BBG Watch Commentary

Voice of America

UPDATE: VOA English news website finally posted a report on the Sunday anti-censorship, anti-Putin demonstration in Moscow. The VOA report was posted Monday afternoon Moscow time, more than 24 hours after the event took place.

U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) English news website and websites of most of VOA’s more than 40 language services failed to report on a large anti-Putin demonstration in Moscow on Sunday. By Monday morning Moscow time, VOA English news website still had no report on the protest. Other U.S. and international media outlets reported on the demonstration in Moscow at least 12 hours earlier.

It appears that among VOA language services, only the VOA Russian Service had a report on the anti-Kremlin rally, but that report, “Москва: Марш Правды объявил победителей «Конкурса махровой лжи»,” was not featured as one of the top news stories and was placed low on the VOA Russian homepage. While VOA Russian Service has stringers in Russia, it appears that VOA English news service has no correspondent in Moscow.

It is truly a shame that the U.S. taxpayer-supported Voice of America, with the apparent exception of its Russian Service, would not report in English and in other languages about this large anti-Putin and and anti-Kremlin propaganda protest in Moscow. The demonstrators were protesting against Russian intervention in Ukraine and against restrictions on media in Russia. The rally organizers called it “March for Truth” to protest against the Kremlin’s propaganda offensive over Ukraine and its efforts to stifle the few remaining independent media outlets.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Russian Service had a report on the Moscow demonstration as its top news story. The Radio Liberty Russian Service report, “‘Марш правды’ в Москве,” included numerous videos.

Both VOA and RFE/RL are overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). Critics have repeatedly warned BBG members that VOA needs urgent management reforms. VOA correspondents blame top executives for de-emphasizing news, mismanaging news reporting, and low employee morale.

Here are some links to other media outlets reporting on the demonstration which reportedly attracted more than 10,000 people.


      1. ABC News ‎- 12 hours ago
        More than 10,000 people turned out in Moscow on Sunday for anti-Kremlin rally to denounce Russian state television’s news coverage, …

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