BBG Watch Commentary

U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) was late with the Boris Nemtsov murder story, offered little information, and failed to cover numerous U.S. reactions which Russia’s RT and Sputnik International are covering in great detail. Russian media is reporting on reactions to the Nemtsov murder from U.S. Senator John McCain and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin — the Voice of America is not.

As of midnight, Saturday, February 28, 2015, the VOA English news website also had nothing on reactions from chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Senator Bob Menedez, Helsinki Commission Chairman Rep. Chris Smith, and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, co-sponsor of Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.

VOA English news website was late in reporting on the statement from President Obama about the assassination of Boris Nemtsov and on the statement from Secretary of State Kerry. And when VOA reported on these statements, it did not post separate news stories with unique headlines that would attract attention of homepage visitors. VOA tucked them into an older report.

The VOA Russian Service did have a separate story on the White House statement and generally did a better job in reporting on at least some other U.S. reactions, but its reporting was also far from comprehensive. Thanks to VOA Russian Service, VOA English news website eventually included a reaction from former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul

But VOA failed to report o the reaction from chess champion Gary Kasparov, a pro-democracy activist in Russia who now spends time in the United States and who was friends with Boris Nemtsov for over two decades. Kasparov was interviewed on CNN. Kasparov blamed the murder on the hatred spread by the Kremlin-controlled mass media in Russia. Kasparov also tweeted that he was “Devastated to hear of the brutal murder. Shot 4 times, once for each child he leaves”

Here is a list of some of U.S. reactions which have not been reported by VOA News on the Voice of America main VOA English news website as of 12:00 AM ET, Saturday, February 28, 2015:

SPUTNIK Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.00 AM ET

Sputnik-Cardin-Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.39AM ET

Helsinki Commission Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.11AM ET

Sen. Menendez Twitter Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.27AM ET

NBC Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.32AM ET

Freedom House Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 12.50AM ET