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Ad Fontes Media rates Voice of America in the Middle category of bias and as Reliable, Analysis/Fact Reporting in terms of reliability. 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.
Panels of analysts from Ad Fontes Media regularly review representative sample content to rate it for reliability and bias. Each panel of analysts comprises one left-leaning, one right-leaning, and one center-leaning analyst.
The team considers a variety of factors when rating content. To determine its reliability score, we consider the content’s veracity, expression, its title/headline, and graphics. We add each of these scores to the chart on a weighted scale, with the average of those creating the sample content’s overall reliability score.
To determine sample content’s bias score, we consider its language, its political position, and how it compares to other reporting or analysis from other sources on the same topic. We add each of these scores to the chart on a weighted scale, with the average of those creating the content’s overall bias score.
The bias rating, demonstrated on the Media Bias Chart®️ on the horizontal axis, ranges from most extreme left to middle 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 40 are generally good; scores below 24 are generally problematic. Scores between 24-40 indicate a range of possibilities, with some sources falling there because they are heavy in opinion and analysis, and some because they have a high variation in reliability between articles.
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 minimally biased, equally balanced, or exhibiting a centrist bias.
Individual Content Sample Scores
These are the most recent content samples that Ad Fontes Media analysts have rated for this source.