BBG Watch Commentary
VOA English website has finally posted a news report on the Obama-Putin phone call sometime before 7:00PM EDT. Its mobile site indicates that that story was available at 6:37 PM EDT, but at 6:45 PM EDT it was still not loading. VOA had four sentences on the phone call; the BBC news report had nine sentences, even though VOA was about 90 minutes behind BBC in posting its report.
As of 6:45 PM EDT, the main Voice of America English news website still has nothing on the Obama-Putin phone call. BBC almost immediately had it as its top news story. VOA Ukrainian and Russian services, as well as RFE/RL, also posted their reports on the phone call — VOA Russian Service a few minutes before 6:00PM. The White House distributed its statement on the phone call to the press at about 5:00 PM EDT and later put out a tweet:
Here's a readout of President Obama's call with President Putin on the crisis in #Ukraine → http://t.co/HlTbCumcLl
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 28, 2014
The most recent example of a major management crisis at the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) is the news, reported by BBC and others Friday, that President Putin had called President Obama to discuss Ukraine. As of 6:20 PM EDT, the Voice of America is not reporting this news. (VOA Ukrainian and Russian services posted the news on their websites. VOA Russian at 5:56PM EDT.) The White House released a statement on the Putin-Obama phone call at about 5:00 PM EDT.
BBC Homepage Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 6.06 PM EDT.
VOA Homepage Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 6.07 PM EDT. The VOA top story also has nothing on the Putin-Obama phone call.
As of 6:30 PM EDT, Voice of America English news website has nothing on the Putin-Obama phone call. VOA Russian and Ukrainian websites, however, already posted reports on the Putin-Obama phone call and the White House press release, as did Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). The White House made its statement available to the press at about 5:00 PM EDT.
WHITE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2014
Readout of the President’s Call with President Putin
President Putin called President Obama today to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which Secretary Kerry had again presented to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the meeting at the Hague earlier this week, and which we developed following U.S. consultations with our Ukrainian and European partners. President Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing and the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps.
President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine.
President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis. President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.