BBG Watch Commentary
More than one hour after the White House released a statement on a planned meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine at the White House on March 12, VOA English news website is still not reporting on the statement and its details, and continues to to use the word “reportedly” in referring to the visit.
VOA was also close to two hours late in reporting on Sunday U.S. television comments on Russia and Ukraine by President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken and did not post a separate news report, as it also did not on the White House statement. (Eventually, VOA mentioned the White House statement and Blinken’s comments with short references in an older news report.)
After a slight improvement on Saturday, Voice of America seems to be back to its normal late and perfunctory news reporting on Ukraine, including reporting on significant U.S. reactions to Russia’s military intervention. VOA executive editor still seems unable to organize news coverage and assure sufficient staffing during off-business hours and even during business hours.
The White House released this statement before noon EDT Sunday (11:55 EDT):
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2014
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk of Ukraine
President Obama will welcome Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine to the White House on March 12. The visit will highlight the strong support of the United States for the people of Ukraine, who have demonstrated inspiring courage and resilience through recent times of crisis. The President and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk will discuss how to find a peaceful resolution to Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Crimea that would respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. They will also discuss support the international community can provide to help Ukraine confront its economic challenges, and the importance of uniting Ukraine and working to fulfill the aspirations of the Ukrainian people as they prepare for May presidential elections.
As of 12:55 PM EDT Sunday, Voice of America English news website is still reporting that “a White House official confirmed the talks, but no other details were immediately available from Washington officials.”
As of 12:25 PM EDT, VOA English homepage reports: “Meantime, reports say Ukraine’s Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will visit Washington for consultation on Crimea,” rather than the White House confirmed the visit and provided details.
VOA Newsroom was slightly better Saturday in posting prompt reports on Ukraine, but today it is slower in updating news, most likely due to poor planning by management and staff shortages.