SPJ denounces White House attacks on Voice of America
Patricia Gallagher Newberry, SPJ National President, 513-702-4065, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, email@example.com
INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists denounces the recent attack on Voice of America from the White House.
"The White House attack on the integrity of the reporters and editors at Voice of America is unwarranted and dangerous," said SPJ National President Patricia Gallagher Newberry. "It remains a news organization widely respected around the world for its independence and fair and accurate reporting. To say VOA is propaganda is simply not a true statement."
The VOA Charter and federal law protects the editorial independence of Voice of America. Any effort by an administration to weaken that independence is of great concern to us. We stood with VOA journalists against past efforts and we do so again today.
The recent complaints that VOA has become a propaganda arm of a foreign power can easily be countered by looking at the impressive record of COVID-19 coverage by VOA reporters. Articles about actions taken to counter COVID-19 are no more positive propaganda than are they are negative propaganda. They are solidly reported articles that accurately present the current situation.
The Trump Administration should re-affirm the legal protections VOA journalists have from political interference in their work. We stand with organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and PEN America in denouncing these attacks. We also call on other journalism and free press and free speech organizations to publicly announce their support for the continued independence of VOA journalists.
SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.