BBG Watch Commentary

“Think of it! Voice of America trying to. . . . compete! The nerve of them! Not a wire service – but attempting to be competitive,” is how one former VOA correspondent put it tongue in cheek in commenting on VOA’s live online streaming of President Obama’s speech at the memorial service today for five police officers killed in Dallas, TX.

We congratulate the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America for going live with President Obama’s speech in Dallas. A year ago, and for years before that, such live streaming of a presidential speech would more than likely not have happened. We can perhaps take some credit for this change.

Still, the BBC has done a much better job in covering President Obama’s speech today in a way that did not require any extra manpower or resources that VOA may not have.

There are plenty of experienced VOA journalists, making three figure salaries, who could have easily done it if they had volunteered or were told how to do it. Perhaps no one thought about it, but they should have. Live, minute-by-minute summaries and updates on what President Obama was saying to encourage racial reconciliation and diminish police misconduct could have been easily inserted near the top of the VOA News homepage if someone only took an effort to do it.

BBC website’s presentation, with live page, and minute-by-minute updates from President Obama’s speech were far superior to what VOA was offering, but we take what we can get. Live video streaming by VOA is better than nothing at all. It should be pointed out that live video streaming was not available on the VOA mobile site. Therefore, some kind of a running summary would have been especially helpful for those using only the VOA mobile site.

2016-07-12_151226 BBC - Dallas Live Page
2016-07-12_151226 BBC – Dallas Live Page

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