The Voice of America turns 65 on Saturday. It’s a significant birthday, a celebration of both the accomplishments of a proud past as well as the hopes and aspirations we all share for the VOA of tomorrow.
Our first broadcast aired on February 24, 1942, just weeks after the United States entered World War II. VOA’s William Harlan Hale, broadcasting that day in German to shortwave listeners in occupied Europe, summed up the fledgling agency’s mission: “The news may be good, the news may be bad,” he said, “we shall tell you the truth.” Many years have passed since that day, and both the world and the technology of international broadcasting have changed dramatically, but VOA’s adherence to truth telling, to honest, accurate, comprehensive reporting on America and the world, endures.
Voice of America