The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), a government-run agency, is facing scandals after two cases emerged involving alleged unethical actions by journalists.
In one, journalist Tomas Regalado Jr. and cameraman Rodolfo Hernandez, who worked for TV Marti, were suspended after accusations that they faked a news video showing a mortar attack while reporting in Nicaragua in 2018, The New York Times reported. TV Marti is one of the flagship companies operating under USAGM.
“I take seriously any breach of professional journalistic standards at any U.S.A.G.M. network,” John Lansing, USAGM’s chief executive, said in a statement. “I have asked for a thorough and swift investigation. I expect all U.S.A.G.M. networks to adhere to truthfulness, fairness and accountability in their reporting.”
A week earlier, Haroon Ullah, the former deputy to Lansing, pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from the government in 2018. He will face up to 10 years in prison, according to The NYT.
Former USAGM Official Pleads Guilty to Nearly $40,000 Theft of Government Funds https://t.co/xtSsiajuHQ
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) June 28, 2019
Lansing was appointed by former President Barack Obama‘s administration in 2015 to run USAGM. Since being in charge, USAGM and its flagship companies have faced numerous ethical violations.
These allegations surfaced after multiple scandals with USAGM flagship company Voice of America (VOA). Fifteen journalists were fired in October after accepting bribes, called “brown envelopes,” from a Nigerian official, The NYT reported. (RELATED: Organizations For Journalists Not Reporting on The Attack On Andy Ngo After A Week)
VOA describes itself as committed to “telling audiences the truth” and being “a reliable source of news and information.”
“Since its creation in 1942, Voice of America has been committed to providing comprehensive coverage of the news and telling audiences the truth,” the VOA website reads. ” … the Voice of America has built a global reputation as a consistently reliable source of news and information.”
“VOA is accurate and objective in all of its reporting, programming, online and social media content. VOA staff avoid imbalance or bias in their news reports.”
USAGM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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