Global Media Analyst

Severe cold weather in the United States has remained the number one news story on the BBC website but it has not been in number one position on the Voice of America (VOA) website for most of the day yesterday and today as some international audiences might expect it to be. Natural inclination for someone living abroad and relying on external media might be to go first to the VOA website for this type of information from and about the United States.

Most international audiences, however, find BBC reports on the winter storm in North America to be more useful. BBC has more reports, more information, more and faster updates, more photos and more videos than the VOA English website on this and other U.S. news stories. BBC also gives this story a much higher priority it deserves.

As of midnight ET, January 7, one of the BBC reports, N America weather: Arctic blast brings record temperatures, BBC, shows over 13,700 Facebook “Likes.”

A VOA report, Record Cold Sweeps US, VOA, which has been posted for most of the day, shows only 56 Facebook “Likes.”

VOA’s Homepage “Featured Story,” Reporter’s Notebook: Enduring the Midwest’s ‘Polar Vortex’, VOA, which has been online for a few hours, shows only 3 Facebook “Likes.”

In the VOA top news lineup, the U.S. weather story is now number 3, behind “US Senate Confirms Yellen as Fed Chief, VOA” which shows 9 Facebook Likes as of midnight.

BBC has the Fed Chief story in the third place, behind a U.S. weather story and a U.S.-Iraq story. US Senate confirms Janet Yellen to lead Federal Reserve, BBC, shows 402 Facebook “Likes” as of 12:30 AM ET, Tuesday.

RT (Russia Today) has the U.S. weather story, NY declares state of emergency ahead of polar vortex winter storm, RT, in the third place, but it was higher in the RT lineup earlier in the day. RT story is showing 350 Facebook “Likes” as of 12:30 ET Tuesday.

But RT’s U.S. and Canada weather report posted two days ago, ‘Polar vortex’ hits US Midwest and Northeast with record freezing temperatures, RT, is showing over 13,000 Facebook “Likes.”

A VOA report with video, also posted two days ago, Record Cold Expected to Grip Much of US, VOA, is showing 96 Facebook “Likes.”

For a few hours on Tuesday, VOA English website showed as number seven in its top world news lineup a report that was three to four days old and included partly plagiarized text. That report, Ancient Romans Had a Complex Diet, Including Giraffe, VOA later disappeared form the top VOA news lineup and the homepage, but it can still be found on the VOA English website. It shows 21 Facebook “Likes” as of 12:30 AM ET Tuesday.

VOA news reporting, news management and website management seem to be in a state of complete chaos.