Voice of America Bias and Reliability Overview

Voice of America (VOA) is a government-funded, international TV, radio and digital news network. VOA was established in 1942, and its charter was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. The charter was written to protect the “editorial independence and integrity of VOA programming.” VOA is the largest international broadcaster, providing news in more than 40 languages and is reported to reach up to 350 million people worldwide each week. Based in Washington, D.C., VOA is part of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) and is funded by the U.S. Congress. The website records approximately 27.8 million visits per month. In June 2020, the U.S. Senate confirmed Michael Pack to head the USAGM, leading to the resignations and removal of several other high-ranking officials in the agency. There have been many accusations that Pack used VOA to promote the personal agenda of former President Donald Trump, and in early December 2020 the U.S. Office of Special Counsel reported that it had found evidence of wrongdoing by Pack at the USAGM. An official investigation was ordered. However, Ad Fontes media analysts did not detect a change in the agency’s general news coverage in terms of bias and reliability. Pack resigned his position on Jan. 20, 2021, at the request of President Joe Biden, who took office earlier that day. Biden named senior VOA news executive Kelu Chao as acting CEO. Ad Fontes Media rates Voice of America in the middle category of bias and as most reliable in terms of reliability.

Overall Score

A team of analysts at Ad Fontes Media regularly reviews articles and news programs to rate them in terms of bias and reliability. A weighted average of these ratings results in the overall score for the media source.

The bias rating, demonstrated on the Media Bias Chart®️ on the horizontal axis, ranges from most extreme left to neutral to most extreme right. The reliability rating, demonstrated on the chart’s vertical axis, rates sources on a scale from original fact reporting to analysis, opinion, propaganda and inaccurate/fabricated information.

The following are Voice of America’s overall bias and reliability scores according to our Ad Fontes Media ratings methodology.

Reliability: 47.93

Bias: -1.08

Reliability scores for articles and shows are on a scale of 0-64. Scores above 24 are generally acceptable; scores above 32 are generally good.

Bias scores for articles and shows are on a scale of -42 to + 42, with higher negative scores being more left, higher positive scores being more right, and scores closer to zero being the most neutral and/or balanced.

Individual Article Scores

The following articles were reviewed by Ad Fontes Media analysts on the basis of reliability and bias. Each article was reviewed by at least three analysts: one conservative, one liberal and one moderate.

The team considers a variety of factors when rating a news article. To determine its reliability score, we consider the article’s veracity, expression, and its headline and graphics. We add each of these scores to the chart on a sliding scale, with the average of those creating the article’s overall reliability score.

To determine an article’s bias score, we consider its language, its political position and how it compares to other stories from other sources on the same topic. We add each of these scores to the chart on a sliding scale, with the average of those creating the article’s overall bias score.

Article URL Bias Reliability
Whistleblowers Demand VOA Director Resign Over Pompeo Speech, Staff Moves-2.6745.23
Germany's President Urges Employers to Allow Work from Home047.54
As Ordered by Trump, US Down to 2,500 Troops in Afghanistan3.6724.55
Security Bolstered Around Capitol After Warnings of Further Violence049.96
Sudan Accuses Ethiopia of Escalating Tensions Over Disputed Territory047.86
World Leaders Condemn Pro-Trump Riot at US Capitol048.52
US Records Over 90,000 New COVID-19 Cases on Election Day-1.6749.48
German Official Calls for All US Votes to Be Counted-1.6747.13
US Voters Weigh In on a Variety of Ballot Initiatives050.12
US Backs Release of ‘Low-Level’ Islamic State Prisoners in Syria-0.6749.06
Racial Minorities in US Dying From COVID at Higher Rates Than Whites051.76
US Presidential Debate Set For Thursday With New Rules in Place-3.3351.1
Trump Makes Appeals to Pennsylvania Voters Two Weeks Before Election Day-4.6751.44
If Democrats Can, Should They Pack US Supreme Court?-144.14
US Justice Department, 11 States Sue Google1.3348.8
US Congress, White House Negotiations on COVID Aid 'Come a Long Way'-0.6748.47
The Worth of a Girl: ‘It is what it is’-0.6748.09
Timeline of Trump's Activities During Week Coronavirus Hit Home-0.3349.45
How Much American Presidents Really Cost US Taxpayers0.3348.5
Site of US Republican Convention Makes Wearing Face Masks Mandatory-5.2545.03
Biden Visits Kenosha Two Days After Trump-1.3348.41
US States Told to Prepare to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine by Nov. 1055.46
Biden, on Third Try, Aims for Summit of US Political Life-5.3348.58
Americans Mixed on DNC Socially Distanced Political Theater-149.04
Trump Speaks Near Biden’s Hometown Shortly Before Biden Accepts Democratic Nomination5.6746.26