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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: June 2, 2022

U.S. Experts Discuss Ukraine War in Exclusive Interviews with VOA

Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger's remarks at the World Economic Forum, in which he said Ukraine should cede territory to Russia to end the war, generated a flurry of debate by leading experts interviewed by VOA, garnering 375,000 views on social media. VOA Russian reports featured former U.S. ambassadors William Courtney and John Herbst, Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations, and experts with opposing views, including former U.S. ambassador Steven Pifer, Andrew Blum of the University of San Diego and Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, as well as military analysis by Sam Bendett of the Center for Naval Analyses. VOA Ukrainian’s interviews with Herbst, former U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor, Ukraine’s U.N. Representative Serhiy Kyslytsya and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) following his visit to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, provided additional perspectives, including on the resignation of veteran Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Affiliates and Programs Relied on VOA Spanish and VOA News Center’s Live Coverage from Uvalde Texas

The Spanish service team sent to cover the Uvalde school shooting, providing 300 live and taped reports in four days for media in the region. Twenty one of the largest TV channels, such as Caracol and Azteca Television, aired the live content provided by Celia Mendoza and Iacopo Luzzi three times daily. The service also featured reporting from Washington, as well as reaction and contextual stories. As a result, VOA Spanish digital traffic garnered more than 100k page views on the website and 527K views on social media platforms. In addition, western U.S. bureau chief Scott Stearns drove through the night from Denver to reach Uvalde the morning after the school shooting and began performing live and pre-taped hits for International Edition, VOA language services and affiliates including Newzroom Afrika and NDTV India. L.A. bureau chief Michael O’Sullivan followed, enabling Scott to move on to Houston for the National Rifle Association convention. The coverage accounted for four of the week’s seven most-viewed stories on the English website, including more than 15K views for a chronology of U.S. mass shootings. A Facebook posting outside the school had more than 11K reactions.

VOA Mandarin Provides Beijing-Blocked Blinken Speech to Chinese Audience

Even as Beijing blocked the U.S. Secretary of State's long-awaited speech outlining President Biden's China strategy, VOA Mandarin's reporting gained significant traction - one article alone garnered 56,000 views within hours. Livestreaming of Blinken's remarks hit 90,000 views on YouTube. Coverage also included pre- and post- speech analysis and reaction. Blinken said despite Russia's war in Ukraine, China poses "the most serious long-term challenge" to the rules-based world order. He said the U.S. would compete with Beijing to defend its interests and pledged expanded cooperation with Taiwan consistent with Washington's "One China" policy.

VOA Urdu and Deewa's Coverage of Pakistan Unrest Generates Millions of Views

As former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his supporters marched to Islamabad, the ensuing unrest was covered by VOA Urdu and Deewa reporters on the ground - some at a risk to their safety. Karachi reporter M. Saqib ducked on camera as police fired live rounds near him, and Gaitty Ara had to cut her Facebook Live short in Islamabad as the situation around her became tense. The march alone generated 4 million views on Urdu Facebook, whereas Deewa Facebook live reports generated 1.5 million views and 100K reactions.

African Audiences Appreciate VOA's Comprehensive Coverage of Basketball Africa League Tournament

For the second year, VOA was a media partner of the NBA’s BAL tournament, delivering live radio broadcasts of more than 30 games in English, French, Portuguese, Kinyarwanda, and Wolof, on 15 24/7 FM and affiliate stations, along with daily video highlights, social media content, and weekly podcasts. On-the-ground playoff coverage from Kigali included interviews with coaches and players, and live hits with Eddie Rwema and Sonny Young on Africa 54. Joshua Zenit on Facebook writes, “Thanks, Sonny! We’ve enjoyed your basketball coverage in Rwanda.”

VOA Persian's Coverage of Metropol Building Collapse and Abadan Protests Engages Audience

VOA Persian reported on the collapse of Metropol, a ten-story building in Abadan, Iran, rescue efforts to find survivors in the rubble, and hundreds of people who joined the anti-government protests. In addition, the service broadcasted live the landmark Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in which U.S. Special Envoy to Iran Robert Malley was grilled about JCPOA. VOA Persian reporters and two outside experts provided analysis. After the hearing, Shahla Arasteh interviewed Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), James Risch (R-ID), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Todd Young (R-IN). Audience engagement for these topics on digital platforms surpassed 1,906,740.

VOA Programming Highlights are compiled based on information available from multiple sources at the time of posting. This information constantly evolves. If you intend to cite to information posted in VOA Highlights, please consult VOA Public Relations at to ensure it is accurate and current.