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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights, April 5, 2023

Africa Division Coverage of Vice President Harris Africa Trip Generates Significant Digital Traffic Increase

Coverage of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris' Africa trip ended with a stop at Panuka Farm in the town of Chibombo, in the Central Province in Zambia, topping nearly 150K video views on social media in English and Swahili from March 27 to April 2. Zambia holds a special significance for Harris, as it marks her first visit to the country since her childhood, when her maternal grandfather, an Indian civil servant, aided in refugee resettlement after Zambia gained independence from Britain.

VOA Mandarin’s Reporting on Taiwan’s Exclusion from UN Draws Audience Appreciation

As Taiwan’s president prepared to visit the US over Chinese protests, Mandarin’s timely coverage of a heated debate at the UN on why Taiwanese citizens are barred from entering its headquarters fired up audiences, generating 522K views across all platforms 3/31-4/4. “You spoke up,” said viewers to the reporters who noted Kosovo, like Taiwan, is not a UN member, but that Kosovars can enter UN buildings. China expert Bonnie Glaser told VOA it is “indisputable” that the UN restrictions are due to pressure from Beijing, which considers Taiwan a renegade province.

VOA Breaks the News in Ukraine on U.S. Support for a Tribunal to Try Russian Leaders

VOA Ukrainian’s report on the State Department’s proposal for a joint tribunal to investigate Russian aggression against Ukraine dominated the news cycle in Ukraine and was cited by more than 100 local media outlets, including all major Ukrainian news sites, Ukrayinska Pravda, Ukrinform,, Fakty, Novoye Vremya, UNIAN and Suspilne. U.S. Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack said during The Nuremberg Principles Conference in Washington that the Administration supports the formation of “an internationalized national court" in which the U.S. and other allies would assist Ukrainian prosecutors in bringing cases against Russian leaders for the crime of aggression, or illegally invading another country.

Immigration Detention Center Deadly Fire Coverage Draws 1.5+ Million Views

VOA Spanish’s team coverage of the Ciudad Juarez detention center fire that killed 38 migrants attracted large audiences. Cesar Contreras and Javier Hegar reported within hours of the tragedy. Celia Mendoza and Iacopo Luzi provided additional on-location reporting, producing live streams and reports about the investigation, desperate victims’ families, and President Lopez Obrador’s arrival at the center. A livestream showing migrants attempting to cross the border generated 719K+ views. During three days, reporters did 40 live shots and 255 pre-recorded reports for affiliates. Coverage got more than 1.5 million digital platform views.

News Center's Comprehensive Trump Legal Case Coverage Draws Large Audiences

VOA News Center's coverage of the historic indictment, surrender, and arraignment of former President Donald Trump drew more than 353,000 audience views since March 30. The team filed updates, reactions, background, explainers, previews, timelines, and legal analysis. Coverage included vox pops, standups, and social media posts on all angles. It published features on what happens after Trump is arraigned, his lawyers’ defense strategy, and its effect on international opinion. Correspondents delivered live hits for affiliates in India, Nigeria and Australia, as well as VOA language services, from key locations including New York City, the U.S. Capitol, and elsewhere.

VOA Afghan and Deewa Coverage of Girls’ Education Activist’s Arrest Draw Large Audiences

VOA Afghan and Deewa Services provided a comprehensive coverage of the arrest of Matiullah Wesa on March 27, drawing significant audience engagement on social media platforms. In an interview with VOA Afghan Service on March 29, which generated one million views and 104,000 reactions, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said the Taliban intelligence had detained him due to suspicions about his meetings and contacts. Renowned Pashtun author Ziauddin Yousafzai praised VOA Deewa's coverage of the arrest, saying it would "inspire more people to speak up for his release."