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VOA Armenian Marks 65 Years On the Air

VOA Director Amanda Bennett (R) presents certificate of appreciation to members of the Armenian Service
VOA Director Amanda Bennett (R) presents certificate of appreciation to members of the Armenian Service

The Armenian Service of the Voice of America celebrated its 65th anniversary on Friday (June 24) during a ceremony at VOA headquarters in Washington.

VOA Armenian first aired on June 24, 1951. Diplomats, representatives of the Armenian diaspora and former staff members joined VOA Director Amanda Bennett in honoring the service as a vital source of news for Armenian speakers around the globe.

“Its role today is as vital as it has ever been during the past 65 years,” noted VOA Director Amanda Bennett, who emphasized the need to counter disinformation and anti-American propaganda. “VOA Armenian has been and continues to be a fair and objective source of news that Armenia and the rest of the world can trust.”

Armenia’s ambassador the United States, Grigor Hovhannissian, read a statement from his country’s president, Serzh Sargsian, who called VOA Armenian “a special bridge,” linking his country with the United States.

In a video message from the Armenian capital Yerevan, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills noted that “the Armenian people benefit when they have access to voices from around the world that represent a full range of viewpoints and ideas. VOA plays an important part in bringing Armenians those viewpoints and ideas.”

“VOA Armenian is one of the agency’s smallest but most effective services,” said Eurasia Division Director Elez Biberaj. “It has a weekly reach of 32 percent of adults in Armenia. It is among the leading international broadcasters in the region, and plays an important role as an unbiased source of information.”

Each weekday, VOA Armenian produces a daily 10-minute television report on U.S. and world events, American foreign policy, business, science and U.S.-Armenia relations. The service’s programming also includes a five-minute report on science, culture, technology, health and entertainment for Armenia TV’s Good Morning Armenia program. VOA Armenian also produces a weekly, 20-minute television magazine program on life in the United States, Armenians in America and Hollywood news as well as the latest developments in science, medicine and business.

In addition to maintaining a dynamic website and mobile presence, VOA Armenian provides video content on its YouTube channel and engages audiences through Facebook and Twitter.