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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: June 30, 2022

VOA’s High-Profile Interviews Engage Eurasian Audiences

VOA Ukrainian's and VOA Russian's exclusive interviews with the National Security Council's Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby and U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the impact of U.S. military assistance and future support for Ukraine had significant impact in the target area and were widely used by VOA’s other language services, including Russian, Albanian, Armenian, Bosnian, Georgian, Macedonian, Serbian, Persian and Spanish, as well as the English-language website. The interviews garnered tens of thousands of views across digital platforms, and the Kirby interview had more than 70 quotes/reprints in Ukrainian media. The U.S. Embassy in Russia shared the link to Ambassador Sullivan’s interview in its Twitter and Telegram accounts.

VOA Deewa's Coverage of Afghanistan Earthquake Engages Audiences, Highlights Survivors’ Stories

VOA Deewa provided robust coverage of the June 22 earthquake in Afghanistan drawing substantial audience on social media platforms. The extended coverage highlighted widespread damages, the death toll, and survivor stories. “I lost 33 members of my extended family in the earthquake, and others are still in hospitals, we are lying under the open sky, and have no roof left to live under,” Muhammad Rafi Fida, a resident of Paktika province told VOA Deewa. The earthquake coverage drove Deewa's FB engagement, as weekly video views reached more than 12 million.

Newly Elected Somali Prime Minister Talks to VOA Following Vote

Shortly after being confirmed by the Somali Parliament, new Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre spoke to VOA by phone from Mogadishu on various issues, including his cabinet selection. “I will form a government that would advance the key priorities of my new government, including security, drought response, reconciliation, and development,” Barre told VOA Somali. Popular Somali outlet Hiiraan Online cited VOA’s interview, which was praised by Facebook listener Wayeelka Jaqafsada, commenting “Falastin well done, you did a great job. You always conduct effective interviews with the different leaders."

VOA Spanish Reporting Very Popular with Latin America Media

VOA Spanish's coverage of SCOTUS’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade led to more than 40 affiliate requests for live reporting from Mexico to Argentina and was the most popular topic in the following days. Celia Mendoza’s exclusive interview with Argentina’s Foreign Relations Minister regarding terrorism charges against an Iranian-Venezuelan airplane crew, landed on the front-page of leading newspapers El Clarín and La Nación. Jaime Moreno’s multimedia exposé about Chinese efforts to control lithium access in Latin America was reproduced by The Epoch Times, El Economista, Cambio Político, La Prensa Gráfica.

VOA Mandarin’s Reporting on Confucius Institutes in America Spurs Audience Interest

VOA Mandarin’s coverage of a new report about Chinese government-funded language and cultural centers in the United States captured the audience’s attention - generating more than 135,000 total views on social media within hours. Widely criticized for being part of Beijing’s propaganda machine overseas, at least 104 of the 118 Confucius Institutes in America have closed or are closing. But the New York-based National Association of Scholars report said the defunct centers have reappeared and rebranded their programs under different names so Beijing can continue its influence on American educational institutions.

Audiences and VOA Affiliates Get Comprehensive Coverage of President Biden's Europe Trip

White House correspondent Anita Powell deftly juggled multiple duties while accompanying President Biden to Telfs, Austria, for the G-7 summit and then heading to Spain for a critical NATO meeting. While handling radio pool duties for the trip, she managed to file three TV packages in as many days, two TV stand-ups and do live hits for affiliate NDTV in India and VOA language service shows. She set the stage for the trip with a TV advancer that included Iuliia Iarmolenko’s exclusive interview with John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council.

VOA Persian’s Special Examines Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s First Year in Office

VOA Persian produced a special show titled: “First year of Ibrahim Raisi’s Presidency and His Election Promises.” Payam Yazdian hosted, with Rozita Irandoost reporting social media reaction. Experts agree that Raisi must hire more competent people to run the country. Political expert Mohammad Machinchian said that top members of Raisi’s government had no experience in policymaking. Journalist Reza Alijani said that embezzlement and corrupt practices were prevalent, and journalist Javadi Hesar said that Raisi must agree to the JCPOA to promote foreign investment. Total audience engagement on digital platforms surpassed 910,000.

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.