BBG Watch Commentary
While President Obama was visiting Estonia and declared that “borders cannot be re-drawn at the barrel of a gun,” U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) failed to update the headline on another major news story of the day, a “ceasefire process” in Ukraine reportedly discussed by Russia’s President Putin and Ukraine’s President Poroshenko.
While BBC and even Russia’s RT were reporting that the cease fire was not a done deal, the Voice of America English News website headline declared: “Ukraine: E. Ukraine Truce Agreement Reached.”
VOA did a relatively good job in reporting on President Obama’s visit to Estonia.
But on Ukraine, VOA kept its erroneous headline for several hours, even after Kiev retracted the earlier statement regarding a “permanent ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk rejected the proposal and said that no plan from Mr Putin should be trusted. Russia likewise said that a ceasefire agreement wording is not applicable because Russia is not a party to the violence.
Eventually even VOA changed its news report to reflect these clarifications, but VOA did not change the headline on its English News homepage and on its VOA News report until early afternoon Wednesday, several hours after other international media outlets had changed their reports and headlines, which even initially were not as definite about the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine as the VOA headline suggested.
On the same important news day, Voice of America has not been reporting as yet that France had decided to halt the delivery of the first of two Mistral assault navy ships ordered by Russia, blaming Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Both BBC and Russia’s RT have had this breaking news story on their homepages for a few hours. As of 1:40 PM EDT, VOA English News still has nothing on the Mistral ship decision and has not updated its news report on President Obama’s speech in Estonia which dealt largely with NATO defense issues.
UPDATE: Many hours behind RT and BBC, which had the Mistral delivery suspension as one of their top news stories, Voice of America placed a few sentences toward the end of its Putin peace plan news story, which also took VOA several hours to correct and update.
VOA reported, however, that President Barack Obama condemned Russia’s intervention in Ukraine Wednesday as a “brazen assault” on the country’s integrity and assured three former Soviet satellite states that NATO would defend them against any aggression by Moscow.
Obama said that Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia had lost their independence before to Moscow, but that “with NATO, you will never lose it again,” VOA reported.
But the lack of updating news and headlines shows that the Voice of America executives are still incapable of organizing and coordinating news reporting and managing VOA website.