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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 16 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time.

Museum Planning For VOA 75th Anniversary

John Kiesewetter
The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township

The National Voice Of America Museum Of Broadcasting is preparing for the 75th anniversary of the VOA, which started broadcasting Feb. 1, 1942 as part of the Office of War Information.

“We’re planning a series of events and exhibits this year to celebrate the VOA’s commitment across America and the world to embrace best practices in telling the truth in order to let the world decide,” said Jack Dominic, executive director of the museum at the former VOA Bethany Station, 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester Township.

One of the first events will be a "Truth Matters, Facts Matter" panel discussion by members of the Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists March 23 in the museum's Clyde Haehnle Hall.

The Voice of America was formed in 1942, during World War II, to counter Nazi propaganda in Germany and provide war news to American troops and Allies overseas.

Credit John Kiesewetter
The VOA entrance and conference room.

Staffers from Cincinnati's WLWO – WLW-AM's sister shortwave transmitter broadcasting to Europe and Latin America—attended the inaugural VOA broadcast from New York City studios in Feb. 23, 1942. The Bethany station was operational by summer of 1944, and decommissioned in 1994.

The museum's monthly opening to the public is this Saturday, Feb. 18, from 1-4 p.m. Dominic says "nothing special for the 75th" is on display yet, but visitors can see three collections: The VOA-Bethany station’s control room; Media Heritage's Cincinnati Museum of Broadcast History; and the Gray History of Wireless antique radios. The West Chester Amateur Radio Association also operates station WC8VOA in the building.

Credit John Kiesewetter
Jack Dominic holds a replica seal for the VOA's Sri Lanka station.

Plans call for a new entrance and large exhibit hall on the east side of the art deco VOA building, as funding becomes available, Dominic says.

VOA Museum memberships are available for $50 a year, which provides free admission for the member, an adult guest, and up to three children under 12. Members also receive updates and advance information about new exhibits and programs.

For $250, members receive the benefits above, plus a 50 percent discount on all lectures, programs or visiting exhibit tickets.

Reservations for the SPJ's "Truth Matters, Facts Matter" panel discussion at 7 p.m. March 23 can be made can be made by calling 513-777-0027.

Tom McKee, WCPO-TV reporter and SPJ chapter president, will moderate the discussion by WVXU-FM politics reporter Howard Wilkinson, Enquirer associate opinion editor Kevin Aldridge, University of Cincinnati associate professor and former TV reporter Hagit Limor, and Dayton Daily News politics reporter Anthony Shoemaker. They will discuss "how to tell the difference between real and fake news, what standards editors use to determine facts, and the importance of a free press in a democracy," according to the VOA  Museum announcement.  Admission is $10, payable at the door. 

Credit John Kiesewetter
VOA control room

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.