It’s been a while in coming. But finally, we have a VOA News Blog. And as we inaugurate it, we thought it appropriate to discuss some of the basic principles that guide all editorial personnel at the Voice of America – especially because many people have a lot of misconceptions about VOA and how it operates journalistically.
Since we are in the process of producing a new handbook for VOA journalists, we thought quoting from the draft manuscript would help all of you with an interest in going behind-the-scenes at VOA to better understand what VOA is all about. So here we go. These are the proposed first words in the new handbook:
CREDIBILITY is our constant goal and ACCURACY, OBJECTIVITY and COMPREHENSIVENESS our tools for achieving it. Edward R. Murrow, testifying before a Senate subcommittee in 1953 on the Voice of America, said: “The measure of our success will be the degree to which we are believed.” Those words are as valid today as they were more than a half century ago.
INDEPENDENCE: VOA will always air all relevant facts and opinions on important news events and issues. Although funded by the U.S. government, our journalists do not speak for the U.S. government. We accept no treatment or assistance from U.S. government officials or agencies any different than that granted to other news organizations.
RESPECT: We will always show respect for our audiences, whose interests are at the center of everything we do, and for our colleagues, whose creativity and energy are essential to our ability to meet our audiences’ needs. We will work to foster teamwork and goodwill in the workplace, putting the quest for excellence in the content of our programs above all other considerations.
Now, we hope this is a good start to a dialogue with all of you out there with questions or comments about VOA and our programs. Let the dialogue begin!