On 25 March, Gregory Korte of USA Today posted the new seating chart of The White House Press Room on Twitter. Much can be said about the rearrangement, but this entry is to cover the seating position of only one seat, Voice of America (VOA). While the position of the seat has gone unchained since 2009, I ask why is it even there in the first place?
According to VOA’s About Us page,
The Charter states, in part, that “VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive.” That is why we feature those words on the VOANews.com banner. The Charter also states that “VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinions on these policies.”
Can VOA be an seen as an authoritative source for news, if their correspondent is not in the front row? Why do politically polarizing media outlets have front row seats, while VOA is to be accurate, objective, and comprehensive” from the nosebleed section.
Seeing as the front row is clogged full of private media (YES, AP/ AFL-CIO, YOU ARE A PRIVATE ENTITY! ), VOA receives their funding from the US government. So I ask, why shouldn’t tax payer dollars get preferential treatment? To further drive home that point, if VOA is to “present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively”, then why must their correspondent sit in a position where they have to fight to be seen and heard?
Just some thoughts…