The VOA, The Nation’s Station

14 Aug

WLW billed itself as “The Nation’s Station” during the 1930s.

It operated for a time with special authority and 500,000 watts. That was enough to melt nearby fences.

Just down the road was another transmitter plant also owned by Crosley Broadcasting. It was a shortwave service that would later become famous in government service.

The real “Nation’s Station” is one most Americans know little about, and most have never heard, The Voice Of America.

It’s legal for you to listen.

The signals and programming are not sent in your direction, so you have to know where to find them.

The VOA, as it’s known today is on shortwave, internet, television, FM and medium wave (AM) and heard and seen around the world.

It cannot target a US audience.

Besides the main VOA, there is Radio Marti for Cuba, and a few other specialized networks. It broadcasts in forty five languages but that number is dwindling each year.

The voice of the most powerful nation on earth is losing much of it’s power.

Recently the VOA dropped Russian language broadcasts.

This is an alarming development given the serious trouble taking place in Georgia.

With typical government rationale, the VOA dropped the Russian programming because the Cold War ended.

Forget that Russian tanks are rolling through Georgia this morning. And that the Voice of Russia is sounding more and more like the old Radio Moscow with it’s anti-American rhetoric.

While China, Russia and other major countries ramp up their external radio services America slashes the budgets of the most important radio and television stations in the free world.

The VOA along with BBC are still considered the most credible news services worldwide.

There are places in the world that people risk their lives to hear the broadcasts.

A healthy VOA budget is a small price to pay to help keep the peace.


Posted by on August 14, 2008 in Radio programming


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “The VOA, The Nation’s Station

  1. rjfish

    August 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    VOA is still operating in Egypt. I’m not sure if it’s a Middle East hub (as many have done in that country) or just covering Egypt, but I kept an ear on their work while living there, and they do fine work, certainly worth a listen.

  2. alanfurst

    August 15, 2008 at 2:03 am

    Jay, Thanks for the comment. You know from living overseas how important the VOA is in the lives of people in other countries.


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