The quote in the Oct. 24 story “Mike Dorrough Lends His Voice to Delano VOA Effort” (RW Newsbytes) is misleading in calling the government’s Delano transmitting facility “the one intact VOA in existence.”
Far from being the only VOA transmitting station, Delano is part of a network of more than 70 transmitting sites and nearly 20 facilities worldwide run by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (the organization that provides broadcast and engineering support for VOA and other U.S. international broadcasters).
The Delano facility has been a valued asset in our efforts to promote the values of democracy for 63 years but shortwave broadcasting is no longer the most effective way to reach our audiences in all parts of the world.
To put it into perspective, in Iran, VOA reaches one quarter of adults each week via satellite TV. In China, use of Internet and SMS by 15-to-29 year olds is three and seven times greater than radio listening. In other places, such as Afghanistan, radio listening remains prevalent.
Our Greenville, N.C., facility now covers the Latin American regions that Delano used to handle, and broadcasts to Africa as well.
Some of the Delano transmitters will be moved to our broadcast facilities in the Philippines to improve our reach to critical audiences.
We are proud of our important history and investing in the future. By any measure, shifts of our broadcast resources have proven successful, growing our international audience — on radio, TV and the Internet — by 75 percent over the last eight years.
Letitia M. King
Office of Public Affairs
Broadcasting Board of Governors