What is Voice of America&Reg;?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2019
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The Voice of America® (VOA) is a broadcast radio station funded through the United States government. It broadcasts programs internationally in over 40 languages to provide news and information about the United States to people living outside of the country. In addition to news programming, the station also offers educational programs and features on American life. Along with other government funded non-military broadcasting, it is managed through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an organization that is designed to maintain the fidelity of the service, regardless of internal American politics.

The roots of this station can be found in the Office of War Information, which was founded during World War II to broadcast information into the Axis nations of Japan, Italy, and Germany. In 1942, Voice of America® was formally founded, with the idea of acting as a source of balanced information about America in countries that might not have alternative sources of news. It targeted programming at nations like China and Russia during the Cold War, and expanded its broadcasting throughout the 20th century.

Listeners within the United States can pick up the Voice of America® on shortwave and through streaming media broadcasting, but the group does not formally broadcast within the country. This is due to an agreement between the station and privately owned broadcasters within the US, which were concerned about having to compete with the federal government.


Over 115 million listeners worldwide tune in to programming from this service. In the latter part of the 20th century, the company expanded into multimedia international broadcasting, offering television in addition to radio programming. According to its charter, the Voice of America® is accurate, objective, and comprehensive, and aims to represent all segments of American society and thought. It clearly represents the policies of the United States at home and abroad. In addition to running numerous region desks and stations, the service also provides content to radio stations worldwide.

One of the more unique features of the Voice of America® is its Special English programming. This programming is aimed at people who are not native English speakers, and it uses simple language and very plain sentence construction to convey information and promote English learning. Special English offerings are very popular among listeners all over the world, providing news and information about American life and culture.


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Post 1

Voice recognition programs do not understand or process speech, but recognize only pre-programed words stored in a database. Is this statement true?

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