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VOA Programming Weekly Highlights, June 22, 2023

Audiences Praise Objective Analysis of Blinken’s China Visit on VOA Mandarin Platforms

Sino-American ties were “examined with objectivity and calmness, which should be applauded,” said one viewer of Mandarin’s discussions with experts about the U.S. Secretary of State’s trip. Some saw no major breakthrough, while others said at least the two sides engaged in dialogue. Views included an analysis in which one expert characterized the status quo as a “cold peace” after President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Secretary Blinken. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told VOA a hotline is good but that Washington must be careful, adding “it’s a big concession” to Beijing.

News Center's Collaboration Shines in World Refugee Day Reporting

VOA’s English-language News Center undertook a major reporting initiative for World Refugee Day, producing 30 reports in collaboration with VOA’s language services, including 17 TV packages, seven web stories and six radio reports that attracted more than 104K views on YouTube since their release around the June 20 commemoration. Coverage included an overview, an explainer, and graphics showing key facts and definitions regarding displacement crises, as well as a report looking into the distinction between asylum seekers and refugees. Several other stories illuminated the plight of refugees who fled from Ukraine, Turkey, Sudan and elsewhere.

VOA Africa Highlights World Refugee Day Through Storytelling

VOA’s Africa Division provided extensive multimedia coverage ahead of and on World Refugee Day. Coverage included a seven-part self-narrated refugee series, vox pops from young refugees, radio and TV reports from various refugee camps in the coverage area, an hour-long video podcast featuring stories highlighting the resilience of refugees around the continent, digital explainers, reels and shorts. Original reporting included unique American perspectives, such as the story of a former Somali refugee who became a state representative in Minnesota.

VOA’s Value-Added Coverage Picked Up by All Major TV Channels in Ukraine

All major TV channels in Ukraine aired VOA Ukrainian’s live coverage of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, reaching millions of viewers. The service’s special broadcast, which featured a livestream with simultaneous translation of Defense Secretary Austin's and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Milley’s joint news conference, was aired by a nationwide TV marathon on all major TV stations, including Suspilne, Pryamyi, 1+1, ICTV, We Ukraine and Rada. The broadcast was streamed online by 17 Ukrainian media outlets, on YouTube, and by VOA Ukrainian on its social media platforms.

VOA Persian Reports on US and Iran Tensions Engage the Audience

VOA Persian’s coverage of informal talks between the United States and Iran in efforts to cool down tensions saw high audience impact from June 12 to June 19. Guita Aryan filed daily reports from the State Department, while Farhad Pouladi questioned U.S. officials about the possible exchange of detained Americans. Siamak Deghanpour interviewed experts on Iran and atomic energy during a program on the possibility of a future nuclear agreement. And Rozita Irandoost reported outside the State Department as opponents of the regime protested in a sit-in strike. Engagement on digital platforms surpassed 1.34M.

Iranian Relations-Building Visit to Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua Draws 340K+ Views

VOA Spanish extensively covered Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s three-country tour to Latin America, which resulted in 25 economic agreements between Venezuela and Iran across various sectors. The visit to Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, which have been designated as human rights violators, was viewed by analysts as a provocation against Western values and the US, as President Raisi publicly declared intentions to deepen relations with Nicaragua. A TV report with perspectives of experts received 276K+ YouTube views. Overall coverage attracted 340K+ video views, 6K engagements and 5K+ website page views over the past week.

VOA Turkish Coverage of Trans Pride Parade Generates More than 500K Facebook Views

VOA Turkish was on the scene when activists in Istanbul marched against discrimination of transgender people in Turkey. The Trans Pride Parade was banned by the Turkish authorities in the last couple of years, and the Turkish government has increased its anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric. VOA Turkish reporter Umut Colak followed the march and protests in the midst of intense security measures and captured footage of police detaining several activists. The resulting video story has been viewed by more than 555K on Facebook, 100K on Twitter and 72K on Instagram since its posting on June 18.