Ethiopia jams VOA

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawai is taking his country along the same path as China, Cuba, Iran and the old Soviet Union by setting up jamming broadcasts against the Voice of America.

Zenawi falls back on the old chestnut of “engaging in destabilizing propaganda.” (Which usually means VOA is providing uncensored news about the country doing the jamming.)

What too few people understand is that VOA, while funded by the U.S. government, is does not slant the news to fit government policy. (The Bush administration did all it could to get VOA to NOT interview Taliban leaders shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. They also tried to get reporters and editors transferred or fired because of their stories. The administration failed in all attempts.)

The charter of the VOA is clear: VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive.

The VOA has editorials that explain U.S. government policy but these are clearly identified and set aside from the usual news programs.

In the past few years VOA journalists have been honored for their work by journalism organizations in the United States.

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