Tag Archives: anniversary

VOA’s First Broadcasts: “The news may be good or bad, we shall tell you the truth”

Today BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 175 million in 59 languages in 100 countries, producing more than 4,100 hours of original programming each week.

Our broadcasts haven’t always been that widespread. The first transmission by a current BBG broadcaster was on February 1, 1942 when four Voice of America announcers introduced themselves and the news agency to listeners in Germany:

Following those words, the Voice of America has continued broadcasting, and has since been joined by other U.S. international media.

  • Radio Free Europe was founded in 1950 and initially broadcast to Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Three years later, Radio Liberty began broadcasting to the Soviet Union in Russian and 15 other national languages. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty began their joint broadcasts in 1975.    These new broadcasts included transmissions to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1975.
  • Radio Free Asia was incorporated on March 11, 1996. It broadcasts to The People’s Republic of China, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, Tibet and Vietnam and operates ten unique, interactive websites, nine in Asian languages.