Edward R. Murrow, the iconic former CBS News correspondent and longtime champion of the free press, again has his name associated with this country’s largest radio transmission plant following a rededication event on May 2 in Greenville, N.C.
The Voice of America shortwave transmitter station, known as Site B, was originally named after Murrow following his death in 1965. Murrow’s name was later dropped because of security reasons following 9/11.
Murrow, the so-called “Father of Broadcast Journalism,” also served as director of the United States Broadcasting Agency from 1961–1964. The agency provided broadcasts of the official views of the United States government to citizens of foreign countries.
Casey Murrow speaks at the ceremony. Image courtesy Broadcasting Board of Governors
Casey Murrow, the renowned wartime broadcasting legend’s son, said at the rededication event that his father would agree that the facility is as important today as it was in the 1960s.
“It does reach people who simply have no other access, whether it is Cuba or South America. It’s important to keep at least one [shortwave] facility in place her in the United States,” said Murrow.
U.S. Rep. Walter Jones; Governor Victor Ashe of the Broadcasting Board of Governors; Casey Murrow; and André Mendes, BBG director of the Office of Technology, Services and Innovation
The rededication also included remarks from International Broadcasting Bureau Director Richard M. Lobo and Governor Victor Ashe of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Lobo, in his comments at the event, said when Murrow addressed a crowd nearly 50 years at the dedication of the then new shortwave broadcasting center he was worried about the world’s dictators and their efforts to stifle open communication. “For many supporters of this country’s international broadcasting efforts the same concern holds true today,” Lobo said.
Murrow, IBB Director Lobo and Gov. Ashe
Meanwhile, supporters of shortwave broadcasting efforts by VOA and other U.S. international broadcast agencies were pleased with the rededication.
“The rededication of the VOA Greenville, N.C. transmitting facility in honor of pioneering radio and television journalist Edward R. Murrow would seem to affirm the commitment of the Broadcasting Board of Governors to continue shortwave radio broadcasting,” said Tim Shamble, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1812. “Until the Internet and other social media become totally free from interference and censorship by hostile governments, shortwave should remain the backbone of U.S. International Broadcasting.”
IBB Director Richard M. Lobo
AFGE Local 1812 represents employees at the VOA’s broadcast transmission facility.
The Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station, which includes eight high-power shortwave transmitters, broadcasts some 2,200 hours of programming produced in studios in Washington, D. C. Approximately 85% of the shortwave broadcasts from the relay station are Radio Marti Spanish-language broadcasts to Cuba.
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