U.S. INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING SERVICES DURING WORLD WAR II


Informative World War II Links

  • World War II Through Russian Eyes-- The Russian Armed Forces Museum in Moscow has opened its World War II archives.
  • World War II Resources-- Provides links to many World War II Internet sites.
  • World War II Documents-- Links to a variety of full-text World War II documents.
  • The Voice of America (VOA) is the oldest of the U.S. international broadcasting services. VOA went on the air in February of 1942, at the height of World War II. This station was conceived out of U.S. government fear over the strength of prevalent German propaganda. Soon after the commencement of broadcasts, government officials realized the potential resource they had at their disposal. Within two years, VOA was broadcasting in 50 languages and dialects to many areas of the world.

    The Voice of America quickly became a trusted source of information for citizens of countries with media restrictions. Unlike other propaganda-based stations during the war, VOA reported under the ideal that truth would be the most effective form of propaganda. This strategy worked, as VOA gained popularity throughout many regions of the world.

    The Charter of The Voice of America states:

    • "VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective and comprehensive."

    • "VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions."

    • "VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussion and opinion on those policies."

    Following the culmination of World War II, the U.S. government began to neglect VOA. Many felt that the service was no longer valuable. VOA was created as a tool of war, and now deemed unnecessary in a time of peace. However, actions by the Soviet Union after the war prompted the United States to reconsider abandoning this service. In fact, as the Cold War loomed on the horizon and quickly gained intensity, the United States once again turned to radio as a weapon against communism.





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