BBG Watch Commentary
5:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 9, 2014 – FINALLY – VOA Report “Christie ‘Heartbroken’, ‘Embarrassed’ by Bridge Scandal” appears for the first time on the VOA English news homepage and for the first time as a lead news story on the VOA English “USA NEWS” page — many hours after all major U.S. and international media outlets, including Al Jazeera, BBC, and RT (Russia Today) had it on home pages of their websites. For BBC, it was the lead news story for many hours, with the homepage showing links to five supplementary reports. Both Al Jazeera and RT had it as one of their top news stories. (Some VOA language services posted the story before it appeared on the VOA English news homepage, but many did not.)
As of 5:00 PM ET, the VOA English report on the Chris Christie political scandal is showing 0 (zero) Facebook “Likes.” RT (Russia Today) report is showing over 1,200 Facebook Likes. BBC’s main news report on the story is showing 715 Facebook “Likes.”
4:00 PM ET –
Still no Chris Christie headline on any main pages of the VOA English website. There nothing on the story on VOA English “USA NEWS” page, which shows 8 (eight) news reports from yesterday and only 4 (four) from today. Almost all show only between 1 (one) and 8 (eight) Facebook “Likes.” Of the four reports posted today, two are from Reuters. The page has not seen any major updates for for hours. Ironically, VOA’s “USA NEWS” page shows a link to a blog post from Nov. 6, 2013, titled “Christie Rising for 2016.” The link has been there for many weeks.
The Christie scandal is still number one news story on the BBC homepage and now includes 5 (five) supplementary news reports. As of 4PM ET, the main BBC news report on this story shows 657 Facebook “Likes” and 544 Tweets.
International media stress that Governor Christie is a major contender for the Republican Party presidential candidate nomination in 2016. Foreign media interest in this story stems from this as well as a desire to show a American major political scandal and how the U.S. deals with it.
This RT (Russia Today) news report shows over 1,200 Facebook “Likes” and 155 Tweets. By keeping its late-filed news report on a U.S. political scandal from VOA English homepage and USA news section, the Voice of America is sending international audiences to Al Jazeera, BBC, and RT.
It is a number one news story in the Americas news section on the Al Jazeera English website – Middle East edition with a link to Al Jazeera USA edition website. It is also listed as number five top news item on the Al Jazeera Middle East edition homepage.
3:45 PM ET –
Still no Chris Christie headline on any main pages of the VOA English website.
As of 2:30 PM ET VOA English website homepage and its “USA NEWS” section still show no headline of the Chris Christie scandal news story. It also does not appear on the VOA mobile application. Even though VOA finally issued a news story hours late and behind other major U.S. and international media outlets, the report still cannot be seen with a headline on the VOA English website. Some VOA language services have posted the story on their home pages but most did not.
2:00 PM ET –
As of 2 PM ET, no headline about the Chris Christie story appears anywhere on the VOA English website, neither on the homepage nor in “USA News” section. The story is the lead news item on the homepage of BBC English website and is shown prominently as the first “USA News” item on the homepage of RT (Russia Today) English website. It is also a lead news for the vast majority of websites of major U.S. newspapers and other major U.S. news websites.
As of 2:10 PM ET, VOA English mobile application is also not showing the Chris Christie story. It appears neither in “TOP NEWS” nor in “USA” news section on the mobile app.
1:45 PM ET –
As of 1:45 PM ET, VOA now has this report, “Christie ‘Heartbroken’, ‘Embarrassed’ by Bridge Scandal,” but the headline and a link still cannot be seen anywhere on the VOA English homepage or in the USA section. Visitors to VOA English website would not be able to find it unless they clicked on “World News” link toward the bottom of the right side of the homepage. Very few people would do that. The vast majority of visitors look for news reports highlited on the homepage. The story is not among top news reports and not even in the USA News section.
1:00 PM ET –
As of 1 PM ET, VOA English website and websites of most VOA language services still have no news story on the Governor Christie scandal.
RT (Russia Today) English website has posted a report. BBC has been constantly updating its report.
This is one of many times when RT has major general interest U.S. story long before VOA does. RT frequently beats VOA in reporting news about U.S. foreign policy statements with regard to Russia and US-Russian relations.
RT quotes from Governor Christie’s statement:
“But I don’t want any of you to confuse what I’m saying this morning,” the governor added. “Ultimately I am responsible for what happens under my watch: the good and the bad. And when mistakes are made, then I have to own up to them and take the action that I believe is necessary in order to remediate them.”
12:30 PM ET –
As of 12:30 PM ET, VOA English website still shows no report on the Chris Christie story. Some VOA language service websites, however, are reporting it. VOA Albanian, VOA Russian and VOA Spanish are among those which do. VOA Persian and many others do not.
11:45 AM ET –
As of 11:45 AM ET, Thursday, in yet another breaking news failure, the Voice of America (VOA) English website is not reporting about the political bridge-gridlock scandal and firing of an aide by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
The news that “Mr. Christie, seen as a potential Republican White House candidate, apologised for the scandal, which he said ’embarrassed and humiliated’ him,” has been the lead item on the BBC website for quite a while and has been reported by other major news organizations.
LINK TO BBC STORY
VOA’s USA NEWS SECTION AS OF 11:45 AM ET
Hours late behind all major U.S. media, as of 12:15 PM ET, Voice of America is still not reporting on the bridge-gridlock scandal and Governor Christie firing his aide.
It is now the second most read news item on the BBC website. It now includes live video of Governor Christie speaking to reporters from the state capital, Trenton.
Mark Mardell, BBC’s North America editor reports that “this scandal is hugely damaging – if not yet fatal – for Christie’s ambitions to be the Republican contender for president in 2016.”