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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: July 27, 2022

Audiences Turn to VOA for Coverage of Ukrainian First Lady’s Visit to Washington, D.C.

Eurasian audiences seeking fact-based reporting on the war in Ukraine continue turning to VOA. The Russian and Ukrainian services’ coverage of Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska’s visit to Washington, D.C.– including two special hour-long live broadcasts with translation, reporter liveshots from the Capitol and guest analysis – garnered more than 3 million views and more than 240,000 interactions on digital platforms. The value-added coverage also included VOA Ukrainian’s interviews with four U.S. senators following Mrs. Zelenska’s speech to Congress, focusing on their impressions of the speech, a resolution to recognize Russia as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and how to stop Russia’s war in Ukraine.

VOA Persian's Exclusive Interview with NSC's John Kirby Results in Significant Audience Engagement

VOA Persian provided extensive coverage of Russian President Putin’s visit to Iran with analysis by regional experts, a special show on Putin’s objectives, and television reports on how this could impact the Ukraine war. In addition, VOA Persian's Siamak Dehghanpour landed an exclusive interview with John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the White House. Kirby told VOA that Putin has no intention of ending the war, and that Russia’s arsenals are so empty that Putin is forced to go to Iran to buy drones. Total audience engagement on digital platforms surpassed 1,604,160.

VOA Africa Documentary Trends on YouTube and Receives Significant Audience Viewership and Feedback

A 43-minute documentary about African immigrants who are transforming their lives in America has received more than 450k views on YouTube, with 200k of those views generated in just three days. African Millionaires was one of the three documentary winners from round one of the 2022 VOA Pitch Contest. It has received more than 1,100 comments from viewers thanking VOA for this story, such as Jiji who wrote, “This is so beautifully told. Voiced by an African. It's refreshing to see American media tell different stories of Africa and Africans.”

VOA Kurdish Coverage of Resort Attack Generates More Than 2 Million Views

VOA Kurdish provided extensive coverage of the July 20 artillery shelling of a tourist attraction in Iraq’s Duhok province near the Turkish border. Nine tourists were killed. The service's reports included interviews with those who said the attack was committed by the Turkish army—a claim supported by Iraq's government but denied by Turkey. In a video report, one wounded victim said, “All we saw were rockets falling on us." The service’s coverage on Facebook has so far generated more than 2 million video views and nearly 200,000 total interactions.

Thai Media Rely on VOA Coverage of Trafficking in Persons Report

VOA Thai was the first to report Thailand’s improved standing in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) review, and clinched an exclusive interview with activist Abhinaya Tajit, one of this year’s “TIP Hero” award recipients. Media giant MCOT-owned Good Morning ASEAN immediately booked a call-in with the service to discuss the topic. VOA Thai’s reporting was also quickly picked up by major outlets including Prachachat, Thansettakij and Bangkok Insight. In addition, top journalist Suthichai Yoon cited it in a message to his nearly 5 million followers on Twitter.

VOA Spanish Report on Illegal Medical Practices in Venezuela Engages the Audience

Reports that criminals in Venezuela are posing as doctors - from gynecologists to anesthesiologists - have proliferated in recent months. The medical sector blames the lack of government oversight and sanctions for the illegal medical practice. The article Fake doctors proliferate in Venezuela: "They put on a white coat and do barbaric things" generated more than 78K across digital platforms. The article was also shared by La Patilla,Caleidoscopio Humano, El Aragüeno, MetroWorld News, and Visor 21.

VOA's National Correspondent Quoted by Other News Agencies

Chief national correspondent Steve Herman participated in a panel sponsored by the Association of International Broadcasters and a U.N. agency to discuss how best to explain the U.N.’s sustainable development goals — without fatiguing audiences. The Inter Press Service news agency, which has a strong presence in dozens of developing countries, quoted Steve in its coverage of the event. “We cannot just repeat all these acronyms that are used by the United Nations and other agencies. […] What we need to do is relate the story to people’s lives,” he was quoted as saying.

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.