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 has used VOA to promote the personal agenda of 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 has been ordered. However, Ad Fontes media analysts have not detected a change in the agency’s general news coverage in terms of bias and reliability. Ad Fontes Media rates Voice of America as neutral in terms of bias and as most reliable in terms of reliability.
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.
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.