Eleven former directors of the Voice of America have issued a joint statement calling on Congress to reverse a Bush administration plan to substantially reduce VOA’s English broadcasts and those in 15 other languages. VOA, the nation’s largest publicly funded civilian overseas broadcasting network, may go silent in many areas of the world on radio later this year unless the Congress reverses the action in hearings on the U.S. federal budget for the next fiscal year starting October 1. Among the planned cuts is the shutdown on radio of VOA’s worldwide English service. The former Voice directors joining in the appeal to reverse the cuts have served at various times during the past half a century under both Republican and Democratic administrations. If the cuts go through, the Voice also would eliminate all broadcasts in Uzbek, Croatian, Georgian, Cantonese and Thai, and cease radio transmissions while retaining some television in Russian, Ukrainian, Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, and Hindi (to India.)
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