Washington, D.C., January 15, 2008 - This month the Voice of America (VOA) enters into a dialogue with its Internet audience about its journalistic standards and editorial decisions through the just-launched VOA News Blog.
"We want to shed more light on the journalistic standards that guide VOA," said Alex Belida, Senior Advisor for News and the chief writer of the VOA News Blog. "This is a valuable avenue for engaging our audience, taking them behind the scenes and explaining how we cover the news."
The first installments are now online at http://voanewsblog.blogspot.com/. One talks about the new VOA handbook and the principles of credibility, independence, and respect that every VOA journalist must uphold.
Another VOA News Blog posting focuses on how VOA decides to use the term "rebel" instead of "terrorist." Future postings will look at core editorial guidelines such as the VOA Charter, which requires programming to be accurate, objective, comprehensive, and balanced. As the dialogue expands, VOA will draw on the knowledge and expertise of editors and writers from throughout its newsroom and 45 languages services.
Alex Belida has been VOA's Senior Advisor for News since March 2007. From 2004 to 2007, he was VOA's Managing Editor for News. He has served at VOA's Senior White House Correspondent and Pentagon Correspondent, and he has also done stints as a correspondent in Africa and Europe. In 2006, he received the prestigious Alumni Achievement Award in journalism from Columbia University.
Last week, VOA debuted an African music blog African Music Treasures and other specialized blogs will be available in the future.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.