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The Voice of America (VOA) represents the U.S. government's original venture in influencing world opinion through broadcast news and entertainment content. As of 2006, VOA broadcasts were delivered via shortwave in 44 languages to an estimated 100 million people.

From its beginning, the VOA has walked a fine line between providing balanced news coverage and offering content supportive of U.S. political policies. On February 24, 1942, the VOA—then known as the U.S. Foreign Information Service—aired its first broadcast, transmitting news of World War II to Europe. In signing on the network, announcer William Harlan Hale told listeners that the service would broadcast the truth regardless of whether it was good or bad. Hale's words were reflected in the VOA charter, drafted in 1960 and adopted in ...

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