BBG Commentary

There was no original coverage Saturday on the Voice of America (VOA) English news website of the South Korean plane crash in San Francisco. BBG Watch reported earlier that an outdated short Reuters news item stayed on the VOA website for hours without any updates despite 141 Chinese and other non-Americans being on board of the plane and worldwide interest in the story.

When a plane crashes in US, web audiences abroad go to Al Jazeera, BBC, Russia Today – not Voice of America, BBG Watch.

The VOA/Reuters report was so short on information that it attracted only 5 Facebook “Likes” to thousands of “Likes” for BBC English, Al Jazeera English and Russia Today English news stories on the crash. They were far more extensive, included photos and videos and were being constantly updated.

Many hours later, VOA English news service was only able to post a slightly updated but equally short news story that was also based almost entirely on wire service reports. It included only one AP photo and no videos. No original news coverage was provided on the Voice of America English website on the plane crash.

Voice of America English website also had only one small news item Saturday on the violent dispersal of an anti-government demonstration in Istanbul. It had zero Facebook “Likes” by early evening. Russia Today, which provided extensive coverage of the demonstration, had hundreds of Facebook “Likes” for its story.

Late and inadequate news coverage with almost no social media engagement has become common on the VOA English news website due to staff shortages, inadequate resources and above all bad management on the part of top executives at VOA and the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB).

Meanwhile, China’s international satellite English news channel CCTV has launched a special page with numerous video reports from San Francisco on various angles to the story that were not presented at all on the Voice of America English news website.

China's CCTV special web page on San Francisco plane crash.

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