Accessibility links

Breaking News

VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: March 23, 2023

VOA Mandarin’s Coverage of Xi’s Moscow Visit Spurs Audience Debate Over Chinese Leader's Motives

Lively discussion ensued as VOA Mandarin reported on Xi Jinping’s first overseas trip since securing his historic third term as China’s president. Experts’ discussion of Beijing’s support for Russia received 336K YouTube views, and the Twitter video of Secretary of State Blinken questioning Beijing’s neutrality garnered 194K views/30K engagements from March 20-21. The trip was touted as promoting peace talks, but many viewers commented Xi chose personal ambition over morality and national interest – noting the trip came just after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes.

VOA’s Value-Added Coverage of ICC Arrest Warrant for Putin Gains Traction on Social Media

On the heels of the March 17 announcement by the International Criminal Court of its arrest warrant for Putin, VOA Russian’s interviews with International Criminal Court President Piotr Hofmanski, historian Yuri Felshtinsky and David Crane, founding chief prosecutor of the U.N. Special Court for Sierra Leone, contributed to an 18%-boost in viewership on Facebook, garnering over 288,000 views. Hofmanski said all states' parties have a legal obligation to cooperate fully with the court, including the execution of arrest warrants. Felshtinsky said the warrant is a “precedent because Putin is the main criminal and culprit of the [Ukraine] war." And Crane told VOA, “Putin and his senior military and political commanders will be held accountable and hopefully even starting this year for the crime of aggression."

VOA's Coverage of U.S. Bank Failures and Government Intervention Attracts Large LatAm Audiences

Following the failure of two large US banks, fears of bank runs, and amid a stock market plunge, the Biden administration took swift action to prevent contagion by shoring up banking safety mechanisms. Concerns spread quickly in Latin America, where investors worry the crisis could expand, rattling country economies in the region and putting technology start-ups on alert. Coverage included a Las Claves video explainer about the bank failures. The week’s coverage generated 70K+ views across digital platforms.

VOA Persian’s Specials and Protests Coverage Engage the Audience

Mahtab Vahidirad's special "Impact of Gatherings Abroad on the Rise of Iran” with coordinator Siamak Aram and sociologist Ali Akbar Mehdi discussed the global “Women, Life, Freedom” movement. VOA covered the protests in Frankfurt, Toronto, Amsterdam, and Washington. Siamak Dehghanpour asked Iranian-American activists about future protests (271,134 views). Masih Alinejad told VOA on 3/16 (38,392 views), “(the) Islamic Republic wants to tell the West that protests are over, but we ask the West recognize the revolution of the Iranian people instead of the lies of the Islamic Republic!” Audience engagement from 03/11/2023-3/19/2023 surpassed 1,103,570.

VOA Swahili Exclusive Interview with Kenya Opposition Leader Generates Strong Interest

A Swahili service exclusive interview on March 16 with Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga garnered more than 230,000 views on the service's Facebook and Instagram accounts between 3/16 and 3/21. Mr. Odinga answered questions regarding his call for a mass demonstration against President William Ruto’s government. The subsequent demonstration on March 20 attracted thousands of people in Nairobi and Odinga’s stronghold city of Kisumu, leading to the arrest of more than 200 people in the country. President Ruto dismissed the demonstrations, saying he is focused on solving the economic problems facing the country.

VOA News Center Coverage Builds Africa Audience

The News Center’s website is building audience in Africa – especially East and Southern Africa where English is widely understood. The past week’s top three stories, and seven of the top 10, were from the region, with an article about former Zimbabwean farmers in Zambia receiving some 62,000 views and 50,000 video plays since March 13, about three-quarters from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. An article about a passport deal between Botswana and Zimbabwe had 21,500 views – two thirds from those countries – and an item on the arrest of Zambia’s auditor general had 15,600 views since March 17.

VOA Turkish Coverage of US State Department’s Annual Human Rights Report Cited by Local Media

VOA Turkish’s Dilge Timocin covered the launch of the 2022 report by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on March 20, underlining the “direct and indirect censorship” exercised by the Turkish authorities over media. “In June, the Ankara Criminal Court of Peace, upon request by RTUK, blocked access to the Turkish language websites of Voice of America and Deutsche Welle for failing to apply for licenses,” the report stated. VOA Turkish story was used by several Turkish media outlets with attribution, including Birgun, T24, and Gercek Gundem.

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.