“Radio Broadcast Sent To Russia By State Department” photograph from the National Archives, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Description: Interior view of seven men and women taken during a radio broadcast sent to Russia from the State Department’s studios in New York. Identified as left to right: Boris Brodenov, Kathrine Elene, James Shigorin, Vladmir Postman, Mrs. Lucy Bates, Victor Franzusoff, and Mrs. Tatiana Hecker, all American citizens. Lettering on top of microphone is in Russian language. (Charles Thayer supervised the programs.) Date(s): ca. February 1947.
Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Poland, Public Diplomacy, Radio, RFE, RL, Russia, VOA

Why Voice of America and BBC Had No Russian-Language Broadcasts Until After WWII?

Cold War Radio Museum By Ted Lipien A partial answer to the question of why the Voice of America (VOA) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had no Russian-language radio broadcasts to the Soviet Union until after the end of World War II can be found in the biography of William Benton by Sidney Hyman. William Benton (1900–1973) was a…

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Bertram D. Wolfe, 1919.
Cold War, Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, Religion, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Religious Programs at the Voice of America

Anti-communist atheist Bertram D. Wolfe discovered that Voice of America (VOA) English writers could not write persuasively about religion in communist-ruled nations in the early 1950s. Religious programming was then and continues to be a challenge for VOA’s American-born officials and broadcasters, partly because of the wrongly perceived separation of church and state concerns and partly because of a certain…

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Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and his wife Natalia Dmitriyevna Solzhenitsyn exiting from Alaska Airlines plane upon their arrival on May 27, 1994 in Vladivostok as they returned from exile in the United States. Photo by Ted Lipien.
China, Cold War, Featured, Highlights, International Broadcasting, Iran, Media, Radio, RFE, RL, Russia

Protecting Communists from Embarrassment: A History of Censorship at the Voice of America

There is a long history of censorship at the Voice of America, which shows how easily some VOA leaders, editors, and journalists were duped by propaganda from communist and other authoritarian regimes. During World War II and in some periods of the Cold War, the VOA management protected Stalin. Today’s VOA leaders protected from embarrassment Vietnam’s communist Prime Minister Pham…

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Featured, Highlights, Media, VOA

Voice of America – USAGM Management Censored News to Protect Communist Vietnam — Radio Free Asia Did Not

USAGM Watch Commentary As reported by Paul Farhi in the Washington Post on Tuesday, the Voice of America (VOA) management in the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which is now headed by a former VOA Director, Amanda Bennett, removed a news story that embarrassed Vietnam’s prime minister. The removal of the story by the Voice of America was requested…

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Tadeusz A. Lipien (Ted Lipien)
Featured, Highlights, Russia

Putin won’t go nuclear — may be overthrown | Ted Lipien in Washington Examiner

I wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Examiner that Russian President Vladimir Putin is desperate, that’s for sure. But his threat of using tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine is a classic Soviet-style attempt at blackmail that, hopefully, no Western leader will fall for. If anything, by suggesting the possibility of using nuclear weapons, Putin may have advanced the date of his removal from power.…

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Cold War, Featured, Glos Ameryki, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Poland, Public Diplomacy, Radio, RFE, RL, Russia, VOA

A Book for Experts and Students of Cold War History

Mark Pomar’s new book about the Cold War political radio could help American government officials unfamiliar with the history of U.S. international broadcasting. Mark Pomar’s book Cold War Radio [Mark G. Pomar, Cold War Radio: The Russian Broadcasts of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Lincoln: Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, 2022), Amazon Link] is, in my…

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Voice of America Director Evelyn S. Lieberman (1997-1999). VOA Photo.
Featured, Highlights, International Broadcasting, Photos, Public Diplomacy, VOA, Women

With Voice of America Director Evelyn Lieberman in Russia

Evelyn May Lieberman (née Simonowitz; July 9, 1944 – December 12, 2015) was the Director of the Voice of America (VOA) from 1997 until 1999 during the Clinton administration. She was the first woman to serve as White House Deputy Chief of Staff and was the first United States Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. It was Lieberman who transferred former…

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Cold War, Glos Ameryki, Highlights, History, Poland, Radio, RFE, RL, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Jamming Was a Sign of Effectiveness of Western Broadcasts

Soviet jamming was a sign of the effectiveness of Western radio broadcasts. Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were consistently jammed. The Voice of America was jammed only during some periods. Ted Lipien for Cold War Radio Museum In his book Operation Suicide: “Those Strange Bridges to Communism,” published in 1967, American journalist Eugene Lyons, a former communist sympathizer who interviewed Joseph Stalin…

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Voice of America New York
Cold War, Featured, Glos Ameryki, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Poland, Radio, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Beware of Government Propaganda “Experts”

Disinformation governance by government propaganda experts can be dangerous, judging by the record of the early officials in charge of the Voice of America and journalists duped by Soviet propaganda. As the Voice of America (VOA), the United States government’s radio station for international audiences, observes its eightieth anniversary in 2022, it may surprise some Americans, assuming they have heard…

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Ukraine is today “the area of decision between Russia and the Free World” and “the one big problem” for Russia’s ex-KGB leader Vladimir Putin.
Cold War, Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, Radio, RFE, Russia, Ukraine

Ukraine is the area of decision between Russia and the Free World

Ukraine is today “the area of decision between Russia and the Free World” and “the one big problem” for Russia’s ex-KGB leader Vladimir Putin. By Ted Lipien Ukraine is today “the area of decision between Russia and the Free World” and “the one big problem” for Russia’s ex-KGB leader Vladimir Putin. The “Communist Timetable” in the 1950s and the 1960s…

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Blog, Featured, Glos Ameryki, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, Media, Poland, RFE, RL, Russia, Ukraine, VOA, VOA80, Women

I’m proud of my Polish hometown’s aid to Ukrainian war refugees

This is an excerpt from my March 15, 2022 Washington Examiner op-ed about my Polish hometown’s (Mszana Dolna) aid to Ukrainian war refugees and a few broader propaganda warfare and U.S. international broadcasting issues. I’m proud of my Polish hometown’s aid to Ukrainian war refugees By Ted Lipien Still, over the years, his [Putin’s] propagandists have done tremendous damage to…

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Cold War, Featured, History, Russia, Ukraine, VOA

Black history hero Homer Smith fought racism at home and Soviet propaganda abroad

Smith should be recognized for his principled refusal to contribute to the manipulation of the Western media by the Soviets, as well as for his struggle against racism in America. I could not find any photographs of Homer Smith, Jr. which are in the public domain. The featured photo above shows A. Marcus Garveyite reading the OWI (Office of War…

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Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, VOA, VOA80

VOA at 80: Selling “the religion of democracy” was Voice of America’s first mission statement

80 years ago today, on February 1, 1942, the first Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcast in German may have gone on the air. There is some uncertainty as to the exact date of the first VOA radio transmission, and the programs did not acquire the official Voice of America name until several years later. Selling “the religion of democracy”…

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Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Russia, VOA, VOA80

VOA at 80: Different Names of the Voice of America

80 years ago today, on February 1, 1942, the first Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcast in German may have gone on the air. There is some uncertainty as to the exact date in February 1942. Moreover, for the first several years, the name “Voice of America” was not yet used. The early broadcasts had various names, such as “America…

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