Iran Focus: London, Apr. 16 – The US media giant Voice of America (VOA) which broadcasts into Iran rejected Thursday claims of "bias" in its program.
London, Apr. 16 – The US media giant Voice of America (VOA) which broadcasts into Iran rejected Thursday claims of "bias" in its program.
"It is unfortunate that 'The Washington Times', in an April 14, 2009 story by Nicholas Kralev, chose to selectively quote from and distort the findings of a report by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General that, overall, lauded the Voice of America’s (VOA) Persian News Network (PNN)", VOA public affairs director Joan Mower said in a statement to Iran Focus.
The Washington Times said on Tuesday that a State Department investigation had found serious flaws in VOA broadcasts for Iran, including charges of political bias and cronyism. According to the Times, the department's office of the inspector general concluded that none of the executive producers at PNN speaks Farsi, which means content is aired without high-level approval. "In part because of the language issue, managing editors report not to the executive producer of their show, but to a Persian-speaking senior executive editor," the report said.
But Mower said, "Like other U.S.-funded broadcasters, PNN's staff operates under the VOA Charter, which mandates that 'VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news,' and the news will be 'accurate, objective and comprehensive'."
"Yes, PNN, like many new start-ups, experienced some organizational challenges, as the report points out. But the VOA has embraced the report's recommendations, and has already instituted many of them. The network is embarked on a series of improvements to enhance its appeal to Iran’s majority youth population and to expand PNN's reach to Farsi speakers in neighbouring Afghanistan, for example", she said.
"It is the only platform from which the U.S. Government can reach an Iranian audience with unbiased news and information about U.S. foreign policy and American life," said the State Department report, which can be found at http://oig.state.gov/documents/organization/121748.pdf.
Launched as a network in 2007, VOA’s PNN reaches Iran by satellite television, radio and internet.