BBG Watch Commentary

Victoria Nuland
Victoria Nuland

Voice of America (VOA) executives like to brag about multimedia, but when VOA posts reports on its English news website, they often lack multimedia content, which other international media outlets provide faster and more consistently, even on U.S. news stories. This is especially true for Russia’s RT, as World Media Watch reported and gave VOA only 2.5 rating on a scale from 0 to 5 for a report on U.S.-Russia dispute over a bugged telephone call about Ukraine between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt.

Russia’s RT provided both a link to the controversial recording on YouTube and video of the State Department spokesperson commenting on it. Voice of America provided neither, but it did have text of some of the State Department spokeswoman’s remarks.

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US Points to Russian Role in Leak of Ukraine Phone Call, VOA – World Media Watch, February 6, 2014

US Points to Russian Role in Allegedly Leaked Ukraine Phone Call Thu, Feb 06, 2014 Source: VOA News (USA)

From VOA: The U.S. State Department is firing back at Russia for its role in the alleged leak of an apparently bugged telephone conversation, about Ukraine, between two senior American diplomats, in which they are said to make disparaging comments about the European Union.

A recording has been posted to YouTube of voices resembling those of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. The people on the alleged call discuss international efforts to resolve Ukraine’s ongoing political crisis, and at one point, the voice resembling Nuland’s uses vulgar wording to suggest the European Union’s position should be ignored.

See original report: US Points to Russian Role in Allegedly Leaked Ukraine Phone Call Thu, Feb 06, 2014 Source: VOA News (USA)

While Voice of America does not provide a link to the YouTube posting, BBC does.

Ukraine crisis: Leaked phone call embarrasses US Thu, Feb 06, 2014 Source: BBC World News (UK)

Al Jazeera also provided for online readers a link to the YouTube recording, as did Canada’s CBC.

US sees Russian hand in envoy’s bugged call Thu, Feb 06, 2014 Source: Al Jazeera News (Middle East)

U.S. diplomat takes swipe at EU in leaked conversation on Ukraine Thu, Feb 06, 2014 Source: CBC (Canada)

VOA report quotes State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki speaking Thursday in Washington, but does not show a video of her remarks. The video was posted by Russia’s RT, which also provided a link to the controversial YouTube video with the alleged audio recording of the phone conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt.

It appears that VOA was one of the few major international media outlets that did not provide a link. Surprisingly, Voice of Russia did not have on its English-language website a report on the phone call as of late Thursday EST.

Deutsche Welle (DW) was late in reporting on the story and did not provide a link to the recording.

US official apologizes to EU over disparaging remarks Fri, Feb 07, 2014 Source: DW (Germany)

DW, VOA and other media pointed out that State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not question the authenticity of the recording.

From VOA: “This is a new low in Russian trade craft in terms of publicizing, posting. I don’t have any other independent details about the origin of the YouTube video, you’re right. This has clearly happened overnight and is relatively new. But this is something they’ve been actively promoting, posting on, tweeting about, and certainly we feel that represents a new low,” said Psaki.

RT appears to be one of the few international media outlets which in addition to the positing of the link to the recording also showed video of State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki commenting on the story.

‘F**k the EU’: US State Dept. top official caught in alleged phone chat on Ukraine Thu, Feb 06, 2014 Source: RT News (Russia)

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