Without the grossly exploited POVs, VOA would be little more than Kafkaesque hallways of frustrated bureaucrats with no one to boss around. – Anonymous VOA journalist A Voice of America journalist who uses a pen name Mary Jane has posed this problem: As we stand on the precipice of collapse, crumbling and leaderless, fearing for our jobs while simultaneously wishing to be released from this torturous slow decay, a keen look at our so-called management is due. Mary Jane promised to provide that look in several installments. The series is titled “HOWL.” Part One “And yet, and yet, the corridors of the third and fourth floor continue to be staffed by those who do little but sign in and sign out, working desperately to be considered FoS (friends of Steve’s) while producing nothing. (Enhancement Team, for instance?) They toil every day, pushing papers, attending meetings, sending emails with words like “workflow” and “high value content,” words never heard at other news organizations, while the services, the actual journalists, are loaded with additional bureaucratic demands assigned by do-nothing managers. Without the grossly exploited POVs, VOA would be little more than Kafkaesque hallways of frustrated bureaucrats with no one to boss around.” POVs – Purchase Order Vendors – are contract employees who usually work full time and do the same kind of work as regular government workers but at low pay (unless they are friends of top executives) and without any benefits, regular pay raises or most legal protections. Exploiting POVs and cutting broadcasting services have enabled Broadcasting Board of Governors managers to keep expanding their ranks and to protect their jobs.
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HOWL – VOA journalist’s view of management – Part One