BBG Watch

Early Wednesday afternoon, new Russsian military offensive in Ukraine was number two news story on BBC mobile app, but on Voice of America’s mobile app and on its regular website it was not among top news stories and did not even appear among top VOA EUROPE stories on the VOA News mobile platform. It was number six in VOA EUROPE news and it has not been updated in four hours as of early Wednesday afternoon, June 3, 2015. VOA Russian Service had zero Tweets and 0 (zero) Facebook “Likes” on its version of this story some time after it was posted. The story did not have a headline immediately visible on the VOA Russian homepage.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) had Ukraine fighting as a number one news story on RFE/RL English website. “Fighting Erupts In Eastern Ukraine In Heaviest Violence Since Cease-Fire | RFE/RL” It was number three news story on RFE/RL’s Radio Svoboda Russian Service website with 166 Tweets and 897 Facebook “Likes.”

VOA English news item was finally updated at 12:45 PM ET, but the VOA News story had only 214 words. Russian RT’s highly slanted Ukraine fighting story had 850 words, and unlike the VOA report, it was rich in multimedia content.

Russia’s RT report on Ukraine fighting was showing 1,400 Facebook “Likes,” while the VOA report is showing 2 (two) Facebook “Likes” at 2:15 PM ET Wednesday.

As of 2:15 PM ET, the Russian Ukraine offensive story also did not appear among top news stories on VOA’s full desktop website. It was number one story on Russia’s RT website and number two story on Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) website.

VOA Homepage Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2 18 PM ET

VOA English Homepage Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2:18 PM ET

Both VOA Russian Service and VOA Ukrainian Service home pages also did not show any homepage headlines for the new Russian military offensive in eastern Ukraine among their top news stories. Both services had it in number two position on the homepage slide show, but site visitors would have to click on it to see it. VOA Ukrainian Service story was a reposting of a Radio Liberty news report.

VOA Russian Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2 47 PM ET

VOA Russian Homepage Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2:47 PM ET VOA Russian report was showing 0 (zero) Tweets and 0 (zero) Facebook “Likes” as of 3:00 PM ET Wednesday. RFE/RL’s story on Ukraine fighting in Radio Liberty (Radio Svoboda) website, “Который час в страшном аду,” was showing 166 Tweets and 897 Facebook “Likes.”

VOA Ukrainian Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2 52 PM ET

VOA Ukrainian Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2:52 PM ET VOA Ukrainian report was showing 1 (one) Tweet and 8 (eight) Facebook “Likes” as of 3:00 PM ET Wednesday.


RT Homepage


DW Homepage

These problems with Voice of America news and website are nothing new. They have continued for years under former VOA director David Ensor who left last week and his executive editor, Steve Redisch, who recently moved to another position within VOA.

VOA now has an interim acting director Kelu Chao, a respected and highly experienced journalist and manager, but problems such as these will take some time to solve if solutions can be found at the ailing government bureaucracy of the Voice of America, its parent agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and BBG’s huge technical and administrative support element, the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). Since recently, IBB also has a new management team recruited from within the organization. Web problems such as these have not been seen at other major international broadcasters such as Russia’s RT, DW or BBC. Members of Congress from both parties want to reform the BBG and VOA bureaucracy to make U.S. taxpayer-funded media outlets such as the Voice of America more efficient and effective. Former VOA director David Ensor said shortly before leaving his post that H.R. 2323, the United States International Communications Reform Act, would put VOA “in this little narrow lane to kill us off,”

Problems with VOA news reporting, VOA regular website, and VOA mobile news app continue. All regional news categories showed up today on VOA mobile app with an environmental news story as a top news item. While the environmental story is important and interesting, it does not qualify as a top news story for most regions.

VOA EUROPE News on VOA Mobile App

Top VOA Europe News

TOP NEWS on BBC Mobile App

Top BBC News

BBC Ukrainian News Item

VOA English News Ukrainian Fighting News Report

VOA Ukrainian News Item


VOA Top Middle East Stories

Top VOA ASIA NEWS on VOA Mobile App

VOA Top Asia News

Audience Engagement Through Social Media – VOA and RFE/RL News Reports on Ukraine Fighting

RFE/RL Radio Svoboda Russian Service Report

RFE RL Russian Report Ukraine Fighting Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 3 48 PM ET

RFE/RL Russian Report Ukraine Fighting Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 3:48 PM ET

VOA Russian Service Report

VOA Russian Service Ukrainian Fighting Report Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 3 50 PM ET

VOA Russian Ukraine Fighting Report Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 3:50 PM ET