BBG Watch Media
Voice of America Persian slide into irrelevance on social media
While most people would expect that on such a big story as the U.S. – Iran nuclear deal framework, Facebook followers would flock to the Voice of America Persian Service website, the reality is quite different. The Voice of America Persian Service, also known as the Persian News Network, or PNN, was several hours behind the BBC Persian Service on Thursday, April 2, in uploading a Facebook post on this news development. Unlike the VOA’s PNN, the BBC Persian Service posted on Facebook a video of President Obama’s statement.
By noon the next day, the Voice of America Persian Service Facebook post was showing only 301 Likes and 8 Comments.
The BBC Persian Service Facebook post was showing 6,900 Likes and 259 Comments.
Ironically, the Voice of America Persian Service Obama statement post also had far fewer Likes and Comments than a Facebook post in Persian on the U.S. State Department Persian language Facebook page.
The U.S. State Department is not in the news business as the Voice of America is supposed to be, but at 2:35 PM ET Friday, the State Department Facebook post in Persian with a video of President Obama’s statement is showing 2,750 Facebook Likes and 34,369 views compared to VOA’s 301 Likes.
Should this not cause shame among Voice of America’s top executives?
The VOA Persian Service did not upload a video of President Obama’s statement to its YouTube account until about 2:00 PM ET Friday, a full day after the president made his statement. As of 2:50 PM ET Friday, the VOA Persian Service video on YouTube was showing only 16 views.
The Voice of America Persian Facebook post on President Obama statement on the nuclear deal framework with Iran also had far fewer Facebook Likes than a similar post by the Persian Service of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).
The DW Persian Service post did not include a video of President Obama’s statement, but it still had 3,800 Facebook Likes at 12:59 PM ET Friday compared to 301 for the Voice of America Persian Service Facebook post.
The Voice of America Persian Service has been inconsequential on social media on this very important news story, as were the VOA English Service, the VOA Russian Service and many other Voice of America foreign language services. A Voice of America Russian Facebook post on President Obama’s Iran statement had only 23 Likes and 6 Comments as of 12:50 PM Friday. The VOA Russian post has been on Facebook since 3:39 PM Thursday.
But not everything is this dismal at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency which manages not only the Voice of America but also Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and other federal and non-federal media outlets.
RFE/RL’s Radio Farda Persian Facebook post was showing 2,000 Likes and 47 Comments despite being on Facebook for only four hours as of 3:31 PM ET Friday.
VOA Persian Facebook Post on Obama Statement on Iran Deal – 301 Facebook Likes
BBC Persian Facebook Post on Obama Statement on Iran Deal – 6,900 Facebook Likes