BBG Watch Commentary
Late in the evening Saturday Washington time, Voice of America posted a couple of reports that have more than just one or two sentences on President Obama’s phone call conversation earlier today with President Putin about Ukraine, but none of these reports has any headlines or links on the VOA English news homepage.
Looking at the homepage may lead international visitors to conclude that the phone call did not happen and President Obama had nothing to say today about Ukraine.
VOA report “Obama Tells Putin Russia is Clearly Breaking International Law in Ukraine” may have been posted around 8:00 PM EST. It includes a few sentences on the Obama-Putin phone call, but not much considering that it was a major news event and a major geopolitical issue of possibly historic repercussions.
For the first time for VOA today, the report has a reference to President Obama’s separate phone calls with French President Francois Hollande and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as well as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s phone call with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu. These brief references appeared for the first time in a VOA report hours after these phone calls were made.
But there is no link to this report on the VOA English homepage. The report also does not appear on the VOA USA News page or on the VOA Europe News page. For all practical purposes, visitors to the VOA website are not likely to find it.
VOA Director David Ensor and VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch apparently have not made arrangements to have VOA correspondents present at the White House and the Pentagon on Saturday despite a major military and geopolitical crisis.
The main Ukraine news report on the VOA homepage has not been changed for many hours.
The Obama-Putin phone call never made it Saturday into the top nine news stories on the VOA English news homepage.