BBG Watch In Their Own Words

Voice of America (VOA) Director Amanda Bennett has remarked on the catastrophic failure of her U.S. taxpayer-funded media outlet’s digital processing and storage system. She shares the responsibility for keeping the U.S. government media outreach operational with her boss, Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) CEO and Director John F. Lansing, and their many deputies, executive assistants and other Senior Executive Service (SES) and GS-15 federal managers who for years have been unable to solve such technical problems.

For the perspective of VOA employees, as reflected in this comment:


Whenever people try to bring issues up the “chain of command,” they are met with either indifference or hostility. No one tries any more because of the incredibly toxic environment created by VOA leaders. This is not new to Bennett, but it has gotten worse under her rule.


SEE: Voice of America reporters blame BBG, VOA top brass for digital failures, BBG Watch, May 22, 2018


In Their Own Words




Date: Wed, May 23, 2018 1:00 PM

Subject: Grid Outage

To the hard-working team at VOA,

I have been so very impressed with the VOA team’s response in dealing with the catastrophic failure of the TSI media grid for the past five days. Language service personnel, VOA production and studio technicians, archivists, editors, master control personnel, broadcast maintenance staff, and members of the VOA digital team have worked together to make things work. In a minority of instances, we lost content. But the vast majority of television services continued to put out first-class products, albeit with improvised tools and workarounds (“sneaker net” video backups, shared and repurposed graphics, and live guests in studios and remote locations). We truly appreciate the extra effort VOA staff and contractors are making to keep VOA programs on the air despite the severe technical challenge.

TSI, which manages the grid, has been extremely good about communicating to us about their efforts to resolve this problem, and we all appreciate the regular updates.

I am told that this technical failure is likely to keep the Media Grid out of service for several more days. TSI will keep us posted.