VOA’s Charter commits us to being a consistently reliable and authoritative source of accurate and objective news. Our dedication to that commitment is drawing record audiences to Voice of America, now topping more than 172 million people a week. The Charter goes on to say that VOA “will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present discussion and opinion on these policies.” We do that well in our journalism, but today we are adding a new feature designed to help us do it even better: an online U.S. commentary and opinion page.
When appropriate and as events warrant, we will present policy statements by U.S. officials from the White House and State Department to the Pentagon and other government agencies, as well as from members of both parties in Congress. These views may be in writing, or video from Congressional testimony or perhaps a speech.
We will also return to something VOA used to be known for: a roundup of U.S. newspaper editorials—this time of course, it will include opinion from websites and social media. At most newspapers, the person responsible for the editorial page reports—not to the Managing Editor—but to the publisher. The editor of our U.S. commentary and opinion page will report to the VOA Director, not to the journalists deciding our daily news coverage.
One thing must be clear: We will curate this page, but you will NOT see opinion or commentary written by VOA journalists. They will continue to produce the balanced, thoughtful reporting that our audiences have counted on for more than 73 years.
VOA has always done more than “just the news.” From Willis Conover’s historic jazz broadcasts, to teaching English, to last year’s award-winning documentary AIDS: Living in the Shadows, VOA enhances the world’s understanding of American culture, thought and institutions. Our U.S. commentary and opinion page continues that tradition online as we look for new ways to fulfill our mission for new audiences.