This week marks a major milestone for the Voice of America -- the 40th anniversary of the VOA Charter.
On July 12, 1976, President Gerald Ford signed the Charter into law, institutionalizing what long had been the Voice of America’s standard for journalistic excellence. “The VOA Charter has never been more important than it is today,” said VOA Director Amanda Bennett. “The world needs a reliable and authoritative source of news and information, which is what the VOA Charter intends us to be. It also states that we are to represent all Americans, not just a single aspect of American society. We are tasked with telling the truth and to tell it from all sides. That’s free press; that’s fair press. That’s the Voice of America.”
The long-range interests of the United States are served by communicating directly with the peoples of the world by radio. To be effective, the Voice of America must win the attention and respect of listeners. These principles will therefore govern Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts:
- VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive.
- VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions.
- VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.
Gerald R. Ford
President of the United States of America
Signed July 12, 1976
Public Law 94-350
Since its creation at the beginning of World War II, the Voice of America has told its audiences the truth. Through that conflict, the Cold War, and the fight against global terrorism and the struggle for freedom around the globe today, VOA has been an example to the world by upholding the principles of a free press.
A brief video on the history of the VOA Charter and its significance can be found here.