Happy 70th VOA! David Ensor to discuss accomplishments, road ahead today

VOA 70th Anniversary logoVOA Director David Ensor hosts a discussion today at 10:30am ET on VOA’s “accomplishments and the road ahead.”

I’d like to share my vision of the future with you and hear your thoughts.  The meeting will give you a chance to see some of the exciting programs we have recently launched and others we have in mind.

The public may (check for yourself) be able to watch live via Windows Media, listen live via Windows Media, or download the event later as an MP3 or Windows Media.

From the public release from VOA on today’s anniversary of VOA’s first broadcast:

Ensor said the one-time cold war broadcaster is “as relevant today as it was February 1st, 1942,” the date of the first shortwave radio broadcast to Germany.”

Created by the U.S. government in the opening days of World War Two, the Voice of America has evolved into a global multi-media organization, broadcasting balanced and comprehensive news in 43 languages to an estimated weekly audience of 141 million.

The first shortwave radio transmission, spoken in German just weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, began with the words “Here speaks a voice from America.” The broadcast went on to promise, “The news may be good. The news may be bad. We shall tell you the truth.” Ensor, the 28th Voice of America director, says the agency continues to be guided by those words.

VOA radio remains highly popular in many markets, including Somalia, parts of Pakistan and Haiti. Ensor says the agency is moving forward with new television and Internet programs that target countries like Iran, where the government restricts the free flow of information.

VOA programs are delivered on satellite, cable TV, mobile, shortwave, FM, medium wave, the Internet, and on a network of about 1,200 affiliate stations around the world. In addition to more than 1,100 employees in Washington, VOA works with contract journalists in trouble spots around the world. Last month the Taliban claimed responsibility for the murder of a reporter working for VOA in Pakistan.

(Wondering why no QuickTime or other popular format is available? Probably because of the Government’s IT policy, but you’ll have to check that out yourself.  For example, Secretary of State Clinton got a big cheer when she announced last week that Google Chrome was going to be deployed February 14th on State Department computers.  Next month: Internet Explorer 8!  …. seriously…)

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