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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: July 15, 2022

VOA’s Coverage of Ukraine War Survivors Resonates with Audiences

VOA’s compelling coverage of how the Russia-Ukraine war has impacted the lives of ordinary people features powerful interviews with survivors that garnered more than 3.2 million views on social media. VOA Russian’s interview with Tamara Borisenko, a Russian who had been living in Ukraine and fled Bucha for California to join her son, garnered more than 3 million views on Facebook alone. VOA Ukrainian’s reporting from Borodyanka, outside of Bucha, featured the stories of an 80-year-old woman who survived Russia’s occupation of the city and of Ukrainian volunteers who set up a permanent food distribution center. In western Ukraine, VOA told the unique story of internally displaced persons opening new businesses in Rivne and Lviv. A family from Mariupol told VOA how they fled the war, arriving in San Diego after being sent to a Russian filtration camp.

VOA Story on Threats to Press Freedom in Ethiopia Widely Shared

News Center editor Salem Solomon’s article about threats to press freedom in Ethiopia drew on language service quotes from Ethiopian lawyers and an interview with Angela Quintal, Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists. The article was retweeted by Quintal and shared by the Washington Post’s Press Freedom Partnership. PEN America shared the story with its nearly 142,000 followers. It also was featured in the Africa Center for Strategic Studies' daily media review, a U.S. Department of Defense academic institute funded by Congress, and was picked up by online news aggregates such as AllAfrica, Afro Newscast, Granthshala News, The World News, Nation World News and Noovel.

VOA Kurdish Coverage of Eid al-Adha Celebrations Generates More Than 2 Million Views

VOA Kurdish service's extensive coverage of the Eid al-Adha holiday, highlighting festivities and challenges involving annual celebrations in the region, engaged audiences across the Kurdish-populated regions. One TV report focused on Erbil’s animal market where the sellers complained about Erbil governor’s decision to ban the slaughter of animals at home, complaining about the lack of butcher houses in the city and increased costs for customers. The service's Eid al-Adha-related content generated 2,233,000 views and 42,800 shares, comments and reactions on Facebook.

Audiences Very Interested in VOA Reporting on Chinese and Russian Influence in Latin America

Reporter Antoni Belchi traveled to Honduras with a delegation led by U.S. Southern Command General Laura Richardson who told VOA Spanish there is mounting concern over China and Russia’s growing influence in Latin America. This special coverage got more than 115K views across all digital platforms. The story was shared by, and El Diario Nica.

Chinese Media Worldwide Pick Up VOA Mandarin’s RIMPAC Coverage

Mandarin’s extensive reporting on the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy included impactful interviews and articles on the RIMPAC 2022 exercise. The service’s web article - carrying remarks to VOA Mandarin reporters by Admiral Samuel John Paparo, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet - was picked up by media in China, Taiwan and Singapore, as well as Chinese language outlets in Australia, Canada and the U.S. Calling Beijing’s growing combat power very concerning, Paparo told VOA while RIMPAC is “not oriented against any particular nation,” the U.S. military is prepared for conflict involving Taiwan.

VOA Panel Discussion on YALI Program Resonates with Audience

A VOA Africa panel discussion on the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a six-week flagship program of the U.S. sponsored Young African Leaders Initiative, received more than 10k views within a few hours of its Facebook premiere. VOA’s Mike Hove and Mayra de Lassalette were joined by alumni discussing the role the fellowship is playing in shaping the future of what experts say is the youngest and fastest growing continent. Portuguese, Hausa, Central Africa, Swahili, Somali, Amharic, Afaan Oromoo, Tigrigna, Zimbabwe, Shona, and Ndebele live streamed the event on social media and web.

VOA Persian's Reporting on Iran’s Mandatory Hijab Policy Engages the Audience

VOA Persian’s Afshar Sigarchi and Rozita Irandoost covered Iran’s mandatory hijab policy. VOA Persian also produced a special program titled “Young Iranians Living Under Government’s Revolutionary Ideals.” In the program Amnesty International’s Raha Bahreini criticized the Islamic Republic for cracking down and putting more pressure on women and girls to wear a hijab, saying “mandatory Islamic dress code is in violation of basic freedom.” Activist Shaghayegh Norouzi emphasized that “young Iranians struggle to keep up with the outside world; to maintain freedom, human connections, and to enjoy life.” The total audience engagement on all digital platforms surpassed 1,597,800.

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.