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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: May 26, 2022


VOA’s Value-added Content on Ukraine-Related Developments Widely Republished

VOA’s Eurasia Division landed exclusive interviews with newsmakers who weighed in on this week’s congressional passage of the $40-billion Ukraine aid package and Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids, including Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker, former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe Ben Hodges, and experts Ian Brzezinski of the Atlantic Council and Janusz Bugajski of the Jamestown Foundation. Coverage also included VOA Ukrainian’s hour-long special with live simultaneous translation and commentary from London on President Biden’s remarks with Finland's President Sauli Niinistö and Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. Coverage was picked up by more than 70 media outlets in Ukraine, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo and garnered hundreds of thousands of views and tens of thousands of interactions on social media.

New Somali President Talks Exclusively to VOA about Priorities and Plans for the Country

In a VOA exclusive from Mogadishu, newly elected Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said his top priority would be restoring security to end the political infighting. The Somali leader also said he welcomed the decision by President Biden to send U.S. troops to Somalia. The on-camera interview garnered 266,000 video views and more than 200 comments within 24 hours of being posted on Facebook. VOA Somali audience member Abdullahi Hassan Abdullahi commented, “Very interesting interview that touches many sides.”

Spanish Service Immigration Coverage Garners Praise from VOA Media Affiliates

VOA Spanish released part 2 of ‘De Frontera a Frontera’, a multimedia special on the U.S.-Mexico border. The project has garnered more than 36K views on YouTube and 650.8K on social media. In addition, 50+ media partners have aired the entire series. As part of the release, a team of reporters traveled to El Paso, Texas since the number of immigrants hit record highs. The team produced more than 150 live and pre-recorded reports. “VOA provides a 360 degree view of an issue that is so relevant today,” wrote affiliate Azteca TV in Mexico. “The series provides context and looks at the social, political and humanitarian aspects of a crisis,” wrote Televen, a VOA Spanish affiliate in Venezuela.

VOA Khmer’s Coverage of Upcoming Cambodian Elections Fires Up Audience

VOA Khmer’s reporting in the run-up to next month’s local elections boosted traffic across all platforms. One original story alone garnered 72,000 views on Facebook and YouTube combined. The upcoming June 5th election mark 20 years since Cambodia began decentralizing its political system. However, experts told VOA that despite some strides, there is a long way to go in that process. They said decentralization was undermined in 2017, when the opposition CNRP was dissolved after winning local elections that year and noted that commune-level officials still receive orders from provincial authorities.

VOA Afghan Coverage of New Taliban Restrictions on Female Anchors Engages the Audience

Local and international observers reacted with concern to the new Taliban order demanding all female anchors working in all TV channels cover their faces while presenting programs. "This rule for women journalists is incredibly harmful; it is a violation of their rights, their expression; it is another step toward the Taliban's efforts to erase women completely from public life in Afghanistan," Heather Barr of the Human Rights Watch told VOA's Afghan service. The video report generated 66,000 views and 6,500 reactions on the Dari Facebook page.

VOA Persian Engages the Audience with Coverage of Anti-government Protests

VOA Persian’s coverage of growing anti-government protests in Iran has garnered high audience engagement on digital platforms. VOA’s Mahtab Vahidirad and Afshar Sigarchi reported on the protests daily; Payam Yazdian hosted a special show titled: “Public Protests: What do the Slogans Say and What Do People Want?” (IGTV 226,076 views), and more than 30 videos clips of the protests were posted on social media platforms. Seven experts analyzed the people’s demands, the Iranian government’s response, and how social media may be blocking protest videos. Total audience engagement surpassed 2,343,660.

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 publicrelations@voanews.com to ensure it is accurate and current.

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