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VOA Marks 70th Anniversary

U.S. President Barack Obama and other prominent world figures have joined in the year-long celebration of Voice of America's 70th anniversary with messages of congratulations.

The president credited VOA with providing "accurate and objective" news in the face of foreign governments that censor, and regimes that deny universal rights. In a video message released at an anniversary event Wednesday, Obama said the United States is stronger and the world more just because of VOA's efforts.

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi congratulates Voice of America on its 70th anniversary in this screengrab from a video produced to mark the milestone, March 7, 2012.
Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi congratulates Voice of America on its 70th anniversary in this screengrab from a video produced to mark the milestone, March 7, 2012.

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said VOA's 70th anniversary is "like the birthday of a friend," saying VOA and other broadcasting stations were the friends who kept her company during her long years of house arrest.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said VOA's Tibetan service has played a vital role for Tibetans by broadcasting unbiased news, and said he believes news organizations like VOA are "critically important."

Created by the U.S. government during World War II to broadcast news into territory occupied by Nazi Germany, the Voice of America has evolved into a global multimedia organization, broadcasting in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of more than 140 million.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama congratulates Voice of America on its 70th anniversary in this screengrab from a video produced to mark the milestone, March 7, 2012.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama congratulates Voice of America on its 70th anniversary in this screengrab from a video produced to mark the milestone, March 7, 2012.

VOA's first shortwave radio transmission, spoken in German on February 1, 1942, began with the words, "Here speaks a voice from America." The broadcast went on to promise, "The news may be good. The news may be bad. We shall tell you the truth."

VOA's 70th anniversary comes as the agency faces budget cuts, along with much of the rest of the federal government. Some language services face sharp staffing cuts or possible elimination.

VOA programs are delivered on television, radio, Internet and mobile platforms, with a network of about 1,200 affiliate stations around the world. In addition to more than 1,100 employees in Washington, VOA works with journalists in trouble spots around the world. Earlier this year, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the murder of a reporter working for VOA in Pakistan.

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by: Sudheer
March 12, 2012 5:56 AM
Solid 70 years! Great service to the world! I am grateful to those behind VOA English & VOA Hindi, which are my most favorites.

by: kevin
March 09, 2012 4:13 AM
congratulation!

by: 王阳明
March 09, 2012 1:06 AM
I am new here. I just want to say congratulations!

by: dragonfly
March 09, 2012 12:25 AM
Happy birthday to the remakable broadcasting service for its impartial and swift coverage of stories around the world and for bringing the voice of democarcy and freedom to those who still live in closed societies~ Thank you so much for helping me improve my English every day and for being such a faithful and trustworthy friend~~

by: SHIH-HUNG
March 08, 2012 8:41 PM
Happy birthday

by: yasu
March 08, 2012 7:36 PM
Congratulations and Thank you. VOA you always provide me news and interesting informations around world, and an opportunity to learn English.

by: Mike
March 08, 2012 5:03 PM
I have been listening to VOA since 1968. It is the most reliable source of un-biased info I know of. They even run stories critical of its own government's policies, giving both sided of a controversy. Sometimes their stories are short on background details but it is definitely not government propaganda.

Best wishes for the next 70 years!

by: Adnan Efrini
March 08, 2012 4:28 PM
Voice of America, it is not just voice of Americans but voice of the entire world especially it is voice of all oppressed nations. Through VOA we reach our voice and concerns to the entire world, and in particularly to all Kurds in North America. Here, in the 70 anniversary of VOA we congratulate you and best wishes in the future. We hope that VOA focuses more on the Kurdi dialect of Kurds in the upcoming future.

by: Amed Amedi
March 08, 2012 3:56 PM
We Kurdish people love Voice of America. We want more broadcast in our language. We want more freedom. Thank you Serok Obama

by: TRAN , TRINH
March 08, 2012 2:51 PM
CONGRATULATION 70 th ANNIVERSARY VOA.
VOA News help me to learn more and practise my English, special Listening . Thanks a lot
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