Voice of America: A History / Edition 1

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Overview

The voice of America is the nation's largest publicly funded broadcasting network, reaching more than 90 million people worldwide in over fifty 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 shortwave 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Jhistory, H-Net - John Jenks
Voice of America is an important contribution to the history of international broadcasting and a well-written potpourri of interesting information.
International Affairs
The breadth and scope of this book mean it is essential reading for all those involved—or with an interest—in public diplomacy, international affairs and the media.

— Morand Fachot

American Journalism
Well worth a place in the library of every instructor of the history of America media.
Foreign Service Journal - Steven Alan Honley
Voice of America: A History, the first comprehensive history of hte VOA since the mid-1980s,... is a valuable account that deserve a wide readership, both within the Foreign Service and among the general public.
Post Intelligencer - Seattle Times
Voice of America: A History effectively chronicles an important corner of American cultural history.
Mediterranean Quarterly - Walter R. Roberts
Heil's book is a must read for anyone who is interested in enhancing America's standing in the world.
DIFFUSION online - Morand Fachot
The breadth and scope of this book mean it is essential reading for all those involved—or with an interest—in public diplomacy, international affairs and the media.
Register of the Kentucky Historical Society - Laura A. Belmont
Anyone looking for a richer understanding of recent international information activities will find this work worthwhile.
Walter Cronkite
Here is the inside story of one of our most important government services, a history of an organization known to millions of people around the globe but to only a handful of Americans. Heil's book celebrates this nation's dedication to the practical application of its democratic foundations—our freedom of speech and press.
Foreign Service Journal
[Heil's] familiarity with both the nitty-gritty and the larger issues surrounding "the Voice," as the VOA is commonly known, does much to make the story come alive, as do the anecdotes and transcripts of radio broadcasts he intersperses throughout the narrative... this is a valuable account that deserves a wide readership.
The Economist
For those wondering why, in the presence of global commercial news networks, there is still a need for the Voice of America.... Heil's comprehensive history of America's largest publicly funded overseas broadcasting network surely provides a most comprehensive answer.
Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer
Voice of America: A History effectively chronicles an important corner of American cultural history.
Mediterranean Quarterly
Heil's book is a must read for anyone who is interested in enhancing America's standing in the world.

— Walter R. Roberts

DIFFUSION online
Heil, who spent 36 years at the Voice, was uniquely placed to write Voice of America: A History, a comprehensive and captivating insight... stretching from the launch of the service in February 1942 to its 60th anniversary.

— Morand Fachot

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
Anyone looking for a richer understanding of recent international information activities will find this work worthwhile.

— Laura A. Belmont

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231126748
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/25/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the 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.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Tiananmen: The Burden of Truth 7
2 The Struggle to Get It Straight: The Early Years 32
3 The 1950s and 1960s: Forging a More Credible Voice 58
4 The VOA Correspondent: To the Ends of the Earth 79
5 From Here to Everywhere: Building a Global Network 105
6 Into the Citadel of "Ramshackle Excellence": A Portrait 128
7 The Struggle to Get It Straight: The Charter as Law 152
8 The Independence Debate: To the Brink and Back 178
9 The Tumultuous 1980s: A Lost Horizon Regained 199
10 The Epochal Years: 1969 and 1989 237
11 Out of Africa: The Triumph of Straight Talk 253
12 On Language: Words and Their Stories 273
13 Music: The Universal Language 288
14 To the Roof of the World: The Tibetan Service Miracle 302
15 Middle East Flashbacks: The Wars of 1967 and 1991 311
16 Into the 1990s: The Brave New World of Multimedia 329
17 The Struggle to Get It Straight: Independence at the New Millennium 349
18 America's Voice: A Voice for the Voiceless 371
19 Yearning to Breathe Free: Tales of Great VOA Escapes 386
20 The Struggle Goes On: VOA at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century 404
Conclusion 427
App. A VOA Journalistic Code, April 12, 1995 453
App. B Key Legislation Affecting VOA in Addition to the Charter 457
App. C Tables and Charts 459
App. D Selected Statements About VOA by Presidents 465
Notes 467
Glossary 501
Bibliography 507
Index 521
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