BBG Watch

At the end of its today’s report, “US, Europe Mark 70th Anniversary of VE Day,” Voice of America posted this video of two veteran VOA correspondents, Jim Malone and Andre de Nesnera, who on a beautiful Friday afternoon work-day are making brief comments on World War II Victory Capitol Flyover as observed from the roof of the Voice of America and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) building in Washington, DC.

We wanted to highlight this short Voice of America video clip, which was posted Friday, May 8, 2015, on the website, as an example of presentation, demeanor and contributions by VOA staffers, as well production values in some of today’s VOA coverage of WWII anniversary observances in Washington, and compare it to coverage by BBC and Russia’s RT.

Voice of America Video “WWII Victory Flyover Reaction”

VOA Correspondents Jim Malone and Andre Denesnera comment on the WW II Victory Flyover on the National Mall, May 8, 2015



This is another way of watching Voice of America “WWII Victory Flyover Reaction” – VOA Correspondents Jim Malone and Andre Denesnera comment on the WW II Victory Flyover on the National Mall, May 8, 2015.

As of 8:00 PM ET, VOA News has not posted anything from today’s events in Washington on its Facebook page. VOA had Tweets about the flyover.

[UPDATE: Early Saturday morning, VOA posted on its Facebook page this short on-the-scene interview with former U.S. Senator and WWII veteran Bob Dole. Why could it not have been posted earlier and highlighted the same way Jim Malone and Andre de Nesnera were highlighted already on Friday on most of VOA’s web platforms? The Sen. Bob Dole interview would have been a good contrast to Malone and de Nesnera comments.]

At the VE Day remembrance ceremony in Washington, District of Columbia, former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole – himself a wounded WWII veteran – spoke with VOA about his service.

Posted by Voice of America on Saturday, May 9, 2015


Other VOA Videos

VOA also posted a video and text report focused exclusively on the WWII-era warplanes flyover in Washington on Friday, May 8: “WWII-era Warplanes Fly Over Washington.”


Another Voice of America video report, but posted before the Washington flyover event, included an interview with Merle Hancock, a U.S. WWII military aviator. This report, “WWII POW Remembers Allied Victory in Europe” by Katherine Gypson has received 25 Tweets, 55 Facebook “Shares” and 4 (four) comments as of 10:30 PM Friday. Unlike the VOA reports done on Friday, this earlier VOA report had a post on VOA News Facebook page. It may have been the best.


BBC – Washington WWII Flyover

You can compare VOA’s video coverage of the DC event to BBC’s video report by Jane O’Brian.

Jane O'Brian, BBC

VE Day marked in Washington DC with WW2 aircraft flypast, BBC Video, Jane O’Brian, May 8, 2015

BBC also had live reporting from the DC flyover and additional reports:

As it happened: VE Day flyover Watch: VE Day ceremony in the US (This page automatically updates) | BBC

Obama leads VE Day events in US | BBC

RT – Washington WWII Flyover

Russia’s RT posted a news report from Washington, “Historic planes on parade over National Mall in WWII commemoration.” RT report included a video with natural sound but no narration, another video, and numerous photos, Tweets and Facebook posts embeds from the Washington flyover event.

RT posted its own photos from the Washington flyover, while Voice of America posted wire service photos even though the event took place right next to the VOA building.

RT’s video from today’s event is already on YouTube, but VOA’s videos from today are not.

[UPDATE: “WWII Victory Flyover React” with VOA veteran correspondents Jim Malone and Andre de Nesnera was eventually uploaded to VOA News Youtube channel. The other two VOA video news reports, the interview with a U.S. WWII veteran aviator and the longer video report from the flyover, have not been put on the VOA Youtube channel as of 4:00 PM ET Saturday.]

As of 8:15 PM, VOA’s video/text report, “WWII-era Warplanes Fly Over Washington” is showing 14 Tweets, 2 (two) Facebook “Shares,” and 0 (zero) comments.

RT’s report, “Historic planes on parade over National Mall in WWII commemoration” is showing 75 Tweets, 147 Facebook “Shares” and 12 comments — actually low numbers compared to most RT news reports.


In addition to having original RT photos, RT text/video report from the flyover event in Washington, DC was much longer than the VOA text/video report.

RT report had 1,000 words.

VOA report had 427 words.

BBC report, “As it happened: VE Day flyover Watch: VE Day ceremony updates,” in addition to video and many original BBC photos had 1,700 words.



How would you compare BBC’s and RT’s coverage of the Washington WWII flyover with VOA’s coverage?

How did veteran Voice of America correspondents in the VOA online video clip enhance overall VOA coverage of the event with their comments?

Should VOA have done more reporting and more social media coverage of the event?

What did you think of VOA’s interview with WWII veteran Merle Hancock? Were you curious what he did after the war?

Should VOA have conducted more interviews with U.S. WWII veterans and other participants in the Washington, DC observances?

What do you think of BBC reports?

What do you think of RT’s report?

For those who may not know this, the BBG is the independent federal government agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media. BBG is also the name of the board that governs the agency. The Voice of America is one of the media entities overseen by the BBG. The agency claims 215 million unduplicated weekly global audience on various media platforms.

The agency’s FY15 budget is $742 million and it employs 3,590 staffers. About $200 million of the BBG’s budget is spent on the Voice of America. Senior Voice of America staffers, including senior VOA correspondents, can make between $138,000 and $157,000 or more per year in addition to other federal government employee benefits. Less senior VOA reporters but with some experience can make about $100,000 per year. These are full-time federal government employees. VOA also employs several hundred contractors as reporters, producers and technicians. Most of these contractors are poorly paid and receive no federal employment benefits.

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