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Featured, Glos Ameryki, History, Photos, Poland, VOA

Stefan Korboński with Tadeusz Lipień in 1976

My photo with the great Polish patriot, anti-Nazi fighter, and political leader Stefan Korboński was taken on June 20, 1976 in front of the White House on the day of my daughter’s baptism. Stefan and his wife, Zofia Korbońska, my colleague in the Polish Service of the Voice of America (VOA), were Leokadia W. Lipien’s (Lodi Rohrer) godparents. Stefan Korboński (2…

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Cold War, Featured, OWI, VOA

Voice of America? – Why The Question Mark?

In 1948, Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate charged that Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts contained “baloney,” “lies,” “insults,” “drivel,” “nonsense and falsehoods,” amounting to “useless expenditures” and “a downright tragedy.”

In 1948, U.S. senators called VOA programs “ridiculous,” “unjustified” and “deplorable.” Liberal, moderate, and conservative lawmakers, some of whom even accused the Voice of America of “slander” and “libel” in how several U.S. states were described in radio programs acquired from NBC under a government contract, did not seek to de-fund and close down VOA but wanted to make it more effective in presenting America to the world and in countering propaganda from Soviet Russia. Their criticism eventually led to partial personnel and programming reforms in the early 1950s. In 2019, history seems to be repeating itself, with similar problems being reported at the Voice of America as the United States tries to respond to propaganda from Putin’s Russia, communist China, theocratic Iran and other nations under authoritarian rule. Today, there is little interest in the U.S. Congress and no obvious signs of management reforms, while some of the problems seem now more difficult to solve than those besetting the broadcaster in 1948.

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Featured, History, VOA

Stalin Prize-Winning Chief Writer of Voice of America News

Cold War Radio Museum

The News Bureau room of the Office of War Information (OWI), November 1942, at about the same time Howard Fast started writing Voice of America newscasts. The photograph’s official caption said: “It is arranged much the same way as the city room of a daily newspaper. Here, war news of the world is disseminated. In the foreground, are editors’ desks handling such special services as trade press, women’s activities, and campaigns. The news desk is in the background.” Smith, Roger, photographer. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540.

VOA logo, 2019.
Yankee Doodle Voice of America (VOA) signature tune reportedly proposed by VOA chief news writer (1942-1943) Howard Fast who later received the 1953 Stalin International Peace Prize.

 “I established contact at the Soviet embassy with people who spoke English and were willing to feed me important bits and pieces from their side of the wire. I had long ago, somewhat facetiously, suggested ‘Yankee Doodle’ as our musical signal, and now that silly little jingle was a power cue, a note of hope everywhere on earth…” 1

Howard Fast, 1953 Stalin Peace Prize winner, best-selling author, journalist, former Communist Party member and reporter for its newspaper The Daily Worker, decribing his role as the chief writer of Voice of America (VOA) radio news translated into multiple languages and rebroadcast for four hours daily to Europe through medium wave transmitters leased from the BBC in 1942-1943. Howard Fast, Being Red (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), pp. 18-19.

Notes:

  1. Howard Fast, Being Red (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), 18-19.
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Audio, Cold War, Featured, Glos Ameryki, History, Poland, Presidents, Radio, VOA

Vice President George H.W. Bush interviewed for Voice of America by Ted Lipien and Wayne Corey in 1987

Cold War Radio Museum   Voice of America (VOA) Polish Service director Ted Lipien and VOA English Service correspondent Wayne Corey interviewed the then Vice President George H.W. Bush on September 24, 1987 in his office in Washington shortly before his trip to Italy to see Pope John Paul II and to Poland to confer with government and opposition leaders.…

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Digital Journal, Featured, International Broadcasting, RFE, RL, VOA

Op-Ed: Voice of America or Voice of Castro without any balance? | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published April 20, 2016 by Digital Journal John Kerry is wrong and what Hillary Clinton had said three years ago about U.S. government media outreach abroad is still true. She called the effort “practically defunct.” According to Secretary Kerry when he spoke on April 19, 2016, “Today’s Broadcasting Board of Governors is not the BBG of a few years ago.” The BBG…

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Digital Journal, Featured, Highlights, History, Religion, VOA

Op-Ed: A phony John Paul II love story distorted his real persona | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published February 17, 2016 in Digital Journal British newspaper The Telegraph‘s sensationalist headline read: “Did Pope John Paul II fall in love with married American academic? BBC to investigate.” The headline referred to the BBC program “Panorama,” which aired on Monday, February 15, 2015. The program, which is now difficult to view online outside of the UK, was described…

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Cold War, Digital Journal, Featured, History, International Broadcasting, RFE, RL, Russia, VOA

Op-Ed: Voice of America in intellectual twilight zone against Putin | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published August 12, 2015 in Digital Journal The Voice of America, one of America’s taxpayer-funded weapons against Russian propaganda, had something in common with Russia’s propaganda weapon RT last week. RT (formerly Russia Today), a multimedia English-language website, still looked vastly more polished, more frequently updated and far more visually appealing than VOA’s late 20th century GI (Government…

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Digital Journal, Featured, International Broadcasting, Iran, Media, Public Diplomacy, VOA

Op-Ed: Voice of America can learn from State Dept. about social media | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published April 3, 2015 by Digital Journal The U.S. State Department is not a news or journalistic organization. It never was and never will be. But State Department public diplomacy specialists could teach Voice of America a few technical things about journalism in the digital age. VOA aspires to be a news organization engaging audiences abroad with the help…

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Digital Journal, Featured, Highlights, International Broadcasting, Russia, VOA

Op-Ed: Propaganda war in which Voice of America helps Putin | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published September 9, 2014 by Digital Journal Because of gullibility of officials in charge of U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA), the Obama Administration helps President Putin win disinformation and propaganda war over Ukraine with some of VOA’s reports and programs. U.S. taxpayers are helping Russia’s President Putin win his propaganda and disinformation war over Ukraine by…

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Digital Journal, Featured, International Broadcasting, Media, Russia, VOA

Wife of Polish Greenpeace activist visits husband in Russian jail | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published November 7, 2013 by Digital Journal Murmansk – Wife of Polish Greenpeace activist was allowed a short visit with her husband in a Russian jail. Natalia Bajorek-Dziemianczuk told Polish TV that Tomasz Dziemianczuk does not regret having taken part in a peaceful pro-environmental protest. Natalia Bajorek-Dziemianczuk saw her husband Tomasz Dziemianczuk Wednesday in a Russian jail in…

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Congress, Digital Journal, Featured, Highlights, International Broadcasting, VOA

Op-Ed: Former US diplomat criticizes weak language on Libya killings | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published September 14, 2012 by Digital Journal Washington – Former U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe criticizes the executive staff of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) for using a weak language in describing the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. Public relations officials of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) — the U.S. government agency responsible for…

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China, Digital Journal, Featured, Highlights, International Broadcasting, Russia, Tibet, VOA, Women

Op-Ed: Annette Lantos wants to save Voice of America from cuts by BBG | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published April 12, 2012 by Digital Journal Annette Lantos, the wife of the late Congressman Tom Lantos, has joined efforts to oppose the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) proposals to cut Voice of America (VOA) services, the independent Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting reported. In a letter addressed to the presidentially appointed members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors…

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Digital Journal, Featured, Highlights, International Broadcasting, RFE, RL, Russia, VOA

Op-Ed: America’s radios dancing to Putin’s tune in Moscow SPECIAL | Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published March 2, 2012 by Digital Journal Moscow – Voice of America and Radio Liberty, funded by US taxpayers to promote media freedom abroad, self-censor news on two stations in Moscow to comply with Russian media law prior to Russia’s presidential elections on March 4. US government-funded media freedom broadcasters, Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Liberty (Radio Free Europe and Radio…

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China, Cold War, Cuba, Digital Journal, Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, Poland, Russia

Op-Ed: Obama should listen to fellow Nobel winners Dalai Lama and Walesa | Ted Lipien in Digital Journal

By Ted Lipien Published October 10, 2009 by Digital Journal Barred from the White House, the Dalai Lama, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner sends Obama a letter with congratulations and some good advice, but his message may be ignored just like an earlier message from Lech Walesa, also a Nobel Prize laureate. This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner would…

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