We have attached three screen videos showing Voice of America (VOA) problems with live President Obama video on the home page of VOA’s primary news site, voanews.com. It was his statement that Guantanamo Bay prison undermines national security, which he delivered at the White House after Pentagon presented a plan Tuesday to Congress about how to close the Guantanamo prison.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) technical and bureaucratic arm, the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) also had problems streaming comments by BBG CEO and Director John Lansing and BBG Chairman Jeff Shell at a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the FY2017 budget request, introduce members of his leadership team, and to discuss the shared BBG mission with network heads.
“The link they provided to everyone to view the Town Hall does not work.”
I have tried it a number of times and get 404.
Some Voice of America journalists were described as outraged by their agency’s inability to support their work and other operations.
There is worse: VOA French to Africa, as of 11:40 a.m., does not appear to have published a single word on Obama’s decision on Guantanamo……
It gets even worse: As of 1:15 p.m., not only VOA French to Africa website does not show anything on President Obama’s statement on Guantanamo, but also many other VOA foreign language website still have nothing on this important U.S./Obama Administration news story.
President Obama delivered his statement on Guantanamo at 10:30 a.m. EST.
VOA Indonesian mobile website has nothing on President Obama statement on Guantanamo as of 1:15 p.m. EST.
VOA Somali mobile website has nothing on President Obama statement on Guantanamo as of 1:15 p.m. EST.
VOA Kurdish mobile website has nothing on President Obama statement on Guantanamo as of 1:15 p.m. EST.
VOA Hausa mobile website has nothing on President Obama statement on Guantanamo as of 1:15 p.m. EST.
VOA Ukrainian mobile website has nothing on President Obama statement on Guantanamo as of 1:15 p.m. EST.
The list goes on and on.
It’s not that VOA journalists do not want to post Obama/Guantanamo story. VOA services do not have staff and resources to update their websites 24/7. These resources are tied up in the enormous International Broadcasting Bureau bureaucracy and IBB technical support which account for 34% of the BBG’s entire budget but are still unable to stream live President Obama’s, Chairman Shell’s and BBG CEO Lansing’s statements.
Comments from VOA journalists (current and former):
“Noticing problems with their live stream of Obama on the VOA front page. Are you watching at the moment?”
“Amazing — they can’t even get live video of their own Town Hall up on their own internal system???
“Unbelievable….BTW, when I attempted to access live video of Obama’s GITMO statement, it appears that they also had problems getting and sustaining live video of that event on the VOA front page….see the attached screen video I took.”
“I’m accessing from a remote location and attempted this using both my fast Verizon 4G LTE and using a regular Internet connection. I was able to easily view video from all other stories on the VOA front page, but not the Obama live feed at the top of the page.
Instead of the Town Hall, BBG employees saw this:
From: IBB Notices Admin
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 9:30 AM
To: IBB Notices Administration
Subject: REMINDER: BBG Town Hall Meeting, TODAY (2-23), 10AM, Cohen Auditorium
BBG CEO and Director John Lansing and BBG Chairman Jeff Shell invite you to a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the FY2017 budget request, introduce members of his leadership team, and to discuss the shared BBG mission with network heads.
A question and answer period will follow CEO Lansing’s remarks, during which staff may ask questions and offer their feedback.
Questions can be sent in before or during the meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DATE: Tuesday, February 23
TIME: 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Cohen Building Auditorium
The Town Hall meeting will be streamed for internal use only. The stream is accessible for employees/contractors with an agency (bbg.gov, @voanews.com, etc.) email address.