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President Obama's Cairo Speech Popular With VOA's Multimedia Audience


Two-way communication via 'New Media' is a hit

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Extensive multimedia coverage of President Obama's eagerly anticipated speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt, on June 4 generated enthusiastic global responses for VOA. Feedback has poured in through VOA's website, YouTube video asking for audience reactions to the speech. Afterwards, the number of visitors to VOANews.com increased by 22%, and the traffic to VOA's website from Google News increased by 62%.

All of VOA's 45 language services are tracking reactions to Obama's address, which have been both laudatory and critical of the speech. Anne Malinee, Web Editor at VOA, said, "Many people were positive and praised the vision for peace the president laid out in the speech, but others were more critical. Some said, while they were impressed with the president's rhetoric, they won't believe him until they see concrete actions.""The speech though straight forward, appeared simple and yet complex in addressing numerous age-long problems and positions not only held in the Arabic and Israeli World but also in America."

- comment from Ibadan, Nigeria

“It is a good step towards peace. Enough of words, let deeds speak. Deeds speak more than words. More speeches and many dialogues led to nothing.”

- comment from Egypt

An excerpt from a viewer in India stated, "President Obama's speech may be a good beginning but it is to be seen how he translates his views into practice. He is a genuine, honest and sincere person who as the most powerful man on earth can make it a better place to live. Islam and the West have not been on good terms most of the time due to historical reasons. Old perceptions and stereotyping still mar these relations."

Video streams, audio, and the full text of the speech can be located at www.VOANews.com/english/Obama_Cairo_Speech.cfm. A multimedia map charting the distributions of Muslim communities around the world can be found at www.myvoa.com/US-MuslimRelations/.

VOA is also utilizing the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. Language services posted story links on VOA's Twitter Pages (VOA_News and ObamaSpeech). Twitter followers nearly doubled during the first twenty-four hours after the speech aired.

Facebook fans of VOA's pages have significantly increased; fans from Pakistan, Korea, Nigeria, and the United States have posted their reactions to the stories. There are more than 1,100 fans on The Voice of America Facebook page. Viewers e-mail their reactions to www.VOANews.com for stories and immediate updates regarding Obama’s trip to the Middle East and his speech in Cairo. Read comments from readers from across the globe at www.VOANews.com/english/VOA_Hears_From_You.cfm.


by Caitlin Daw

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