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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: December 14, 2022

Significant Engagement for VOA Mandarin’s Interviews with Chinese Activists on Hunger Strike

VOA Mandarin’s interviews with two young men staging a week-long hunger strike outside Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters generated nearly half a million Twitter views. University of Southern California student Wang Han said he was demanding the company acknowledge labor violations at its plants in China and fully restore the airdrop feature for iPhones there. The filesharing function, popular with protesters, was recently limited to 10 minutes. Another activist on hunger strike, who uses the pseudonym VK, said he and Wang are working on a project to circumvent China’s great firewall.

Significant Audience Response to the Execution of Protester Mohsen Shekari

VOA Persian reported on reactions of Iranian netizens and human rights experts and officials in the U.S. and Europe to the execution of Mohsen Shekari, the first Mahsa Amini protester to be killed. Javaid Rehman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, told VOA that there is "serious concern that the Iranian authorities will execute more protesters." And Saghi Laghaei’s interview with Khamenei’s nephew Mahmoud Moradkhani went viral on social media garnering more than 400K views in the first 48 hours. Total audience engagement on all digital platforms for this programming surpassed 1,646,680.

VOA Afghan Report on Reactions to Taliban Public Execution Generates Half Million Views

"This indicates to us that the Taliban seek a return to their regressive and abusive practices of the 1990s," U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters in reference to videos circulating online showing a man being shot in Farah province of Afghanistan. The Taliban's first public execution drew strong reactions from international rights organizations, as well as some religious scholars who told VOA that the Taliban should focus on providing jobs for the impoverished people. The report generated more than 503K views and 38K reactions on Facebook.

Interview with U.S. Official Cited by More Than 100 Media Outlets in Western Balkans

The VOA Albanian and Bosnian services' exclusive interview with U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet, in which he called on Kosovo authorities to cancel and postpone special elections in the northern areas of the country and called out endemic corruption in Bosnia, were picked up by more than 100 media outlets in Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia. Two days after the Albanian service interview aired, Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani announced that elections, originally scheduled for December 18, were postponed until April of next year, due to the tenuous security situation in the northern Serb-inhabited municipalities.

An Inspirational VOA Story on Malian Car Inventor Touches Francophone Africa

In a nod to both the spirit of innovation and the need for global conservation, an original VOA Bambara story on a young Malian who built a car with parts recovered from dumpsters and junkyards generated significant metrics on digital. The video surpassed one million views combined on the VOA Bambara and VOA French Facebook pages. The French version within the first week alone had more than 500k views and more than 87,000 engagements, reflecting how such stories resonate with the youth in Africa.

VOA News Center Report on China's Arctic Projects Attracts Interest Across Asia

An investigative report by Michael Lipin about China's high-priority Arctic research projects was republished by several Asian news sites. It was picked up by Taiwan’s The News Lens, regarded as influential on international issues; by South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, with a daily circulation of 1.8 million; and India’s New Delhi Times, with 1.2 million subscribers. The translation was republished by popular Chinese-language news portals including, Wenxuecity, 51.Canada and SydneyToday. International researchers shared the story on Twitter, including Elizabeth Buchanan, head of research for the Royal Australian Navy and co-director of the U.S. Military Academy’s Modern War Institute Project 6633, and Klaus Dodds, professor of life sciences and environment at the University of London.

Reporting on Ouster of Peru’s President and Ensuing Constitutional Crisis Attracts Significant Audience

VOA Spanish’s swift breaking news reporting on President Pedro Castillo's attempt to dissolve Peru’s Congress, his ouster and arrest, ensuing political crisis, protests, diaspora reaction from Miami, impact and history of a country that had more than five presidents in three years, generated more than 439K views across social media platforms. VOA Spanish journalists interviewed Peruvians about the turmoil, producing articles and analysis on the unfolding developments. Correspondents serviced 50 Latin America affiliates, in addition to Jaime Moreno’s breaking news live report for Central News’ Nigeria affiliate Channels broadcast.

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.