UPDATE 1:00AM ET – VOA English News posts a short report at about 1:00AM ET on the second terror attack in Volgograd, “Second Fatal Blast Hits Russian City.” VOA English website was behind BBC, RFE/RL Russian Service and RT (Russia Today) in reporting this news and still has not updated its previous report on the first attack yesterday.
BBC posted its report about an hour earlier than VOA. RT and Radio Svoboda posted theirs even earlier than BBC.
VOA English News did not take advantage of posting a new report to mention the U.S. State Department statement condemning the first bombing on Sunday. That U.S. statement still remains unreported on the VOA English website and on websites of almost all VOA language services.
BREAKING NEWS: A New Terrorist Attack in Volgograd, RT (Russia Today), RFE/RL Radio Liberty (Radio Svoboda) Russian Service, and BBC are reporting that Trolley bus blast in Volgograd Monday morning kills at least 10 in terrorist attack.
Not surprisingly, VOA English website is not reporting this news as of 12:45AM ET. It has not even updated its hours-old news report on yesterday’s (Dec. 29) terrorist attack, also in Volgograd. That report still includes information disputed by all other major international media outlets.
The VOA Russian Service website is also not reporting on the new terrorist attack in Volgograd Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 as of 12:45 AM ET.
VOA Director David Ensor and Executive Editor Steve Redisch will no doubt say that the Voice of America is extra careful and checks out all facts before posting a news report. Unfortunately, this argument does not work in this case.
First of all, VOA posted late its initial report on the attack Sunday and still included inaccurate information. What is most outrageous is that while media outlets such as BBC, RT, DW and others immediately corrected their reports, disputed information stayed on the VOA English website uncorrected for many hours. It is still not corrected or updated.
Second of all, much of the new and correct information came from official sources, such as the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. If statements are posted on their official websites and all other media outlets are reporting on them, how much further checking does VOA have to do?
The sad truth is that VOA was posting news late, included wrong information, failed to correct it for many hours, failed to update its news, and did not report on the State Department statement while RT (Russia Today) did report on it.
It cannot get much worse than that.
As of 1:52 AM ET, the new VOA report shows 1 (one) Facebook Like and 12 Tweets.
As of 1:52 AM ET, RT’s (Russia Today) news report shows over 1,400 Facebook Likes and 459 Tweets.
As of 12:52 AM ET, BBC’s new reports shows 621 Facebook Likes and 1,138 Tweets.
As usual, absolutely dismal social media performance for the Voice of America English website.
This is hardly surprising since for the last few years, VOA news reporting has been late, superficial, relying on Reuters, not focusing on U.S. news and U.S. policies, and frequently simply failing to report at all on major news developments and important U.S. statements.
One bright spot for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is that, unlike the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and especially its Russian Service have been doing a terrific job reporting from Russia, although they can not be expected to report at length on U.S. reactions. That is VOA’s job that VOA is not doing.
RFE/RL has reposted online this video from Russia of the second terror attack.
VOA English website as of 12:45 AM ET does not show any reports on a second attack in Volgograd on Dec. 30. It shows an outdated report on the first attack on Dec. 29. That report has not been corrected and updated for many hours.