WASHINGTON, D.C. —
Jessica Beinecke, host and creator of VOA’s online English-Chinese teaching program, OMG! Meiyu, is the winner of the Association for International Broadcasting's 2012 Founders’ Award.
The award was presented in London Wednesday night at the AIB Global Media Excellence Awards gala, which attracted broadcast journalists from around the world.
"I am so excited that OMG! Meiyu received such an amazing honor,” Jessica said. “Each episode has originated from a user-suggested topic, so I can't wait to get back to China to share this award with the fans who make OMG! happen."
Simon Spanswick, the Chief Executive of the AIB, said he was “impressed with the way OMG! has been used to teach audiences in China.” The award citation noted Jessica’s "impressive enthusiasm and digital expertise has ensured rapid viral success for this highly-innovative teaching program.”
The online video blog became an overnight Internet sensation in China last year with the release of Yucky Gunk, a user requested episode that explained the way young people in the United States talk about personal hygiene. All of the OMG! episodes explain modern slang used in America.
“We are so proud of Jessica and what she has done with this innovative and creative program,” said VOA Director David Ensor. “OMG! Meiyu and other VOA English teaching programs help build bridges with our audience and that is an important part of what we do.”
The English teaching videos and podcasts, which are available on the VOA Mandarin website, YouTube, the iTunes store and dozens of social media sites, have been viewed more than 15 million times. Every week, new episodes are introduced.
Last month, Jessica took part in a four-city tour of China to meet with fans and talk about her video blog. More than 300 thousand Chinese students regularly follow her video blog and many offer online feedback and questions for new programs.
For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write email@example.com. For more information about VOA visit the Public Relations website at www.insidevoa.com, or the main news site at www.voanews.com.