Speaking as an international English language teacher who has used “Voice of America” extensively for over a decade for listening comprehension and class discussion material, since they offer graded-language articles, I immediately understood this snub. They, like NPR, are guaranteed public money to produce their reporting. They don’t editorialize, hence don’t have the easy point of attack that NPR does of running leftist (don’t attack me, NPR is definitely factual in their reporting, but their editorials definitely skew left, and I don’t have any issue with that because I think they do great fact-based work), but VoA makes a point of building its stories out of general objective reporting about actual story facts, usually quite pared-down to the most neutral relevant ones, plus mentions of what Americans from disparate camps are saying.
A typical VoA story looks like this:
“A US drone strike in the Afghan border region of Pakistan killed 12 people today. Locals are angry. The white house says these strikes are vital to protect Americans from terrorism. Locals say they are poorly targetted and kill many innocent people. Pakistan said they violate its sovereignty. President Barack Obama has said that they are a better option than conducting a ground war which would kill many more people. He said he is working with foreign governments to get cooperation. Some Americans support him. Other Americans criticize him for a policy they call ‘wrongheaded,’ and ‘inhumane,’ and question whether the strikes really kill the people they are targetted at. They want him to stop the strikes and seek a congressional vote on war powers.”
About as middle of the road as you could imagine. I personally love them for that, and think they are one of the last pre-entertainment journalism holdouts still around. They don’t break any news, and they dont try to sway anybody on anything. They just report the absolute most basic facts available and the most absolute basic opposing takes on them.
Again: being familiar with their style, it is immediately obvious to me why this president doesn’t want to talk to them. And I think if this is an offensive style to him, we need a new president. Let’s get out there and vote.
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