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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: August 12, 2022

VOA Khmer Lands Wide-ranging - and Exclusive - Interview with Secretary Blinken on Regional Issues

Amid mounting U.S.-China tensions over Taiwan, VOA Khmer clinched an exclusive on-camera interview with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Cambodia. He called Beijing’s military drills after Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taipei “disproportionate and dangerous.” Blinken - who was in Phnom Penh for ASEAN’s ministerial meeting - addressed the worsening Myanmar crisis, including possible additional sanctions. He also called for a democratic electoral process in Cambodia. The interview received 371,000 views within hours on VOA Khmer’s digital platforms and was picked up by India-based Press United and The World News.

Important Officials in the Russian Periphery Turn to VOA for High Profile Interviews on the Ukraine War

Eastern Europe bureau chief Myroslava Gongadze scored two high-profile interviews in as many days during a visit to Lithuania, demonstrating the importance regional leaders attach to being seen and heard on VOA. The first was with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, now living in exile in Vilnius, who said she considers her country to be occupied by Russian troops and looks forward to a “final fight” against Lukashenko. The second was with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, who said the stakes in the war in Ukraine are “nothing less … than democracy and the world order.”

VOA Reporting Drives News Agenda in Georgia, Engages Audience

VOA Georgian’s exclusive interview with Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) marking the 24th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war, in which he urged Georgian leaders to push back against Russian misinformation, drove the news agenda in Georgia, prompting reaction from parliament members and government officials and wide engagement among the target audience. Kinzinger’s comments to VOA, in which he said there is an attempt to try to create distance between the U.S. and the Georgian people, were republished and re-aired more than 30 times in Georgian media, including TV Pirveli, Mtavari and the main wire service in the target area Interpress News. The interview generated more than 8,000 interactions on Facebook alone.

High Audience Response to VOA’s Reporting on U.S. Drone Strike Against Ayman al-Zawahiri

VOA's Afghan service provided comprehensive coverage of the U.S. killing of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul, streaming President Biden’s address to the nation, which generated more than 350K views on Facebook within 24 hours. The Deewa service’s coverage focused on local reactions questioning the Taliban ties with al-Qaida, garnering nearly half a million views and 29K reactions on Facebook, while VOA Urdu’s extensive coverage of the subject featured interviews with experts and explainer reports that generated 400K views across social media platforms. In addition, VOA Persian broke the news in Iran of the U.S. counterterrorism operation and killing of al-Zawahiri on its digital platform, with extensive coverage including web articles and television reports. President Biden’s announcement on the killing of the Al Qaeda leader was aired with simultaneous Farsi translation, and a video package on al-Zawahiri’s background garnered 2,000 YouTube views. Farhad Pouladi provided updates from the White House and Soran Khateri reported on the Middle East response from Irbil. Total audience engagement on all digital platforms for this programming surpassed 2,163,830.

VOA Africa's Comprehensive Coverage of Kenyan Elections Generates Significant Affiliates’ Interest

On radio, television, and online, VOA Africa’s coverage of Kenya’s Presidential elections included reporters on the ground in Nairobi providing daily updates and talking to locals and experts throughout the region. In English and in Swahili, VOA reporters conducted more than 45 live hits with affiliate stations in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa. A VOA Swahili Facebook Live of chaos at a polling station garnered more than 100k views. A special webpage dedicated to this coverage includes original content from Nairobi and video profiles of presidential candidates.

VOA Spanish Special Immigration Series Generates Significant Digital Audience Engagement

After Texas and Arizona bussed 6,000 undocumented migrants to Washington D.C. earlier this year amid increased border crossings and detentions, the Spanish service produced a three-part special multimedia series titled “Migration Utopia,” highlighting immigration system challenges. Compelling tales of a young Venezuelan couple expecting a child, expressing regret at their perilous journey, a Colombian man attacked while living on the streets because there wasn’t room at a migrant shelter and a story addressing misinformation encouraging migrants to travel to the United States, generated more than 143K video views on social media.

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.