BBG Watch Commentary
Voice of America (VOA) executives have created “Ukraine Crisis” news page for VOA English news website, but in a typical fashion for their mismanaged organization they bragged about it to members of the oversight Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), but failed to arrange for the page to be regularly updated with fresh news.
Reports listed on the page are sometimes updated, albeit late and often superficially, but these updates are not reflected promptly in headlines and news summaries on the page itself, leading visitors to assume that there is nothing new in VOA content.
New news reports are often not generated by VOA for hours, even for significant U.S. news developments, including those originating from the White House or the State Department.
VOA executives responded to earlier criticism apparently by making arrangements to include fresh information in older reports. But even that inadequate fix is not reflected for many hours on the VOA “Ukraine Crisis” page and quite often also not reflected for a long time even on VOA’s main English news homepage. This again leads visitors to assume that VOA is late with news reporting, even about Washington-originated news.
It is also quite common for VOA not to update its “TOP NEWS” headlines at the top of the homepage, which frequently do not correspond to and sometimes contradict the headlines posted below.
In general, VOA news reporting and web posting continue to be badly managed despite some brief improvements noted after earlier criticism by BBG Watch. These small improvements seem to have been limited largely to business hours.
Another unfortunate aspect of VOA management’s failures is apparent waste of excellent reports by VOA correspondents that are eventually included in the site’s news content but not quickly and properly highlighted to site visitors. Once these visitors decide that VOA is often late in news reporting, which is true, they stop looking at the site. Worldwide VOA audiences are missing some of the excellent news reports that those experienced VOA correspondents who have remained despite bad and hostile management still produce.
EXAMPLE OF UN-UPDATED VOICE OF AMERICA “UKRAINE CRISIS” PAGE