The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: February 1 – Voice of America begins broadcasting 70 years ago

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Voice of America (VOA) is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio and TV and the Internet outside of the U.S. in 44 languages. VOA produces about 1,500 hours of news and feature programming each week for an estimated global audience of 123 million people, “to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas.” A 1976 law signed by President Gerald Ford requires VOA to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” The VOA Charter states: “VOA news will be accurate, objective and comprehensive.” However, the service has been criticized as an instrument of American propaganda. Under §501 of the Smith–Mundt Act of 1948, VOA is forbidden to broadcast directly to American citizens. The intent of the legislation is to protect the American public from propaganda actions by its own government. Although VOA does not broadcast domestically, Americans can access the programs through shortwave and streaming audio over the Internet.

Learn more about VOA on their website.

It’s Wednesday, February 1

The Empty Bowls Project, an effort to combat hunger in our region, will be held Saturday, February 25, at the Paducah Convention Center. $15 tickets purchase a handmade ceramic bowl and food donated by local restaurants, with proceeds going to the Community Kitchen. Purchase tickets in advance by calling Michael Terra Cottage Studios at 908-0090.

Applications are now available for the first six hunting days of the 2012 Turkey Season at Land Between the Lakes. These quota hunts provide unique recreational opportunities and help maintain a healthy turkey population. The application fee is $5. Find more information and apply online at lbl.org.

The 8th Annual Reelfoot Lake Eagle Festival takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Festival features include guided bus and van tours, a live birds of prey program, an art and photography contest, storytelling, a silent auction, and more. Make reservations for van tours at 731-253-9652.

Tomorrow at noon, hear Maya Angelou’s Black History Month Special on 913 WKMS. Click here for details on Black History Month programming.

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