WASHINGTON, April 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Press Club and the National Press Club Journalism Institute stand with Voice of America and its director, Amanda Bennett, against unsupported criticism by the White House of its coronavirus coverage.
Bennett is a highly respected journalist who has been a staunch advocate of the independence guaranteed in The VOA Charter signed by President Gerald R. Ford in 1976. To claim, as the White House has done, that VOA has been reporting Chinese propaganda flies in the face of the facts. VOA has reported on the Chinese undercount of coronavirus deaths in the city of Wuhan, reported on China's misleading count of cases testing positive and reported on China's use of Twitter to spread disinformation globally.
"From its founding during World War II to combat Nazi propaganda with accurate and unbiased information, the Voice of America has consistently served the world in a manner in which all Americans can and should be proud," said National Press Club President Michael Freedman. "From Edward R. Murrow to Amanda Bennett, VOA has represented the best in journalism and we stand firmly behind its reporters, who are dedicated to truth and accuracy."
"The attacks from the president and from White House officials not only undermine VOA's mission, but they pierce a firewall that is supposed to protect the publicly financed news agency from political interference," said NPC Journalism Institute President Angela Greiling Keane.
When Amanda Bennett was honored with the National Press Club's Fourth Estate Award last year, she said: "Here's what we do do: We broadcast all around the world the uncensored version of speeches. The unheard views of opposition parties. The stories of disappeared teachers, politicians, journalists – sometimes even whole populations. And we also show the world America in all its -- yes, greatness – and also its flaws and faults. We are as independent as all of you are, and – again – God willing, we stay that way. As we say, we broadcast the First Amendment."
The National Press Club, The World's Leading Professional Organization for Journalists™, represents more than 3,000 reporters, editors and professional communicators worldwide. The Club's nonprofit affiliate, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.
PRESS CONTACT: LINDSAY UNDERWOOD FOR THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB; [email protected]; (202) 662-7561
SOURCE National Press Club