Broadcasting Standards and Principles

All of the BBG’s broadcasting standards and principles are consistent with the U.S. International Broadcasting Act of 1994, the text of which is available here (as amended).

Broadcasting Standards 1

  • Be consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States
  • Be consistent with the international telecommunications policies and treaty obligations of the United States
  • Not duplicate the activities of private United States broadcasters
  • Not duplicate the activities of government supported broadcasting entities of other democratic nations
  • Be conducted in accordance with the highest professional standards of broadcast journalism
  • Be based on reliable information about its potential audience 2
  • Be designed so as to effectively reach a significant audience
  • Promote respect for human rights, including freedom of religion

Broadcasting Principles

  • News which is consistently reliable and authoritative, accurate, objective, and comprehensive
  • A balanced and comprehensive projection of United States thought and institutions, reflecting the diversity of United States culture and society
  • Clear and effective presentation of the policies, including editorials, broadcast by the Voice of America, which present the views of the United States Government 3 and responsible discussion and opinion on those policies
  • The capability to provide a surge capacity to support United States foreign policy objectives during crises abroad 4
  • Programming to meet needs which remain unserved by the totality of media voices available to the people of certain nations
  • Information about developments in each significant region of the world
  • A variety of opinions and voices from within particular nations and regions prevented by censorship or repression from speaking to their fellow countrymen
  • Reliable research capacity to meet the criteria under this section
  • Adequate transmitter and relay capacity to support the activities described in this section
  • Training and technical support for independent indigenous media through government agencies or private United States entities

Voice of America Broadcasts 5

The long-range interests of the United States are served by communicating directly with the peoples of the world by radio. To be effective, the Voice of America must win the attention and respect of listeners. These principles will therefore govern Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts:

  • VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive
  • VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions
  • VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies

  1. 22 U.S.C. 6202
  2. Sec. 502 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-292: 112 Stat. 2811) struck out “and” at the end of para. (6); replaced a period with “; and” at the end of para. (7); and added a new para. (8)
  3. Sec. 1323(d)(1) of the Foreign Affairs Agencies Consolidation Act of 1998 (division B, subdivision A of Public Law 105-277; 112 Stat. 2681-778) inserted “, including editorials, broadcast by the Voice of America, which present the views of the United States Government” after “policies”.
  4. Sec. 1323(dX2) and (3) of the Foreign Affairs Agencies Consolidation Act of 1998 (division B, subdivision A of Public Law 105-277; 112 Stat. 2681-778) redesignated paras. l4) through (9) as paras. (5) through (10) and added a new para. (4)
  5. Sec. 1(p) of Public Law 103-415 (108 Stat. 4301) added subsec
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