BBG Watch Commentary
UPDATE: After BBG Watch posts were published and after the sex-before-jail report stayed on the Voice of America French to Africa Service website for five days as its number one “USA News” story, the VOA report, which was a word-for-word reposting of an AFP report with a misleading photo provided by VOA, was finally removed from the VOA website altogether and the service started to update its U.S. news more frequently.
A Florida couple having sex while facing arrest by the police was a short news item posted by Agence France Press (AFP) on Friday, October 16, 2015. The incident itself happened on Thursday, October 15, 2015, as reported by First Coast News: “JSO: Woman demands sex from suspect, delays arrest.”
As incredible as it may sound, at 6:20 PM EDT on Friday, October 16, the French to Africa Service of the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA), re-posted on its website the AFP “faire l’amour” report in full, without changing a word as it often does, as its number one U.S. news story.
But this is even more incredible.
BBG Watch reported on this on Monday afternoon (See: “Faire l’amour is top U.S. news today on Voice of America French,” BBG Watch, October 19, 2015.) but as of midnight Tuesday, nothing has changed.
Six days after this insignificant U.S. criminal incident happened, the Voice of America French to Africa Service is still keeping “USA: un couple résiste à son arrestation pendant six heures pour faire l’amour” — by now a five-days-old AFP report — as the number one U.S. news story on its website.
If you don’t believe it, here are some screenshots taken shortly after midnight, Tuesday, October 20. Some segments of the Voice of America French to Africa news website have not been updated for months. It is also obvious that in many cases the VOA French-language service simply re-posts Agence France Press news reports.
The Voice of America Charter (VOA Charter) — a 1976 U.S. law — says that “VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive.”
The VOA Charter also says that “VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions.”
Perhaps the VOA Charter should be clarified for the Voice of America and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) oversight federal agency to say that VOA news will be timely and not trashy.