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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: July 21, 2022

VOA’s Fact-Based Coverage of the War in Ukraine Draws Wide Viewership

Eurasia Division’s expansive coverage of the war in Ukraine continues to garner millions of views on social media, as audiences seek fact-based reporting on the latest developments. Reports on how Ukraine is preparing for a new offensive from Belarus and the aftermath of a deadly explosion in Vinnitsa, as well as interviews with former NATO military commanders in Europe, Generals Philip Breedlove and James Jones, U.S. Representatives Steven Cohen (D-TN) and Victoria Spartz (R-IN) and Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova garnered more than 3.5 million views on digital platforms. The generals advocated increased readiness of NATO forces, noting that the current threat of nuclear conflict is as real as it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ambassador Markarova responded to Congresswoman Spartz’s criticism of the Ukrainian and U.S. governments for what she said was their lack of oversight of weapons systems delivered to Ukraine.

VOA’s Coverage of President Biden’s Trip to the Middle East Resonates with Audience

VOA Kurdish service’s comprehensive coverage of President Biden’s first trip as U.S. president to the Middle East included more than a dozen highly interactive analytical web articles, video packages, as well as interviews with experts. This coverage of the President's Mideast trip was also reflected daily in the service's TV show Kurd Connection aired by NRT TV, one of the top satellite channels in Iraqi Kurdistan. Among a wide array of the discussed topics was the visit’s potential impact on the relations normalization prospects of Israel with the Arab countries. VOA Kurdish's overall content generated 15,057,100 views and 245,696 shares, comments, and reactions on Facebook.

In addition, VOA Persian’s Siamak Dehghanpour traveled to Israel to cover the President's trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, reporting on the President's agenda and regional goals. Dehghanpour filed more than 20 reports and interviewed more than 12 guests, including a senior Israeli official and journalist Menashe Amir. His reports garnered more than 3,022,600 engagements.

VOA Documentary Aired by 18 TV Channels in Africa

VOA Africa’s French version of the original documentary, Mbour, Shore of Sorrows, was picked up by several affiliates in the DRC and Congo-Brazzaville, including Vox TV, Antenne A, and RT Malaika. The documentary focuses on Senegal’s coastal city of Mbour, its rich tradition of fishing, and its reputation as a departure point for irregular migrants risking dangerous sea crossings to get to the Canary Islands and then the European mainland.

VOA's Reporting on Turkey's Involvement in Syria Attract Analysts' Attention

The Center on National Security at Fordham Law republished the top of an article by national security correspondent Jeff Seldin about Turkey’s threat to launch a new military offensive into northern Syria. In the article, Seldin quoted senior U.S. officials saying that such a move would endanger U.S. forces in the region and have disastrous consequences in the fight against the Islamic State. Middle East Institute analyst Charles Lister cited and linked to Seldin's coverage of an MEI conference where the issue was discussed, saying “@seldin of @VOANews summed up a good deal of the #DetaineeDilemma Conference in this lengthy report.”

VOA Burmese Reporting on Myanmar-Britain Row Spurs Significant Interest

Audiences turned in big numbers to VOA Burmese coverage of Myanmar’s diplomatic spat with the UK after the abrupt exit of Peter Vowles, the British ambassador. The ruling junta denied the ambassador's claims that he was forced out. Vowles had refused to present credentials to Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, which the junta said violated the diplomatic code of conduct. Mark Farmaner of Burma Campaign UK told VOA the episode highlighted the refusal by much of the international community to accept Myanmar’s military as the legitimate representative of the country. The interview garnered 520,000 views on Facebook alone.

VOA Spanish Reporting on COVID-19 Reinfection Consequences Attract Significant Audience

Several studies indicate COVID-19 reinfections could lead to neurological problems, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. FIU professor Dr. Aileen Marti told reporter Antoni Belchi about potential consequences: “Every time you get sick with COVID-19, the reinfections do more damage to the neurological system.” However, Harvard professor Dr. Eneida Roldán warns it is too soon to reach these conclusions based on two years of pandemic data. The story generated more than 503K views on social media and was shared by Teleprensa, Univision Minnesota, and Roberto Cavada Noticias.

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.