Tag: propaganda

Cold War, Featured, History, Russia, Ukraine, VOA

Black history hero Homer Smith fought racism at home and Soviet propaganda abroad

Smith should be recognized for his principled refusal to contribute to the manipulation of the Western media by the Soviets, as well as for his struggle against racism in America. I could not find any photographs of Homer Smith, Jr. which are in the public domain. The featured photo above shows A. Marcus Garveyite reading the OWI (Office of War…

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Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Russia, VOA, VOA80

VOA at 80: Different Names of the Voice of America

80 years ago today, on February 1, 1942, the first Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcast in German may have gone on the air. There is some uncertainty as to the exact date in February 1942. Moreover, for the first several years, the name “Voice of America” was not yet used. The early broadcasts had various names, such as “America…

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OWI Press Release, Wallace Carroll, London Office Appointment, August 13, 1942.
Cold War, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Poland, RFE, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Voice of America Fellow Travelers Who Spread Soviet Propaganda – Wallace Carroll

One of Voice of America’s fellow travelers who spread Soviet propaganda lies in VOA’s early years was a celebrated American journalist, Wallace Carroll. Commentary By Ted Lipien The Voice of America (VOA), the U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcaster with a budget of $252 million (FY20) in the federal U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), plans to observe in February its 80th anniversary.…

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Józef i Maria Czapscy w mojej bibliotece Tadeusz Lipień grudzień 2021.
Featured, Glos Ameryki, History, OWI, Poland, Radio, RFE, VOA, VOA80, Women

Hunger for Truth – Józef and Maria Czapski’s Fight Against Kremlin Propaganda

The announcement of a new book by Polish-American journalist Ted Lipien (Tadeusz Lipień): Hunger for Truth – Józef and Maria Czapski’s Fight Against Kremlin Propaganda. Foreword Hunger for Truth analyzes the contribution of two prominent Polish political exiles in the second half of the 20th century to the struggle against censorship and indoctrination in countries behind the Iron Curtain and against…

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Józef i Maria Czapscy w mojej bibliotece Tadeusz Lipień grudzień 2021.
Cold War, Featured, Highlights, Poland, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Głód prawdy – walka Józefa i Marii Czapskich z propagandą Kremla

Zapowiedź nowej książki polsko-amerykańskiego dziennikarza Tadeusza Lipienia: Głód prawdy — walka Józefa i Marii Czapskich z propagandą Kremla. Słowo wstępne Głód prawdy analizuje wkład dwóch wybitnych postaci polskiej emigracji politycznej drugiej połowy XX wieku do walki z cenzurą i indoktrynacją w krajach za żelazną kurtyną i z propagandą komunistyczną na Zachodzie. Józef Czapski i Maria Czapska — brat i siostra…

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Cold War, History, International Broadcasting, Russia

Techniques of Soviet Propaganda – Radio Broadcasts

By Ted Lipien for Cold War Radio Museum Recently I bought on eBay a pamphlet titled “The Technique of Soviet Propaganda” published in 1960 by the United States Government Printing Office. It is described as a study presented by the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the…

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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

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

U.S. Government Propaganda Photo (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 and their…

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Audio, Cold War, Glos Ameryki, Radio, RFE, VOA

Soviet Block Jamming of Western Freedom Radios

Toward the end of the Cold War in the 1980s, the Republican administration of conservative President Ronald Reagan greatly increased spending on U.S. international broadcasting to the Soviet Union and to other communist-ruled nations. Broadcasts to nations behind the Iron Curtain were carried out by the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL). President Reagan…

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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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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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Highlights

Petition for asylum for Polish refugee children introduced in the U.S. Senate in 1943

Throughout World War II, the arrests and forced deportations of Polish families to labor camps by Soviet Russia received practically no mainstream media coverage in the United States. After the Soviet Union became an important military ally against Nazi Germany with the sudden collapse of Stalin’s alliance with Hitler and his attack on Russia in June 1941, the propaganda agency of the Roosevelt administration–the Office of War Information (OWI)–deliberately covered up Stalin’s crimes, both the deportations of millions of people to Siberia and the mass executions of Polish prisoners of war.

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