Speaking to the world

The article Radio Free China' Plan Discussed," Aug. 29, says the mission of the Voice of America "is to tell the world about the United States," and this, the article continues, is why there is discussion in Washington of establishing a Radio Free China.I'd like to correct this misimpression. VOA does much more than just talk about America. Our 45 language services each shape a different program package daily to attract and inform listeners in their target areas. In general, about 80 percent of airtime in these services is given to news and news-related topics. Important local and regional news gets strong play in addition to global news, and nowhere is this truer than in China. Audiences are attracted to VOA because it speaks their language, knows their region, and accurately tells them what is going on. Perhaps the reason our comprehensive world and regional news programming is little known in this country is because by law VOA does not broadcast to the US. And because three-quarters of the VOA Charter is given to how VOA should represent American thought and action, this may be the reason some think that VOA programming is comprised only of textbook lessons about America. Chase Untermeyer, Washington, Director, Voice of America

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