For many around the world, BBG networks are serving as the only source of accurate and unbiased coverage of Sunday’s terrorist attack in Orlando, piecing together stories on an incident that has sparked debate on a series of controversial issues such as terrorism, homosexuality, gun control and law enforcement surveillance.
The VOA News Center is generating continuous English TV and web reporting on the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and its aftermath, with live coverage and updates and analysis. News Center reporters in Washington and around the world responded to the massacre with dozens of stories and videos in the first 48 hours. The News Center created a special web page called Orlando Shooting to provide a place where users can easily find information generated by VOA and its language services.
VOA’s Urdu service contributed to that page with an interview with Sajid Chaudhry, President-Elect of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America. He said incidents like the Orlando shooting damage the image of Muslims in the U.S. and their positive contributions to society.
With a reporter on the ground in Orlando, where the attack killed 49 people and wounded 53 others at a gay nightclub, VOA’s Spanish service is providing live reports to its affiliates throughout Latin America. Because the attack took place on Latino Night at the Pulse nightclub, and many of those killed and wounded were Latinos, a lot of affiliates are requesting the coverage.
Alhurra Television also had a correspondent in Orlando who covered the attack and its aftermath for audiences throughout the Middle East. Alhurra was the only Arabic-language network to air President Obama’s comments a few hours after the attack from the Oval Office live. Alhurra’s show Free Hour dedicated two episodes to the attack with guests such as Florida Congressman Alan Grayson and the President of the Islamic Association of Central Florida, and its show AlYoum provided in-depth analysis of the massacre, including speculation on what influenced the gunman, Omar Mateen, to carry out the shooting.
Radio Sawa’s show Sawa Magazine discussed why Muslim-Americans refuse to link the Orlando terror attack with Islam and examined why some people are attracted to online extremist propaganda.
All of the language services at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty provided coverage of the shooting. Stories and videos on the network’s web site included an original piece on the Dari-language online videos posted by the shooter’s father. RFE/RL’s Russian service provided live coverage of Muscovites laying flowers at the U.S. Embassy, and the service was there when a gay couple was detained while paying tribute to the victims.
The Martís produced TV, audio and web reports about the two Cubans killed in the shooting, and Radio Free Asia’s Vietnamese service posted its own story on the attack. Vietnam lifted a ban on same-sex marriage last year.