BBG Watch Commentary
Between 12AM and 1AM, VOA English website substituted its earlier short report with a report from RFE/RL, Clashes Erupt at Kyiv Rally, FRE/RL on VOA English website. RFE/RL report, which is now on the VOA site, has a much longer segment on the White House statement on Sunday’s violence in Kyiv.
BBC report increased its Facebook “Likes” by 42 within the past hour. The earlier VOA English report increased its Facebook “Likes” by one, from 6 to 7. U.S. RT (Russia Today) report shows over 2,000 Facebook “Likes.” An earlier BBC report had over 4,000 Facebook “Likes.” RFE/RL report is showing 77 Facebook “Likes” on RFE/RL site, plus 4 on VOA site (it was posted a few minutes ago).
The main RFE/RL Ukrainian Service report shows 509 Facebook “Likes.”
Embassy Kiev posting of the White House statement in English gained 32 Facebook “Likes” – in Ukrainian, the gain was 16 Facebook “Likes” within the last hour
Again, BBC English, RT English, RFE/RL English and Ukrainian and U.S. Embassy Kiev reports/postings in English and Ukrainian are well ahead of the VOA English news report in social media audience response. VOA Ukrainian report on the White House statement gained 2 Facebook “Likes” within the last hour, but it was superseded with a VOA Ukrainian report on Yanukovych, which now shows 19 Facebook “Likes.”
SOCIAL MEDIA (FACEBOOK) GAINS IN ONE HOUR – 11PM-12AM EST
VOA English report 1 – from 5 to 6 Facebook “Likes”* (VOA Ukrainian report, posted earlier than VOA English report, shows 40 Facebook “Likes”)
BBC report 34 – from 132 to 166 Facebook “Likes”*
U.S. Embassy Kyiv WH Statement in English 34 – from 382 to 416 Facebook “Likes”* (Same U.S. Embassy Kiev statement in Ukrainian shows 410 Facebook “Likes”)
SOCIAL MEDIA (FACEBOOK) GAINS IN ONE HOUR – 10PM-11PM EST
VOA English report 1 – from 4 to 5 Facebook “Likes”*
BBC report 49 – from 83 to 132 Facebook “Likes”*
U.S. Embassy Kyiv WH Statement English 38 – from 344 to 382 Facebook “Likes”* (U
*VOA report was the last one to be posted, but all three were on online for the entire hour (two hours for 12:00 AM results). VOA usually gets no more than a few dozen “Likes” for its reports even after a few days online. Reuters reports on VOA website get even less. This VOA News report was posted late. It is very short and lacks video. It has only one photo. It has very little information.
It may appear that BBC is not doing as well as the U.S. Embassy, but BBC report has been online for a very short time. A previous BBC report from Ukraine had over 4,000 Facebook “Likes.”
U.S. Embassy beat VOA by about two hours in posting its report on the White House statement. It is gathering Facebook “Likes” even now at a far greater pace than VOA — 38 for U.S. Embassy report within the last hour to only one for VOA.
As of 10:00 PM EST, Jan. 19, the White House statement on Ukraine in English, which has been posted for about three and a half hours on the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv website, is showing 344 Facebook “Likes.” The VOA report in English with two sentences from the statement, posted less than a hour ago, shows 4 Facebook “Likes.”
The U.S. State Department has not only been faster than VOA English news website; it is also doing much better than VOA’s English website in social media outreach in this case. In just three minutes before 10:00 PM, the U.S. Embassy statement got six additional Facebook “Likes.”
VOA’s report has not increased its Facebook “Likes” during the last 30 minutes by a single “Like.” In the same period, a BBC report from Ukraine has gained 30 new Facebook “Likes.”
It is astounding that VOA could be two and a half hours late in reporting on a White House statement dealing with a major international news event. It is even more astounding that VOA English service has no correspondent in Kyiv at this time.
Earlier, VOA English news website had completely ignored Secretary of State John Kerry’s on-camera statement on undemocratic legislation in Ukraine. He made his statement Friday.
VOA English website had also ignored numerous statements on Ukraine from key U.S. Senators: Robert Menendez (D-NJ), John McCain (R-AZ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Robert Corker (R-TN) and other members of Congress.
VOA English website has posted a new, short report at about 9:10 PM EST, about two and a half hours after the White House released its statement on Ukraine. VOA now reports:
“A White House spokeswoman is calling for calm. She calls the tension a direct consequence of the Ukrainian government’s failure to acknowledge the people’s legitimate grievances.”
This quote is at the very end of the VOA report, which has only 169 words, only one small photo, and no videos.
BBC report has 800 words, video, three large photos of the violent demonstrations, and an account from BBC correspondent on the scene in Kyiv Daniel Sandford.
Being two and a half hours late in reporting on a major foreign policy statement from the White House represents a slight improvement for the Voice of America English news website. In the past, VOA website has been frequently many hours late in reporting on such statements.
At 9:00 PM EST, two and a half hours after the White House released a statement from National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Caitlin Hayden, there is still no report on it on the Voice of America (VOA) main English news website. VOA is still showing an outdated report from Reuters. It now shows 10 Facebook “Likes.”
An earlier BBC report from Ukraine, “Ukraine crisis: Clashes after thousands defy protest ban, BBC,” showed 4,264 Facebook “Likes” as of 9:25 PM EST. BBC has posted a new report, “Ukraine’s President Yanukovych in talks pledge after clashes, BBC“. It was last updated at 8:35 PM EST.
The White House statement, which has been posted for about two hours on the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv website, shows well over 200 Facebook “Likes” as of 9:00 PM EST.
BBC, which has a correspondent in Kyiv, is reporting that Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych has agreed to negotiate with pro-EU protesters and opposition leaders after violent clashes in the capital Kiev.
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Ukraine, released by the White House two hours ago, is still not being reported on the Voice of America (VOA) main English news website.
“We are deeply concerned by the violence taking place today on the streets of Kyiv and urge all sides to immediately de-escalate the situation,” the White House statement says.
It has been posted on the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv website and the Kyiv Post English language website. The Times of India website is also reporting on the White House statement.
The NSC – White House statement posted on the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv website already shows over 200 Facebook “Likes” as of 8:40PM EST.
Voice of America English website is covering major clashes between protesters and police in Kyiv with an outdated report from Reuters which is now showing 9 Facebook “Likes.”
The BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Kiev reports that “wave upon wave” of attacks have been carried out on the police line. BBC also reports that “the US appealed for an end to the violence and urgent political talks.”
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Ukraine
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2014
We are deeply concerned by the violence taking place today on the streets of Kyiv and urge all sides to immediately de-escalate the situation. The increasing tension in Ukraine is a direct consequence of the government failing to acknowledge the legitimate grievances of its people. Instead, it has moved to weaken the foundations of Ukraine’s democracy by criminalizing peaceful protest and stripping civil society and political opponents of key democratic protections under the law. We urge the Government of Ukraine to take steps that represent a better way forward for Ukraine, including repeal of the anti-democratic legislation signed into law in recent days, withdrawing the riot police from downtown Kyiv, and beginning a dialogue with the political opposition. From its first days, the Maidan movement has been defined by a spirit of non-violence and we support today’s call by opposition political leaders to reestablish that principle. The U.S. will continue to consider additional steps — including sanctions — in response to the use of violence.