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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: May 11, 2022

VOA Korean Lands First TV Interview with South Korean Leader after His Election

Korean’s exclusive interview with Yoon Suk-yeol was picked up widely by South Korean media, including major outlets Yonhap, Chosun and KBS. A conservative former prosecutor who ran a pro-U.S. campaign, Yoon told VOA Seoul must pursue a “comprehensive alliance” with Washington. The new president said South Korea should not merely stand with the U.S., but actually work together on global issues and, when necessary, take a leading role. Yoon did not rule out a summit with North Korea, but stressed the need for substantive outcomes on denuclearization.

Story on Planes Flown to Uzbekistan from Afghanistan Widely Viewed, Quoted and Republished

A senior Uzbek official told Uzbek Service reporter Navbahor Imamova that almost 50 planes flown to his country as the Afghan government collapsed last August would not be turned over to the Taliban. National security correspondent Jeff Seldin added background and Pentagon reaction. The story, the third most viewed of the month, was quoted or republished in English by The Diplomat (U.S.), Eurasianet (U.S.), Ariana News (Afghanistan) and (Uzbekistan). It was picked up by seven Uzbek or Russian-language outlets and eight in Dari and Pashto. The statement was also discussed on Afghan social media and in TV talk shows.

VOA’s Value-Added Coverage of Ukraine War Engages Audience

VOA’s wide-scale coverage of the U.S. response to Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine and actions by high-level officials continues to drive audiences to its platforms, registering millions of views and tens of thousands of interactions. Highlights included on-the-ground interviews in Moldova with U.S. Ambassador Kent Logsdon and former defense minister Vitalie Marinutsa and in Poland with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; U.S. First Lady Jill Biden’s unannounced meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Olena Zelenska in Uzhhorod, Ukraine; an interview with Zelenskyy adviser Mikhailo Podolyak; a special interactive from Moldova on Ukrainian refugees and the threat to Transnistria; vox pops on how the war has changed diasporans’ relationships with their families in Russia; and analysis of Putin's and Zelenskyy's Victory Day speeches.

VOA Spanish Launches Special Series on Migration with a Focus on Ukraine

More than 10,000 kilometers from Ukraine, in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, a path allows thousands of refugees to seek shelter in the United States. VOA Spanish series “From Border to Border” collects testimonies of families, women and young people from Ukraine and Russia, sharing their experience and the challenges ahead. The series has 200k+ views on social media and received praise from media partners. “This series depicts the drama of war and displacement. Our channel made a special presentation given the quality of the pieces,” said leading TV station ATV Peru's executive producer.

Kurdish Official Reveals to VOA New Initiative on Resolving Political Stalemate in Iraq

VOA Kurdish interviewed Bangin Rekani, an official of the leading Kurdish party KDP and the former Iraqi Minister of Reconstruction, who revealed a plan by Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to end the Iraqi political gridlock. "I think that if the project of the President does not succeed within the next ten days, no other project will work in Iraq and we will have to think about another alternative," Rekani told VOA. The interview has been cited widely in local media, including Kurd News TV, Westga News, Xendan, Awene, Xelk Media, Zamen Press, Shar Press, and Doz.

VOA Afan Oromo Interview on Press Freedom Draws Audience Interest

“My future is uncertain,” journalist Guyo Wario told VOA Afan Oromo while reflecting on his journey covering Ethiopia. Wario became a household name for his “hard talk” TV show on Oromia Media Network but was arrested in 2020 following unrest in the Oromia region after artist Hachalu Hundessa’s assassination. Released a few months later, he resettled in a neighboring country with CPJ support. The interview on Facebook has received more than 150k video views and 11k likes in the first 24 hours.

VOA Persian's Special Program for World Press Freedom Day Engages the Audience

VOA Persian produced a special program hosted by Siamak Dehghanpour focusing on media censorship in Iran and the impact of digital advances to journalism. VOA reporters also joined the dialogue, discussing the challenges to press freedom in Russia and China. Viewers showed high interest to interviews with Iranian author Ebrahim Nabavi and Camelia Entekhabifard, editor of The Independent Persian. Navid Jamshidi, an editor in Tehran, said that the press in Iran has surrendered to those in power. Audience engagement on all digital platforms surpassed 1,425,600.

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.