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VOA HQ Is Named a Historic Site in Journalism

The distinction was announced by the Society of Professional Journalists

Entrance to the Wilbur J. Cohen Federal Building with VOA sign visible
by Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0

The headquarters of Voice of America has been designated as a historic site in journalism by the Society of Professional Journalists.

VOA is based at 330 Independence Ave. SW in Washington, D.C., within sight of the U.S. Capitol.

The Historic Site in Journalism program “honors the people and places that have played important roles in American journalistic history.”

VOA went on the air in 1942. “Although VOA is funded by U.S. Agency for Global Media, formerly known as the U.S. Foreign Information Service,” SPJ stated in its announcement, “it has, since its opening broadcast, remained editorially independent, with its credo emphasizing: ‘Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war. … The news may be good or bad for us — we will always tell you the truth.’”

VOA is in the Wilbur J. Cohen Federal Building, originally designed for the Social Security Administration. It also served the National Defense Committee and Department of War in World War II. Later it was headquarters of the U.S. Information Agency, and VOA arrived in 1954.

A bronze plaque will be placed there to mark it as a National Historic Site in Journalism.

“For 80 years, the Voice of America has been a source of solid and honest journalism. From its beginning in 1942, despite being a U.S. government agency, through custom, charters and law the editorial independence of VOA journalists has not wavered,” wrote Dan Kubiske, co-chair of the SPJ International Community, which sponsored the proposal.

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