BBG Watch Commentary

VOA Homepage Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 4:12 PM ET.
VOA Homepage Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 4:12 PM ET.

Once again, BBC has out-competed the Voice of America (VOA) in reporting today on President Obama’s speech on NSA surveillance reform.

VOA English website showed President Obama’s speech in a live video. That video has since disappeared from VOA’s homepage. BBC also showed President Obama’s speech live but with numerous commentaries and Tweets from their own correspondents, as well as American reporters and experts. That video and commentary can still be seen on the BBC website, As it happened: Obama’s remarks on NSA review, BBC. So far, VOA English website offers no U.S. reactions after the speech. BBC provided them even during the speech.

Germany’s international media outlet is providing  video of President Obama’s entire speech.

Right now, 4:15 PM ET, VOA English main news website homepage is showing only one report/one headline related to President Obama’s NSA speech. At 4:12 PM ET, VOA’s “Featured Story,” on the right side of VOA’s report, “Obama Proposes Limits on NSA Data Collection, VOA News” is “Skipping Pesticides, Farmers Control Weeds with Plants.”

BBC Homepage Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 4:14  PM ET
BBC Homepage Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 4:14 PM ET

The BBC English world news homepage is showing, in addition to its main report on the speech,Obama orders curbs on NSA data use, BBC, nine other related BBC reports.
Obama orders curbs on NSA data use

 

As of 4:30 PM ET, Friday, Jan. 17, the main VOA report on Obama’s NSA spying reform speech, “Obama Proposes Limits on NSA Data Collection, VOA News,” shows only 10 Facebook “Likes,” 16 “Tweets” and 0 (zero) comments from online readers. The report itself was changed a few times. At one time, it had an audio interview with a U.S. intelligence and privacy expert, which was conducted before the speech. The audio with a short text summary disappeared from a later version of the report, even though it offered good expert opinion.

Even though the VOA report itself was done well, coverage planning and website presentation were by far inferior to BBC’s extensive, multi-faceted, well-planned, and well-executed coverage.

VOA management’s failure to assign more correspondents to provide immediate U.S. reactions to the speech for the web was especially glaring.

The main BBC report on Obama’s NSA spying reform speech, “Obama orders curbs on NSA data use, BBC,” shows 414 Facebook “Likes, 491 “Tweets” and 332 comments from online readers.

Al Jazeera Middle East edition website report, Obama outlines changes to spy program me, Al Jazeera, shows 383 Facebook “Likes,” 107 “Tweets” and 11 comments from online readers.

RT’s (Russia Today) main report, “Obama announces NSA programs overhaul, RT,” shows over 1,300 Facebook “Likes,” 361 “Tweets” and 45 comments from online readers.

RT also provided full text of a Presidential Policy Directive published earlier that morning by the White House.

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