BBG Watch Commentary
UPDATE: We found two sentences about Obama’s phone calls inserted into a VOA report posted earlier, “Ukraine Fears OSCE Monitors Could Be Kidnapped.” It is unclear when these two sentences were inserted. There is no separate VOA English News report on President Obama’s phone calls.
VOA has developed a poor habit of piling on new, often unrelated information, onto old, sometimes already outdated reports. Apparently, due to criticism from BBG Watch, VOA has started showing the time when a report is posted, but since new information is added onto old reports and time of the latest update is not noted(a practice at BBC, RT, and other online media) these times on VOA website are meaningless, especially since VOA often keeps these old and outdated reports on the homepage for many hours.
Visitors to VOA Eglish news homepage often have no way of telling from the headlines if something important — such as President Obama’s phone calls with world leaders about Russia and Ukraine — has happened.
As of 11:50 AM EDT Friday, Voice of America English news website shows no report on its homepage on President Obama’s phone calls today with President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Renzi of Italy, and Prime Minister Cameron of the UK to consult about the alarming situation in eastern Ukraine.
The White House press office released a statement on the phone calls at about 10:00 AM Friday EDT.
The statement said that President Obama noted that the United States is prepared to impose targeted sanctions to respond to Russia’s latest actions. The statement accused Russia of not implementing the Geneva agreement.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2014
Readout of the President’s call with President Hollande, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Renzi, and Prime Minister Cameron
Today the President spoke with President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Renzi of Italy, and Prime Minister Cameron of the UK to consult about the alarming situation in eastern Ukraine. The leaders noted the positive steps that Ukraine had taken to move forward on the actions to which it committed in the April 17 joint statement by Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and the United States – including proposing an amnesty law for those who will peacefully leave the buildings they have seized in eastern Ukraine, supporting the work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and committing themselves once again to a process of constitutional reform and decentralization. The leaders also agreed that Russia had not reciprocated – including by not publicly supporting the Geneva accord, nor calling on armed militant groups to lay down their arms and leave the government buildings they’ve occupied – and had in fact continued to escalate the situation through its increasingly concerning rhetoric and threatening military exercises on Ukraine’s border.
The President noted that the United States is prepared to impose targeted sanctions to respond to Russia’s latest actions. The leaders agreed to work closely together, and through the G7 and European Union, to coordinate additional steps to impose costs on Russia. The leaders underscored that Russia could still choose a peaceful resolution to the crisis, including by implementing the Geneva accord.