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Advertising America: VOA and Italy

Tobia, S. (2011) Advertising America: VOA and Italy. Cold War History, 11 (1). pp. 27-49. ISSN 1743-7962

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/14682745.2011.545596


With President Truman’s ‘Campaign of Truth’ in the Fifties, Voice of America (VOA) established itself as one of the most important information programmes of the US government. The 20 million dollar budget allocated to VOA in those years enabled it to employ about 1,900 people and to broadcast in 45 different languages. Italy, with its strong and threatening Communist Party, was one of VOA’s main targets. Audience research however (performed by the United States Information Agency’s Italian branch and by the Italian opinion poll company Doxa) shows that the Italians always preferred their own national network RAI. The US government therefore started to target the RAI, with the aim of placing VOA-produced programmes directly on the Italian network in order to reach a mass audience. This article looks into what went on both ‘on’ and ‘off the air’, analyzing how various Italian ‘target groups’ were addressed by VOA. Drawing on documents from the National Archives and Records Administration in both Washington DC and New York City, and from the Doxa archives in Milan, the study examines how the American government prepared itself to conquer the Italian network RAI.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Modern European Histories and Cultures
ID Code:31145
Additional Information:Special Issue: Europe Americanized?
Publisher:Routledge (Taylor and Francis)

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