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Historical Highlights - 1980s

  • Shayan Rashid

Our Historical Highlights present a listing of significant dates and developments in VOA’s history.

Our Historical Highlights present a listing of significant dates and developments in VOA’s history. For a more detailed discussion of VOA’s overall development over the decades, visit our in-depth illustrated history chapters, which include historic audio clips and photographs. Click on the decade below to find more detailed information about that time in VOA's history.

1980s

1983

VOA launches a $1.3 billion program to rebuild and modernize programming and technical capabilities. In Washington, 19 studios are constructed, a new Master Control complex is installed, and a Network Control Center is built to coordinate and direct VOA's domestic and overseas transmitting stations.

1989

VOA Mandarin and Cantonese broadcasts are increased to bring millions of Chinese listeners accurate reports of the pro-democracy movement that filled Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and the streets of dozens of Chinese cities. Chinese government begins to jam VOA Mandarin broadcasts, a practice that still continues today.

June 8, 1989

As a response to the Tiananmen massacre, television cameras are brought to a VOA news studio to transmit via satellite, for the first time ever, live video of Mandarin-language newscasts to the People’s Republic of China. VOA Mandarin scripts are scrolled beneath news readers in synchronized fashion as newscasts are read. The telecasts cease in August 1989.

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