BBG Watch Commentary

VOA First Live Facebook Report on Super Tuesday 2016The Voice of America (VOA) did what was presented as VOA’s “First Live Facebook Report.” The VOA live Facebook report was on “Super Tuesday” primary voting in the United States.

Old Voice of America hands described the first attempt at “live” Facebook reporting by VOA as “pretty amateurish” in terms of production values and presentation. Veteran Voice of America correspondents said they felt sorry for the two young VOA reporters having to stand in the VOA Newsroom which looks old, cluttered and completely empty. One of the VOA reporters is holding what looks like a truly beat up old VOA mike without even a VOA logo.

One former VOA broadcaster observed that the mike a VOA reporter was given to use looks at least 10 to 20 years old, while top IBB executives in charge of VOA program support wouldn’t be caught dead attending a BBG board meeting wearing last season’s suits.

Once again, program management and program support was not there for VOA broadcasters, although VOA Newsroom reporters are doing more these days under the leadership of new Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) CEO and director John Lansing and VOA acting director Kelu Chao. Under the previous BBG and VOA management, they would not be doing even that.

VOA reporters in the video were not senior and did not offer an in-depth analysis, but they looked good and generated a lot of positive audience engagement on Facebook.

Nevertheless, this first VOA “live” Facebook report did not even come close to how BBC, Russia’s RT or Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) present their live and on-demand video content.

“Several levels below U.S. network quality,” observed one former senior VOA foreign and domestic correspondent. Several levels below BBC, DW, and RT.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors, its dysfunctional program support element — the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) — and the Voice of America have a long way to go.


VOA News Facebook


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BBC News Facebook

The first #SuperTuesday polls are about to close. This is the biggest day in the US presidential election so far.What do you want to know about Trump, Clinton, Rubio, Sanders, Cruz and the race for the White House? The BBC's Katty Kay & Anthony Zurcher answered your questions LIVE! #AskAmerica

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Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton speaking to supporters in Miami, Florida says she won't stand for a "divided America." Read more #SuperTuesday updates here:

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