hours a day by 1958. 

In 1952, the Voice of America installed a studio and relay facility aboard a converted U.S. Coast Guard cutter renamed Courier whose target audience was Russia and its allies. The Courier was originally intended to become the first in a fleet of mobile, radio broadcasting ships (see offshore radio) that built upon U.S. Navy experience during WWII in using warships as floating broadcasting stations. However, the Courier eventually dropped anchor off the island of Rhodes, Greece with permission of the Greek government to avoid being branded as a pirate radio broadcasting ship. This VOA offshore station stayed on the air until the 1960s when facilities were eventually provided on land. The Courier supplied training to engineers who later worked on several of the European commercial offshore broadcasting stations of the 1950s and 1960s. 

Control of the VOA passed from the State Department to the U.S. Information Agency when the latter was established in 1953. to transmit worldwide, including to the countries behind the Iron Curtain and to the People's Republic of China (PRC). In the 1980s, the USIA established the WORLDNET satellite television service, and in 2004 WORLDNET was merged into VOA. 

During the 1950s and 1960s, VOA broadcast American jazz, which was highly popular, world wide. For example, a program aimed at South Africa in 1956 broadcast 2 hours nightly, along with special programs such as "The Newport Jazz Festival". This was done in association of tours by U.S. musicians, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington, sponsored by the State Department. 

Throughout the Cold War, many of the targeted countries' governments sponsored jamming of VOA broadcasts, which sometimes led critics to question the broadcasts' actual impact. For example, in 1956, Poland stopped jamming VOA, but Bulgaria continued to jam the signal through the 1970s. and Chinese-language VOA broadcasts were jammed beginning in 1956 and extending through 1976 However, after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, interviews with participants in anti-Soviet movements verified the effectiveness of VOA broadcasts in transmitting information to socialist societies The People's Republic of China diligently jams VOA broadcasts. 

Cuba has also been reported to interfere with VOA satellite transmissions to Iran from its Russian-built transmission site at Bejucal David Jackson, former director of the Voice of America, noted "The North Korean government doesn't jam us, but they try to keep people from listening through intimidation or worse. But people figure out ways to listen despite the odds. They're very resourceful." 

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, VOA covered some of the era's most important news including Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech, and Neil Armstrong's first walk on the moon. During the Cuban missile crisis, VOA broadcast around-the-clock in Spanish. 

In the early 1980s, VOA began a $1.3 billion rebuilding program to improve broadcast with better technical capabilities. Also in the 1980s, VOA also added a television service, as well as special regional programs to Cuba, Radio Martí and TV Martí. Cuba has consistently attempted to jam such broadcasts and has vociferously protested U.S. broadcasts directed at Cuba. 

In September 1980, VOA started broadcasting to Afghanistan in Dari and in Pashto in 1982. At the same time, VOA started to broadcast U.S. government editorials, clearly separated from the programming by audio cues. 

In 1985, VOA Europe was created as a special service in English that was relayed via satellite to AM, FM, and cable affiliates throughout Europe. With a contemporary format including live disc jockeys, the network presented top musical hits as well as VOA news and features of local interest (such as "EuroFax") 24 hours a day. VOA Europe was closed down without advance public notice (even to its own audience) in January, 1997, as a cost-cutting measure. Today, stations are offered the VOA Music Mix service. 

In 1989, Voice of America expanded Mandarin and Cantonese programming to reach the millions of Chinese and inform the country, accurately about the pro-Democracy movement within the country, including the demonstration in Tiananmen Square. 
Starting in 1990, the U.S. consolidated its international broadcasting efforts, with the establishment of the Bureau of Broadcasting. 

With the break up of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, VOA added many additional language services to reach those areas. This decade was marked by the additions of Tibetan, Kurdish (to Iran and Iraq), Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, and Kirundi and Kinyarwanda (to Central Africa/Rwanda) language services. 

In 1994, President Clinton signed the International Broadcasting Act into law. This law established the International Broadcasting Bureau as a part of the U.S. Information Agency and created the Broadcasting Board of Governors with oversight authority. In 1998, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act was signed into law and mandated that BBG become an independent federal agency as of October 1, 1999. This act also abolished the U.S.I.A. and merged most of its functions with those of the State Department. 

In 1994, the Voice of America became the first broadcast-news organization to offer continuously updated programs on the Internet. Content in English and 44 other languages is currently available online through a distributed network of commercial providers, using more than 20,000 servers across 71 countries. Since many listeners in Africa and other areas still receive much of their information via radio and have only limited access to computers, VOA continues to maintain regular shortwave-radio broadcasts. 

The Arabic Service was abolished in 2002 and replaced by a new radio service, called the Middle East Radio Network or Radio Sawa, with an initial budget of $22 million. Radio Sawa offered mostly Western and American popular music with periodic brief news bulletins. 

Under § 501 of the Smith–Mundt Act of 1948, the Voice of America is forbidden to broadcast directly to American citizens. The intent of the legislation is to protect the American public from propaganda actions by its own government. Although VOA does not broadcast domestically, Americans can access the programs through shortwave and streaming audio over the Internet. 
All text, audio, and video material produced exclusively by the Voice of America is public domain. 

Urdu Service 
The Voice of America program Khabron Se Aage (Beyond the Headlines) is telecast in Pakistan by GEO TV, VOA's affiliate and one of the country's most popular stations. Voice of America pays an undisclosed amount of money to GEO TV to telecast its broadcast but in spite of this arrangement has been forced to take off many of its programmes on numerous occasions due to conflicts with GEO TV management. This half-hour program features reports on politics, social issues, science, sports, culture, entertainment, and other issues of interest to Pakistanis as seen by the US government. 

Voice of America's central newsroom has hundreds of journalists and dozens of full-time domestic and overseas correspondents, who are employees of the U.S. government or paid contractors. They are augmented by hundreds of contract correspondents and stringers throughout the world, who file in English or in one of the VOA's 44 other radio broadcast languages, 25 of which are also broadcast on television. 

In late 2005, VOA shifted some of its central-news operation to Hong Kong where contracted writers worked from a "virtual" office with counterparts on the overnight shift in Washington, D.C., but this operation was shut down in early 2008. 
Many of the radio and television broadcasts are available through VOA's website at 

Voice of America on relays & simulcasts on Radio Australia on digital radio. 

Worldnet was an American external television broadcaster from the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), an independent government institution. This is the successor agency of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA). In 2004, it was merged into Voice of America, and no longer operates independently. 

Source Wikipedia 


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