VOA

VOA

VOA 1978 Verification Card

During the Cold War, Voice of America (VOA) broadcast mostly radio programs. Most of the radio transmissions were delivered through shortwave. VOA would send out QSL cards as a written confirmation of reception to those listeners who requested them by letter. The 1978 QSL card from VOA was a post card with pictures of San Francisco, the White House and the Statue of…

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VOA

Rep. Howard H. Buffett, Warren Buffett’s father, feared domestic VOA propaganda

Cold War Radio Museum

Rep. Howard H. Buffett, father of American investor Warren Buffett, was concerned in 1947 about domestic propaganda activities by the Voice of America.

As the U.S. Congress was debating in June 1947 the eventual passage of the Smith-Mundt Act, which implicitly placed restrictions on domestic dissemination of government news through the Voice of America (VOA) while funding expansion of State Department’s cultural and academic exchange programs, Congressman Howard Buffett (R-NE) expressed concerns that officials in charge of VOA may have been secretly planning domestic propaganda activities. As it turned out, State Department officials had no plans to distribute U.S. government radio broadcasts domestically because such a move would kill the funding not only for VOA but also for the public diplomacy programs the State Department cared about most of all. Congressman Buffett was right, however, that U.S. diplomats were using VOA to influence U.S. public opinion to drum up support for their information outreach budget.

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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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OWI, VOA

Broker for the first Western hotel in Moscow was a former U.S. propaganda agency employee

In July 1979 an American businessman and former journalist David Harold Karr who had arranged the building of the first Western hotel in Moscow was found dead under reportedly suspicious circumstances in Paris, France. Karr’s new biography, The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr, by Harvey Klehr, expected to be published in July 2019, will…

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VOA

‘Music Time in Africa’ on VOA in 1982 with Leo Sarkisian and Rita Rochelle

Cold War Radio Museum The Voice of America (VOA) May-October 1982 English-to-Africa Service Program Schedule flyer included descriptions of “African Sounds” English-to-Africa program, hosted by VOA French-to-Africa Cameroonian-born broadcaster Georges Collinet, and “Music Time in Africa” program hosted by Leo Sarkisian and Rita Rochelle. MUSIC TIME IN AFRICA The Voice of America Program Schedule May-October 1982 English to Africa This…

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Children, History, Iran, OWI, Photos, VOA, Women

Polish refugee woman from Russia as seen in American propaganda

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo By Ted Lipien Almost no one knows today that one of the targets of misleading Soviet and American propaganda during World War II were Polish refugees fleeing from Russia. Before they were refugees, they were Stalin’s prisoners. The Red Army and the NKVD Soviet secret police occupied their cities, towns and villages in pre-war eastern Poland…

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Children, Glos Ameryki, History, OWI, Photos, Russia, VOA

Polish children refugees from Russia – silenced by Soviet and U.S. propaganda

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo (OWI – 1943) By Ted Lipien U.S. government propaganda pictures taken in 1943 by the U.S. Office of War Information (OWI) photographer in Iran showed Polish children and women several months after they had come out of Soviet Russia in a mass exodus of former Gulag prisoners and their families. The OWI photographs were carefully staged…

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RFE, VOA

1953 CIA Source: People Died in Czechoslovakia Because of Pro-Communist Propaganda from Voice of America

OPINION AND ANALYSIS Cold War Radio Museum By Ted Lipien Note: The article has been updated to include information that Heda Margolius Kovály had worked in the 1970s as a freelance reporter for the Voice of America Czechoslovak Service under a radio name Kaca Kralova. A declassified CIA report from 1953 featured a claim by a still unidentified Slovak source…

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VOA

Polish Diplomat Who Exposed Pro-Stalin U.S. Propagandists

Cold War Radio Museum   Jan Ciechanowski, Polish Ambassador in Washington during World War II, helped to expose Soviet propaganda and U.S. government propagandists who in domestic media and in “Voice of America” shortwave radio broadcasts for foreign audiences spread disinformation originating in Soviet Russia. Photo: Jan Ciechanowski, Polish Minister, 11/30/25, LC-DIG-npcc-15231 (digital file from original), Library of Congress Prints…

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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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VOA

Voice of America 1980-1981 Program Schedule with Pat Gates and Breakfast Show

Cold War Radio Museum   Patricia Gates Lynch Ewell, U.S. ambassador and broadcaster at the Voice of America (VOA), a tax-funded U.S. government media outlet for foreign audiences where she was known as Pat Gates, was a remarkable radio personality. She may have had more listeners to her English-language programs than Willis Conover’s VOA jazz programs in English, although various…

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