Voice of Russia to be heard in US
The Voice of Russia team in Washington reports on international and US news, just like any other news radio station. They say what makes them different is their efforts to bring up what is being left out by the US mainstream media.
“When you consider America’s foreign policy has huge effects around the world, I would say we are not hearing enough,” said Carmen Russel-Sluchansky, Voice of Russia producer.
The need for more voices in the media was up for discussion at the panel “Gateway To Understanding” in Washington.
“We are facing an international environment that, quite frankly, the US has never faced before,” said Thomas Graham, a former senior National Security Council official. “There is a great deal of soul searching going on.”
Many analysts say there is stigma against the Russian media, something that Voice of Russia will have to fight through to become a credible source of information for the US audience.
“It is important that you raise your voice and try to get people to think differently about Russia,” said Rudiger Lentz, a former Washington bureau chief for Deutsche Welle.
For years during the Soviet period, Voice of America, funded by Washington, was a source of alternative information for millions of Russians.
Now in modern Russia, it sees its mission is little different to what it was during the Cold War.
“The lack of the truly alternative voice in the media has serious consequences for the development and democratization of Russian society,” said Elez Biberaj, director of Voice of America’s Eurasia Division. “And it is here where the Coice of America comes into play, filling the vacuum.”
Voice of Russia seems to be seeking to fill a similar information vacuum that many see in the US media.
“Basically, a lot of American media will ask a Democrat and a Republican the same question and then call it a day,” said Russel-Sluchansky. “I mean, that to them is what getting both sides is.”
“It’s not about truth or lies, it’s about perspectives, and I strongly believe that the American audience will only win from a variety of perspectives,” said Andrey Bystritsky, a chairman of Voice of Russia.
The radio audience in the US is growing, and with it the demand for more voices and perspectives.
It seems a certainty that in the wake of the launch of Voice of Russia, other foreign stations will be launched. And the ones who really benefit from variety in the media are always the viewers and the listeners.