BBG Watch Commentary
While the Voice of America (VOA) Ukrainian Service has done an exceptional job of covering mass demonstrations in Kyiv and in other Ukrainian cities, as well as U.S. reactions to these protests, VOA English News, VOA’s main English website, and majority of more than 40 other VOA language services which rely on VOA central news output, treated their audiences to some spectacular news coverage failures. Even news coverage of major U.S. foreign policy moves was either non-existent or at best superficial.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), which like VOA is also overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), offered on the other hand excellent in-depth coverage of recent news developments in Ukraine through its language services and to a lesser degree through its English-language news website. To its credit, the VOA Ukrainian Service used some of RFE/RL reports, but VOA English News and most other VOA language services did not.
Unlike VOA, RFE/RL, however, is not required by law to specialize in coverage of U.S. foreign policy moves and U.S. reactions to events in Ukraine. That type of coverage was woefully lacking on the Voice of America with the exception of its Ukrainian Service.
The following list includes BBG Watch analysis of VOA news coverage of Ukraine in December 2013 and the beginning of January 2014.
- Chinese Communist leaders welcoming New Year get attention from VOA News, but not thousands of demonstrators celebrating in Ukraine and Turkey January 2, 2014
- New Year’s Message for Ukraine from Quincy Jones — New Year’s Demonstration in Turkey — But Nothing From Voice of America January 2, 2014
- Day later, Voice of America English website still has no updates on beating of Ukrainian journalist December 26, 2013
- Voice of America not updating news on brutal beating of Ukrainian journalist December 26, 2013
- Voice of America ignored bipartisan statements on Ukraine from Biden and McCain December 18, 2013
- Voice of America English News fails to report on Senator McCain’s and Senator Murphy’s meeting with Ukraine’s President Yanukovych December 16, 2013
- McCain’s tweet on remarks in Kyiv links to RFE/RL video December 16, 2013
- Voice of America English news not reporting on McCain’s meetings with Yanukovych and Tymoshenko’s daughter December 16, 2013
- VOA English website not updating news from Ukraine Sunday morning December 15, 2013
- Voice of America English news website still shows wrong news about Sen. McCain in Ukraine, news not being updated December 15, 2013
- RFE/RL and other media report Senator McCain is already in Ukraine, Voice of America reports he will be there Sunday December 14, 2013
- Russia Today and Voice of Russia report on Senator McCain’s trip to Ukraine, Voice of America does notDecember 14, 2013
- Possibility of U.S. sanctions against Ukrainian government is top BBC news story, but not Voice of America’s December 12, 2013
- Kerry’s expression of ‘disgust’ with government use of force in Ukraine does not make Voice of America main homepage December 11, 2013
- Voice of America website not updating news from Ukraine December 11, 2013
- On Mandela, Ukraine – Voice of America executives can’t arrange for special news coverage December 10, 2013
- U.S. visit to Ukraine reported by Russia Today, but not by Voice of America English service December 10, 2013
- Russia Today now reports on Biden’s call to Yanukovych – still nothing on VOA English website December 10, 2013
- RFE/RL counters Russian state media propaganda on events in Ukraine December 10, 2013
- Voice of Russia reports Biden called Ukrainian President – still no report on Voice of America English site December 9, 2013
- Even Russia Today posted George Clooney video in support of Ukrainian protesters – will Voice of America English news do the same? December 9, 2013
- RFE/RL – Live Blog: Massive Protests In Kyiv – VOA Ukrainian covers U.S. reactions – VOA English relies on Reuters December 9, 2013
- Voice of America Reuters report on toppling Lenin statue in Kiev gets 18 Facebook ‘Likes’ – BBC 7,709 – Russia Today 2,800 December 9, 2013
- Voice of America English news website features Russian spokesman but not Ambassador Rice on rights violations in Russia and interference in Ukraine December 5, 2013
- Voice of America English News largely nonfunctioning during holiday weekend – outstanding coverage of Ukraine protests by VOA Ukrainian Service and RFE/RL December 2, 2013
- Ukraine Protests Sunday – VOA 19 Facebook ‘Likes’ – BBC 2,364 – Russia Today over 3,200 December 2, 2013
- Voice of America English News has one sentence on U.S. condemnation of violence in Ukraine December 1, 2013