BBG Watch Commentary
In an incredible display of insensitivity toward its audiences and its own journalists, Voice of America (VOA) management still has not posted on VOA’s main English news website and public relations website any official announcements about terminations of numerous VOA shortwave radio broadcasts to Asia, including VOA English broadcasts. The cuts took effect on June 30, 2014 with hardly any warning to listeners and VOA broadcasters and no prior official VOA announcements online. If any prior on air announcements were made by VOA, they were made only hours before VOA broadcasts to Asia on shortwave went silent.
Voice of America senior executives have shown their complete ineptitude, both in terms of basic organizational management skills and news management skills. They have also shown contempt for their own broadcasters and VOA’s foreign audiences, as seen in this tweet from a professional VOA journalist with many years of experience who could not properly inform his listeners of what was happening and to thank them for loyalty to VOA.
Apologies China Focus shortwave listeners that @VOAWilliams and I were not allowed to say goodbye to you on the air. http://t.co/CvHjIOytls
— Jim Stevenson (@VOAStevenson) June 30, 2014
The sudden ending of many direct Voice of America shortwave radio transmissions to Asia without any prior notices to listeners and only a two-day advance warning to a limited number of VOA broadcasters has generated much criticism abroad.
A VOA radio listener in Asia Victor Goonetilleke, Frequency Manager at PCJ Radio International, wrote: “The BBG [Broadcasting Board of Governors] has let America down….the respect and faith we had in the U.S. has been shaken.” He described the sudden and not pre-announced termination of many of VOA English and foreign language shortwave radio broadcasts as “a coup with no regard at all for the listening audience.”
“The man who [at] his inauguration reached out to those people listening huddled round a radio in some forgotten corner of the world. His Administration has been let down by the Broadcasting Board of Governors,” Victor Goonetilleke observed. “Does President Obama even know what the BBG is doing?,” a VOA radio listener in Asia asked.
READ MORE: Broadcasting Board of Governors has let America and Obama down, BBG Watch, June 30, 2014.
READ MORE: Some world reactions to sudden VOA shortwave shutdown in Asia, BBG Watch, June 30, 2014.
READ MORE: Last Voice of America English shortwave program to Asia with hardly any prior notice, BBG Watch, June 30, 2014.
READ MORE: IBB ends long-term partnerships with rebroadcasters in two-sentence emails and no thank you, BBG Watch, June 29, 2014.
ALSO READ: PCJ Radio making fun of Voice of America and BBG executives on radio cuts to Asia and Middle East, BBG Watch, June 29, 2014.
ALSO READ: Bureaucrats gave listeners little time to learn about shortwave cuts by VOA, RFA, and RFE/RL, BBG Watch, June 28, 2014.
ALSO READ: Dropping radio and going all digital: VOA Asia Twitter not updated since May 3, BBG Watch, June 29, 2014.