BBG Watch Commentary
As of 1:45 PM EDT, Thursday, August 21, the Voice of America (VOA) English News website still has no report that Jihadists who were holding U.S. journalist James Foley and murdered him wanted a $132m ransom for his release, according to his employer GlobalPost.
UPDATE: VOA produced a news story, “Islamic State Sought $132 Million Ransom for Journalist – VOA,” with a timestamp of August 21, 2014 2:19 PM, but it appeared on the VOA website many hours behind other U.S. and international media.
As of 7:45 PM EDT Thursday, there is still nothing on the VOA English News website about comments about the ransom demand in Jim Foley’s case and general U.S. policy on negotiating with and paying ransoms to terrorists, which were made at about 2:30 PM by the State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf. SEE: Daily Press Briefing, U.S. State Department, August 21, 2014.
Many hours later well into the evening, Marie Harf’s comments were eventually mentioned in another VOA report.
BBC had reported today that GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni said the Islamic State (IS) militants first demanded money last year. The New York Times, FOX News and other U.S. media have been reporting this news for hours. Al Jazeera also has also reported on the ransom story.
BBC Breaking News report, “James Foley killers ‘wanted $132m ransom’” was last updated at 1:18 PM EDT. It was posted earlier today.
As of 1:45 PM EDT, the Voice of America English News website still had nothing on this news story.
As of 2:00 PM EDT there is still nothing on the ransom for Jim Foley story on the Voice of America English News homepage or VOA’s USA News page or anywhere on the VOA English News website.
The New York Times had posted the story three hours earlier, The Atlantic four hours earlier, International Business Times five hours earlier, FOX News six hours earlier.
Voice of America English News also posted nothing online on widespread U.S. media criticism of President Obama for going golfing immediately after he made a solemn statement on the murder of Jim Foley. The Washington Post and other U.S. media reported on the optics of President Obama’s decision to go golfing after his speech. “‘Vacation’ is a relative term for Obama and Cameron, especially with Foley execution,” By Sebastian Payne August 20 at 8:07 PM, The Washington Post.
Part 2 of the Voice of America Charter (Public Law 94-350) says: “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.”
On Wednesday, Voice of America was late and behind BBC in posting a report on President Obama’s statement on the execution of Jim Foley and failed to mention missing Alhurra TV reporter Bashar Fahmi and a new appeal from Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chairman Jeff Shell for information on Fahmi’s whereabouts.
As of 2:25 PM EDT Thursday, August 21, 2014, the Voice of America English News homepage still has nothing on the ransom for Jim Foley news story, hours after other media, including BBC and The New York Times, have reported on it. There has been very little updating of the VOA news website for several hours.
The Voice of America management (many VOA executives have taken vacations in August) also failed to send a VOA correspondent to Ferguson, Missouri until last Tuesday. VOA reporting on the Ferguson protests story has been criticized, as has been the VOA management’s slow response to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq. Some critics are are referring to the management meltdown at the Voice of America.