VOA

Ukraine at a Crossroads

Wednesday, February 19th 2014

The most underreported crisis in the world may finally be getting the attention it deserves.

Ukraine has had a rough path since independence, especially when measured against the hopes that were raised there after the collapse of the Soviet Union. For the last two decades, the country has been plagued by corruption and economic hardship as competing factions have struggled for control. Now the ideological division between those who see the best prospects for Ukraine’s future in the West, and those who prefer the view toward Moscow, has erupted into violence. Anti-government rallies that began as largely peaceful demonstrations several months ago, after President Viktor Yanukovych chose an economic bailout offer from Russia over an economic integration pact from the European Union, were attacked yesterday by police, turning Kiev’s Independence Square into a blazing battleground.

What would hearten Ukraine’s pro-democracy demonstrators the most right now would be a message of support for their fight for freedom and the rule of law, from the countries that they would like Ukraine to emulate. Instead, what they have heard so far have been balanced calls by the United States and Europe for calm, and a condemnation by the U.S. National Security Council of the “street violence and excessive use of force on either side.” (One U.S. official who has spoken out publicly for Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence has been Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Russian intelligence is believed to have struck back by secretly taping and leaking some private and undiplomatic remarks she made to a colleague criticizing the EU.)

Obviously Ukraine’s future should be determined by Ukrainians. But since many people around the world see the U.S. as the leading advocate of freedom and democracy, we need to show support for those who want to share our values, and that support must be clear and firm not only in our private but also in our public diplomacy.

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David S. Jackson

David Jackson is a veteran journalist and former U.S. government official with extensive multimedia communications experience in domestic and international markets.

...click authors name for more info

Author: David S Jackson

The ultimate persuaders: VOA's truth seekers in the trenches

Wednesday, August 29th 2012

“Truth and personal integrity,” legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow once said, “are the ultimate persuaders of men and nations.”

So it is today at the nation’s largest and only global publicly-funded international network, the Voice of America. The sacrifices of frontline VOA journalists barely rate mention in the mainstream press --- even though these centurions of truth daily fulfill Murrow’s charge.

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Alan L. Heil Jr.

Board member

Summary: As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 125 million people in 44 languages.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Alan Heil

Reciprocity and radio: The winners are ...

Tuesday, June 14th 2011

“Radio is a supple and durable technology that has outlived quite a few predictions of its demise.”  That statement by John Staudenmaier, editor of the Journal of Technology and Culture, rings true even in this new century of digital social media and the advent of a staggering variety of delivery platforms beyond traditional radio and TV.

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Alan L. Heil Jr.

Board member

Summary: As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 125 million people in 44 languages.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Alan Heil

First, Do No Harm

Monday, June 6th 2011

Those who practice the art of public diplomacy might do well to keep in mind the famous cautionary guidance for those who practice the healing arts. Put another way: If you find yourself in a tough situation, whatever you do, don’t make things worse.

The position of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs was created at the end of the Clinton Administration, nearly a dozen years ago, and since then, there have been a half dozen presidential appointees who have been entrusted with the responsibility of using the tools of public diplomacy and public affairs to advance the national interests – and improve international understanding – of the United States around the world.

None of them has made things worse. But have they made them better?

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David S. Jackson

David Jackson is a veteran journalist and former U.S. government official with extensive multimedia communications experience in domestic and international markets.

...click authors name for more info

Author: David S Jackson

2011: Tectonic shift for Western government overseas media?

Wednesday, May 25th 2011

The first three days of June offer unique Washington forums on the fate of international broadcasting in a critical year for the largest of the global publicly-funded Western overseas networks. At issue: the future of these enterprises in the face of a rapidly-evolving media environment and, in some instances, horrific budget cuts.

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Alan L. Heil Jr.

Board member

Summary: As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 125 million people in 44 languages.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Alan Heil

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