BBG Watch Commentary

Ukraine-MapWhile 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.