“The Voice of America is not a propaganda organization and is not a mouthpiece of the White House or anybody else” — in fact, its reporters don’t enjoy great access to high-ranking U.S. officials, VOA Director David Ensor says on this week’s episode of “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.”

At the same time, VOA is a tool of U.S. public diplomacy — after all, it reaches over 140 million people around the world, Ensor says. He also talks about VOA as a news source for Americans through its English-language website, and about covering controversial stories like the National Security Agency leaks and Syria’s civil war.

Ensor spent 31 years as a broadcast reporter at NPR, ABC and CNN. Before his VOA appointment, he was director of communications and public diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

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