«Voice of America» at the service of the US Department of State (1945–1953): the battle for existence
Ph. D. (History), Associate Professor,
National aviation university, Kyiv, Ukraine.
Abstract. The article is devoted to the activities of «Voice of America» in one of the most difficult periods for this organization – 1945–1953. The difficulty of the existence of «Voice of America» in the specified period was explained by the fact that having fulfilled its task – opposition to German and Italian propaganda during the Second World War – «Voice of America» faced the threat of extinction. The purpose of the article is to consider the struggle of «Voice of America» for its existence, to show the problems «Voice of America» faced during the period of being under the State Department jurisdiction, as well as the role of the latter in preserving this radio broadcast.
The article analyzes the American and Ukrainian developments regarding the research topic and emphasizes the significant positive changes currently observed in the Ukrainian scientific environment regarding the research topic. It is noted that the post-war events in the world and the immediate beginning of the «Cold War» contributed to solving the question of the feasibility of the existence of «Voice of America», as some political circles began to see in «Voice of America» a new tool for countering Soviet propaganda. Therefore, the question about the need to continue foreign information operations as an integral part of conducting foreign affairs arose on the agenda, especially considering the nature of international relations after the end of the war. It is indicated that despite the obvious advantage of «Voice of America» existence, a certain skepticism was observed among congressmen. It resulted in the reduction of funding for «Voice of America» activities which led to a reduction in staff, broadcasting hours, variety of programs, etc. Special attention is drawn to William Benton, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, the man who single-handedly saved the «Voice of America» from complete disappearance.
The methodological basis of the article was the principle of historicism, a systematic approach, problem-chronological and descriptive methods.
The scientific novelty consists in a step-by-step examination of the problems faced by the «Voice of America» in the specified period, showing the role of W. Benton in preserving the existence of the radio station, as well as in refuting the thesis regarding the absolute informational independence of the «Voice of America» from the US government. It is noted that the «Voice of America» in 1945–1953 still tried to reflect American foreign policy from the official American point of view. However, it was more independent in criticizing the domestic political situation.
Key words: «Voice of America», US State Department, broadcasting, «Cold War», public diplomacy, William Benton.
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