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Is the Voice of Russia News or Propaganda?

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Is the Voice of Russia News or Propaganda?

It is always great to see new radio stations going up – a sign that despite Internet and mobile sources for information, people are still turning on the radio to learn more about the world around them.

Normally, I’d be pretty excited about any new radio station being established in the Washington DC area, a place where some of the most powerful and influential policy-makers in the United States live and conduct business.

However, I’m a little bit leery about the establishment of a new radio station in DC called the “Voice of Russia” that claims to deliver, “Russian news and perspectives to Americans.”

The Motivation Behind the Voice of Russia

It’s not that I’m anti-Russian, and I most certainly am not advocating that the U.S. should take a Cold-War approach to anything Russian – after all, the politics and the entire structure of the Russian government has changed in the decades since the fall of that Communist regime.

However, being involved in the daily monitoring of global newswires and media outlets across the world, I have noticed that a great number of “media sources” coming out of Russia today are little more than propaganda machines meant to belittle American leadership and encourage discontent among the U.S. population by distributing partially or completely fabricated conspiracy theories about events that affect the American people.

One example of this was when John Wheeler was murdered last year under mysterious circumstances. As I was exploring the story and looking for clues as to who could have been behind the murder, I kept stumbling upon these odd conspiracy theory sites that were being run off of Russian servers.

The majority of these websites were promoting some of the most outrageous stories about the Wheeler murder, but almost every one of them had one thing in common – they always arrived at the conclusion that the U.S. government was behind the murder, in an attempt to “cover-up” some truth from the American people.

I followed-up those first articles with another about my observations regarding those propaganda websites.

Due to these sort of experiences, I’m very wary of Voice of Russia (VOR) Radio, which will be based out of New York (1430 AM) and Washington, D.C. (1390 AM).

VOC Launched in New York and Washington

The radio program has always been broadcast out of Moscow, but the launch of these radio stations represents the first time that the program will be broadcast from within the United States.

As part of the launch, VOR hosted a panel discussion on June 9th at the National Press Club in D.C. with several U.S.-Russian diplomacy experts.

Some of the issues that were planned for the discussion included a reference to how the modern approach to public diplomacy is no longer a “ideological/propaganda effort,” but is instead one of “explaining their perspectives.”

Panelists also discussed similarities and differences between this station and the “Voice of America,” as well as how they predict the new stations will be received by the public.

My own estimation is that the station should be closely monitored for baseless claims and erroneous statements made on air that lack supporting evidence – the sign of propaganda.

A Review of Recent VOC Stories

The stations have been active for almost a week now, so I decided to take a quick look at what news stories the station managers decided to launch right out of the gates. Over the past week, the station ran the following headlines:

–> Yemeni opposition wants interim council to be set up
–> Obama says new crisis likely unless debt ceiling raised
–> Two Russians in 2nd round of Wimbledon
–> Memorial head found not guilty of defaming Kadyrov
–> OPEC fails to agree on oil production quota
–> Putin vows to pursue active employment policy
–> Russia-US ice hockey stars to play charity match on June 19
–> Volkswagen to assemble cars in Russia
–> Fights for Libya’s largest oil center still on
–> NATO convoy ambushed in A’stan
–> Paris airports face strike
–> Russian yacht wins at regatta in Ukraine
–> Poetry prize goes to Gandelsman
–> Russian girl first in judo
–> Russian-Belarusian pair first in Birmingham
–> Ukraine, Russia hold a joint regatta
–> Deputy head of anti-terrorist center in Russian Caucasus killed
–> Investigation into rape of Russian adoptee by American foster parent
–> Georgia accused of rights abuse
–> Terrorist attack prevented in Kabardino-Balkaria

If you scan down the headlines, I think it’s safe to say that VOR doesn’t appear to be motivated by distributing propaganda.

However, there is a clear bias infused into the titles, where news stories selected about Russia are typically positive and paint the country in a very positive light, while news stories about the U.S. (and other countries) are primarily about negative events that are taking place there.

The good news is that the station doesn’t appear to be set up primarily as a propaganda machine in the U.S., however listeners should be careful about any significant anti-American claims made on the station without any solid supporting evidence.

Originally published on

  • Justintime

    Rick young as well as Kim brown are no talents spewing
    all the left all the time without debate or opposing view

    VOR has some good culture stories as well as some news coming from Russia. But having one more NBR/ style show
    is a waste and people will be turned off

    Both Young and Brown are anti- anything Republican
    Yong claims to be some professor at a school but we never hear about what his credentials are. He leads all interviews as reading a script

  • Justintime

    What a waste for a morning news cycle show.

    Here is another schill for the democrats
    VOR version of Ed Schultz

    Another waste of time is the Turkish version
    of Chris Matthews

     Cenk Uygur’s “Young Turks” Lands at Current TV; Leads in to Olbermann.  Talk show host Cenk Uygur, who filled in extensively at MSNBC earlier this year and had hopes of landing a permanent gig there (Al Sharpton got it instead), takes his “Young Turks” progressive talk show to Current TV.  Uygur’s program will air at 7:00 pm ET and leads in to Keith Olbermann’s
    “Countdown” at 8:00 pm ET.  In a statement, Uygur says, “Current is the
    perfect home for our show.  We wanted to be in a place that is both
    independent and truly progressive — not owned and encumbered by a media
    conglomerate.  Does it get any better for a progressive than working
    where Al Gore and Joel Hyatt are your
    bosses and Keith Olbermann is your colleague?  It’s an honor to be the
    lead-in program for Keith Olbermann.  Add to that we will work with David Bohrman,
    who has been creating unique and great television programming for
    decades.  His vision for Current is exactly in line with ours.” The show
    will debut later this year, according to TVNewser.

  • Justintime

    Producer for VOR Washington Carmen

    He poses as a producer and journalist like Rick Young another no talent of a so-called journalist

  • Justintime

    Please tune in to VOR and listen to an angry
    woman who has no qualms letting you know
    all things republican are bad
    Kim Brown

    Morning Show Host on the Voice of Russia,

    When she asked you to call in on the 800 number
    listen to the silence

    you want good radio go to WMAL AM

    Chris Plante PODCASTS  a real show with real callers

  • Justintime

    RT TV rocks VOR needs a whole new team

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

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Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
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Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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