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Different perspectives on U.S. help for Yazidi refugees in Iraq, Voice of America role

Different perspectives on U.S. help for Yazidi refugees in Iraq, Voice of America role

BBG Watch Commentary NBC News and Fox News provided remarkably different perspectives of the American Yazidi community views on what the Obama administration is doing or not doing to help the Yazidis and other ethnic and religious groups under attack by Islamist ISIS militants in Iraq. Voice of America journalist Dakhil Shammo Elias, also identifie...

World holding its breath for VOA story on digital drive-in movies, Ferguson can wait

World holding its breath for VOA story on digital drive-in movies, Ferguson can wait

BBG Watch Commentary Sources told BBG Watch that while Voice of America (VOA) executives still haven’t managed to get any VOA reporters to Ferguson, Missouri — we hear that two VOA reporters might be there finally Tuesday morning, about ten days too late — Voice of America is preparing a news report on digital upgrades for drive-i...

On Ferguson, Voice of America top brass shows Rick Stengel why Russia’s RT is better

On Ferguson, Voice of America top brass shows Rick Stengel why Russia’s RT is better

BBG Watch Commentary At the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) open board meeting on August 13 in Washington, DC, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Rick said that Russia has outstanding messaging capabilities on social media and observed that this is an area the United States “should own, but we don̵...

Russia’s RT reports: Obama to send Holder to Ferguson, Voice of America was late

Russia’s RT reports: Obama to send Holder to Ferguson, Voice of America was late

BBG Watch Commentary As of 5:00 PM EDT, August 18, 2014 -     UPDATE: At about 5:45PM EDT, VOA finally included new information and changed the title of its report to “Obama: US Attorney General to Travel to Ferguson for Probe.”     While the Voice of America (VOA) English news website still has no report on Presiden...

Voice of America bosses and staff on vacation, no VOA reporter in Ferguson, Missouri

Voice of America bosses and staff on vacation, no VOA reporter in Ferguson, Missouri

BBG Watch Commentary The same management of U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA), which provided on-the-scene coverage of the British royal wedding in 2011, the British royal baby christening in 2013 and altogether posted dozens of news and feature reports on the British royal family, could not find a single reporter in August 2014 to send t...

NBC interviews Voice of America journalist and Yazidi activist – BBG Media Highlights – August 18, 2014

NBC interviews Voice of America journalist and Yazidi activist – BBG Media Highlights – August 18, 2014

BBG Watch Commentary BBG Media Highlights are compiled, posted and sent out to subscribers by the staff of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). They sometimes do not include media articles critical of the U.S. international broadcasting management. BBG Watch occasionally posts “BBG Media Highlights” if there is a particularly inte...

Were we channelling  à la the Twilight Zone? – JANE DOE Op-Ed

Were we channelling à la the Twilight Zone? – JANE DOE Op-Ed

Guest Commentary One of BBG Watch contributors, Jane Doe, who because of her sensitive position within the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) – the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) bureaucracy prefers to remain anonymous, has sent us a commentary on the BBG Board meeting on August 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. Views expressed are only those...

Bureaucracy Warning Sign

BBG End of Summer 2014 Conundrums

BBG Watch Commentary Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: BBG End of Summer 2014 Conundrums By The Federalist   While the Summer of 2014 is winding down, it seems the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) couldn’t pass up an opportunity for an ironic moment when it met on August 13, 2014. Before we get to that,   ...

BBC, VOA:  Mid-Summer Reflections on Things That Need Fixing

BBC, VOA: Mid-Summer Reflections on Things That Need Fixing

Guest Commentary BBG Watch occasionally publishes guest commentaries. This one is from Dan Robinson, former Voice of America White House senior correspondent, foreign correspondent and VOA language service chief. Views expressed are only those of the author and not of BBG Watch, its volunteers, or sponsors. We invite those with opposing views and o...

CUSIB’s ANN NOONAN:  management meltdown at the Voice of America

CUSIB’s ANN NOONAN: management meltdown at the Voice of America

Ann Noonan, Executive Director of the independent NGO, the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org), speaking as a member of the public at the BBG meeting in Washington on Wednesday, called for urgent management reforms at the Voice of America. She mentioned VOA English News failure to report on the House Foreign Affa...

JIM MALONE: Taking direction from the CIA and the Pentagon would undermine credibility

JIM MALONE: Taking direction from the CIA and the Pentagon would undermine credibility

STATEMENT OF VOICE OF AMERICA JOURNALIST JIM MALONE TO THE BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS AUGUST 13, 2014 Members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Jim Malone. I’m the National Correspondent in the Central Newsroom and I’ve worked as a journalist at the Voice of A...

Voice of America snubs White House aide Ben Rhodes speaking on VOA’s future, Russia’s RT had a report

Voice of America snubs White House aide Ben Rhodes speaking on VOA’s future, Russia’s RT had a report

BBG Commentary Whether it was a deliberate snub or yet another example of management and news reporting meltdown at the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA), its English language news website had no report on Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting Ben Rhodes’ remar...

BBG hears from the White House, CUSIB

BBG hears from the White House, CUSIB

BBG Watch Commentary In remarks to the Board of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting Ben Rhodes, whose recent statements on the critical humanitarian situation in Syria and Iraq were all but ignored by the Voice of America (VOA) Engl...

Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez takes issue with BBG decision to close down Voice of America Greek Service

Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez takes issue with BBG decision to close down Voice of America Greek Service

BBG Watch Commentary While the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) wastes millions of taxpayers dollars on its overblown and discredited International Broadcadting Bureau (IBB) bureaucracy and dozens of non-productive high-paying positions within the Voice of America (VOA) executive staff, closing down the Voice of America Greek Service — o...

Inaccurate reporting from Voice of America offers support for Kremlin propaganda

Inaccurate reporting from Voice of America offers support for Kremlin propaganda

BBG Watch Commentary A report posted Monday on the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA), “As Kyiv’s Maidan Square Clears, Regrets Remain,” gave an inaccurate and misleading account of recent civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine. VOA: “More than 1,100 civilians have died since the Ukrainian army began its “anti-terro...

Bureaucracy Warning Sign

An Untenable Position With Consequences

Voice of America – Information War Lost: An Untenable Position With Consequences By The Federalist   Sonja Pace and Alex Belida, retired Voice of America (VOA) senior news executives, offer argument in opposition to congressional legislation to reform US Government international broadcasting (“Death Knell in Fine Print,” USC Center on Pu...

‘Death Knell in Fine Print for Voice of America’  BELIDA and PACE

‘Death Knell in Fine Print for Voice of America’ BELIDA and PACE

Alex Belida and Sonja Pace, former senior news executives and foreign correspondents with the Voice of America, believe the United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4490) “will end the Voice of America as the world has known it for over seven decades — as a trusted and reliable source of news.” BELIDA an...

Voice of America Kurdish Service has no homepage story on Obama hours after statement on Kurdish refugees in Iraq

Voice of America Kurdish Service has no homepage story on Obama hours after statement on Kurdish refugees in Iraq

BBG Watch Commentary Nearly three hours after President Obama made a statement on Iraq, in which spoke about U.S. humanitarian efforts to help the men, women and children stranded on Mount Sinjar, many of them Kurds or Kurdish speakers, U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) Kurdish Service is still not showing any news on its homepage or on i...

Voice of America Kurdish Service Did Not Post New Tweets for 10 Hours Despite Humanitarian Tragedy in Iraq

Voice of America Kurdish Service Did Not Post New Tweets for 10 Hours Despite Humanitarian Tragedy in Iraq

BBG Watch Commentary Despite a tremendous humanitarian tragedy in Iraq involving tens of thousands of Kurds and Kurdish-speaking Yazidis, the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) has not been regularly updating the Twitter account of its Kurdish language VOA service even on the day of U.S. aid air drops for Kurdish refugees stranded without ...

Voice of America Kurdish Service Facebook Page Not Updated for 11 Hours

Voice of America Kurdish Service Facebook Page Not Updated for 11 Hours

BBG Watch Commentary Despite a tremendous humanitarian tragedy in Iraq involving tens of thousands of Kurds and Kurdish-speaking Yazidis, the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) has not been regularly updating the Facebook page of its Kurdish language VOA service even on the day of U.S. aid air drops for Kurdish refugees stranded without fo...

White House meeting with Yazidi leaders gets one sentence on Voice of America English website

White House meeting with Yazidi leaders gets one sentence on Voice of America English website

BBG Watch Commentary A White House meeting with Yazidi leaders got one sentence on the Voice of America English website, while Vice President Joe Biden’s call with Iraqi President appears not to have been reported online by VOA English News. There were no interviews on the VOA English News website on Friday with Yazidi leaders invited to the ...

AFGE Local 1812 union defends H.R. 4490 reforms for Voice of America

AFGE Local 1812 union defends H.R. 4490 reforms for Voice of America

BBG Watch American Federation of Government Employees, AFGE Local 1812, a union representing federal employees at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), posted on its website a commentary in which it defends H.R. 4490 reforms for the Voice of America (VOA). BBG Watch reposts the AFGE Local 1812 commentary in full as a public service. SETTING TH...

Voice of America slighted Obama, ignored Menendez, Coons and Royce, violated Charter in U.S. – Africa Summit coverage

Voice of America slighted Obama, ignored Menendez, Coons and Royce, violated Charter in U.S. – Africa Summit coverage

BBG Watch Commentary President Obama’s speech at the summit of African leaders in Washington was interrupted and cut in a Voice of America (VOA) radio transmission to of all places — Africa. Instead of being able to listen to the concluding remarks of President Obama’s speech about Africa, audiences in Africa were suddenly treated by VOA to a progr...

Voice of America interrupts live radio transmission to Africa of Obama speech about Africa

Voice of America interrupts live radio transmission to Africa of Obama speech about Africa

BBG Watch Commentary Not too long ago Voice of America (VOA) top executives would not think of carrying live online and in radio and TV programs foreign policy speeches by U.S. President. Criticism from BBG Watch and others forced them to carry some of President Obama’s major speeches live, at least online, but they are still unable to plan f...

Former BBG member Susan McCue writes about fighting poverty in Africa

Former BBG member Susan McCue writes about fighting poverty in Africa

BBG Watch Commentary Former Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) member Susan McCue was known for her concern for journalists working for BBG media entities and her for desire to serve information needs of the most underprivileged audiences. She was a strong critic of the BBG bureaucracy and is credited with saving Radio Free Europe / Radio Libert...

Bureaucracy Warning Sign

Criticizing Hillary Clinton In Relation To Decline of Voice of America Is An Unnecessary Misstep

Commentary US Government International Broadcasting – Information War Lost: An Unnecessary Misstep By The Federalist We read with interest a piece in The Washington Times (“Hillary Clinton skipped Voice of America meetings, now mourns its demise,” by Jim McElhatton, August 5, 2014). In essence, the piece is highly critical of former Secretary...

Has The Voice of America Outlived Its Usefulness?

Has The Voice of America Outlived Its Usefulness?

Guest Commentary BBG Watch occasionally publishes guest commentaries. This commentary is from an anonymous journalist who works at the Voice of America (VOA). Views expressed are only those of the author, and not of BBG Watch, its volunteers, or sponsors. We invite those with opposing views and others who want to comment on this or other issues fol...

Bureaucracy Warning Sign

Voice of America – A Process Moving Forward, And One That Is Dead-On-Arrival

Commentary Voice of America – Information War Lost: A Process Moving Forward, And One That Is Dead-On-Arrival By The Federalist   On Monday, July 28, 2014 landmark legislation (H.R. 4490) reforming US Government international broadcasting passed the full US House of Representatives. The legislative process now turns to the Senate where a...

Radio World reports on BBG Shortwave Committee report and rebuttal from CUSIB

Radio World reports on BBG Shortwave Committee report and rebuttal from CUSIB

Radio World has two articles on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) report on the future of shortwave broadcasting. Shortwave Audience Still Dropping in Most Markets, Radio World, July 4, 2014. CUSIB Pans Shortwave Report, Radio World, July 4, 2014. BBG Watch Commentary Ted Lipien, who is also one of the sponsors of BBG Watch, said that the i...

Washington Times quotes BBG Watch, former BBG Governor Ashe on Hillary Clinton and decline of Voice of America

Washington Times quotes BBG Watch, former BBG Governor Ashe on Hillary Clinton and decline of Voice of America

BBG Watch Commentary The Washington Times reporter Jim McElhatton has an article about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her concern over the decline of U.S. international broadcasting, including U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA). Jim McElhatton noted that “Hillary Rodham Clinton has bemoaned the decline of the U.S. gove...

Voice of America news failures on Syria, other stories extend to VOA language services

Voice of America news failures on Syria, other stories extend to VOA language services

BBG Watch Commentary No Voice of America language service was found to have posted news from Congress, State Department and White House last week on new Syrian torture testimony in Washington. A search of Voice of America (VOA) English news website and websites of many VOA language services, including VOA Persian News Network (PNN), has not produce...

Voice of America ignores Syria war crimes news from Congress and White House

Voice of America ignores Syria war crimes news from Congress and White House

BBG Watch Commentary This week, Voice of America (VOA) English News failed to cover online riveting testimony in Congress by a Syrian defector about war crimes in Syria, his meeting with National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, and the arrival in the U.S. of a Sudanese Christian woman who once faced a death penalty because of her religiou...

DYAR and ROBINSON: What went wrong with Voice of America website and news?

DYAR and ROBINSON: What went wrong with Voice of America website and news?

BBG Watch Commentary Former Voice of America correspondent David Dyar commented on a recent post by another former VOA reporter Dan Robinson, “Resistance to reforms equals not enough reach and respect for Voice of America.” Dyar’s comments prompted a response from Robinson. We repost Robinson’s original op-ed, Dyar’s c...

CUSIB Condemns BBG Shortwave Committee Report for Targeting Vulnerable Radio Audiences for Cuts Rather Than Cutting Waste — PRESS RELEASE

CUSIB Condemns BBG Shortwave Committee Report for Targeting Vulnerable Radio Audiences for Cuts Rather Than Cutting Waste — PRESS RELEASE

BBG Watch Commentary The independent and nonpartisan Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) issued a press release condemning the the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Special Committee on the Future of Shortwave Broadcasting report, which can be accessed on the BBG official website. CUSIB points out that the or...

Execs with worst communication skills in charge of U.S. world media outreach at BBG

Execs with worst communication skills in charge of U.S. world media outreach at BBG

BBG Watch Commentary A just released study by the Partnership for Public Service found that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) managers, including Voice of America (VOA) executives, are again dead last among mid-size federal agencies in internal communication skills. SEE: Worst Agencies for Internal Communication, Ian Smith, FedSmith.com, Ju...

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