Responding to a story here last week about the fate of the Voice of America facility in Delano, spokeswoman Letitia King with the Broadcasting Board of Governors defended the organization’s management and said a statement in Mike Dorrough’s letter was incorrect.
“The Oct. 24 piece, ‘Mike Dorrough Lends His Voice to Delano VOA Effort’ is misleading in calling the government’s Delano transmitting facility ‘the one intact VOA in existence,'” King pointed out.
“Far from being the only VOA transmitting station, Delano is part of a network of over 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).”
BBG has medium-wave radio transmitting facilities in Marathon, Fla., and shortwave radio transmitting facilities in Greenville, N.C., and in the Northern Marianas, a commonwealth of the U.S. King wrote that the facility in Greenville now covers Latin American regions that Delano used to handle, and broadcasts to Africa as well. Some of the Delano transmitters will be moved to broadcast facilities in the Philippines to improve reach to critical audiences, she said; and she described the Delano facility as being in cold storage.
“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.”
“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.”