Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Voice of America's Chinese radio service to go silent

Radio Silence in China: VOA Abandons the Airwaves

On October 1, 2011, Voice of America’s (VOA) Chinese radio service will go silent, as U.S. international broadcasting abandons the airwaves and moves to the Internet. In the burgeoning age of new media, many, including the management at Voice of America, seem to be questioning the continued relevance of shortwave radio. Yet, while the Internet offers great potential, U.S. public diplomacy cannot rest exclusively on the use of a single platform. This is particularly true where the prevalence of Internet censorship is high. Just this past May, China announced the creation of its State Internet Information Office, intended to expand and enhance China’s information dissemination policy, and leading many to question whether abandoning the airwaves is truly the best way to reach America’s audiences throughout the world. On May 25, 2011, three expert panelists—the senior editor at VOA’s China branch, the CEO of Continental Electronics Corporation, and VOA’s former director—discussed the current U.S. strategy for its international broadcasting.

HUCHEN ZHANG, Senior Editor, Voice of America China Branch: My name is Huchen Zhang; I’ve been working at Voice of America’s (VOA) China branch for 20 years. I’m speaking to you today as a professional journalist and private citizen. What I’m going to say are my personal observations and opinions. They do not represent the official policy of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), or VOA.

Additional story in detail at: The Heritage Foundation