America's Voice: U.S. International Media in the Age of Putin, ISIS and Ebola

A Discussion with David Ensor

The United States is battling an information war with the world and its reputation is on the line. With the success and reach of global media outlets like RT, BBC World News and Al Jazeera, media outlets funded by the U.S. government to inform foreign audiences are struggling to be heard.

One of those outlets is Voice of America, which has been on the frontlines of the global information war since its creation in 1942. The global multimedia operation broadcasts in 45 languages and reaches 172 million people each week via radio, television, mobile, and the Internet.

At its helm is director David Ensor, a veteran international journalist and communicator who has been a correspondent for major U.S. news organizations as NPR, ABC News and CNN covering topics such as diplomacy and national security.  He is also the former head of communications and Public Diplomacy for the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan.

At this special event, Ensor discussed topics such as the challenges U.S. government-funded media face by the global marketplace of ideas and ideologies, what VOA is doing to reach key audiences and why, and the changing information appetites of people around the world. He was interviewed by School of Media and Public Affairs director Frank Sesno.