65. Memorandum of Record1

The following is an agreed summary of the results of a discussion November 30, 1961, among Mr. Murrow, Mr. Sorensen, Mr. Loomis and appropriate members of their staffs on the subject of Voice of America news policy (not including other programming):

1. Voice of America news programs will continue to be accurate, objective and comprehensive. They will emphasize positive material which supports U.S. objectives and minimize material detrimental to U.S. objectives, consistent with maintaining the credibility and acceptability of the VOA as a reliable news source.

2. The treatment—relative length, emphasis, placement—of stories in VOA news output is properly a matter for post-audit and long-term guidance resulting from such post-audit.

3. Total bans on the use of news in the public domain shall be applied as sparingly as possible. Such bans may be applied in the first instance by the Assistant Manager for Policy Application (VOA), or the Chief News Guidance Officer (IOP). They may be appealed immediately to the Assistant Manager for Policy Application (VOA), the Chief News Guidance Officer (IOP), the Deputy Director for Policy and Plans, and the Director, in that order.

Thomas C. Sorensen Deputy Director (Policy and Plans)
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1962–1963, Entry UD WW 173, Box 7, Broadcasting—General (IBS) 1962. No classification marking. Drafted on January 10, 1962. Smith initialed the top right-hand corner of the memorandum and wrote “1/15” next to his initials. Wilson also initialed the memorandum.