Accessibility links

Breaking News

VOA Programming Weekly Highlights, July 13, 2023

VOA’s Video of Russian Diaspora Opinions on 500 Days of Ukraine War Drives Digital Viewership

On July 8, Washington's Russian Cultural Center celebrated Russia’s "Day of Family, Love and Fidelity," which coincided with the 500th day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. VOA Russian covered the event in a video, drawing 1M+ views on the service’s digital platforms. VOA surveyed guests about the war in Ukraine, and while most refused to speak, one said he hoped the war “would end soon." Another guest attacked VOA Russian's crew, shouting "I don't care," pushing the reporter away and breaking the VOA microphone. Shared by Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian social media influencers and Telegram news channels, the video reached millions more in Ukraine, Russia and across Russian-speaking communities.

VOA Mandarin’s Reporting on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s China Visit Widely Cited

China’s state-owned National Institute for South China Sea Studies, as well as Chinese-language newspapers in Taiwan and the U.S., specifically CNA,UDN, Next Apple News and the World Journal, cited Mandarin’s in-depth reporting from July 7 on whether U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen's visit would stabilize Sino-U.S. ties with a breakthrough on trade issues. In addition, expert analysis on VOA Mandarin TV generated more than 52K YouTube views with some interesting comments between July 6 and July 10. One commenter said, “It’s useless to negotiate with the CCP. The only language they understand is economic sanctions.”

'Bring Our Families Home' Campaign Engages the Audience

On July 4, VOA Persian aired special live coverage of the “Bring Our Families Home” campaign in Houston. Payam Yazdian hosted the program with guests Mohammad Moghimi, a lawyer, and Gazelle Sharmahd, the daughter of a hostage. Kambiz Tavana interviewed U.S. Representative Al Green (D-TX) and U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX). Representative Lee told VOA, “We must make the battle more serious and bring these hostages back home.” Representative Green said, “American citizens should be free to travel around the world and not be held hostage.” Audience engagement surpassed 241,383 impressions on all digital platforms from July 4 to 8.

VOA Report on Ethiopia’s Social Media Ban Cited by Multiple International and U.S. Outlets

A VOA Horn of Africa web story about the impact of Ethiopia’s ongoing social media ban piqued the audience's interest. Starting in February, the Ethiopian government blocked social media platforms as Orthodox Church leaders threatened to call for countrywide rallies, which is viewed by many as a violation of freedom of expression. The Africa Defense Magazine, Addis Standard, Ethiopian Public Diplomacy Network Oakland, San Francisco and The World News were among the outlets that cited the VOA story on June 29, which featured perspectives of Ethiopian citizens, businesses, and civil rights groups.

Florida’s New Immigration Law Sparks Protests, Migrant Exodus, Attracts 537K+ views

Huge audiences tuned in to VOA Spanish’s coverage of the consequences of Florida Governor DeSantis’ new immigration law that took effect on July 1. The passing of this law led to protests against SB 1718 and threats of lawsuits by immigrant advocates, citing its unconstitutionality. Reporting about the legislation’s impact on predominantly Hispanic-staffed crucial sectors - such as agriculture, tourism and hospitality and domestic industries - how undocumented workers are fearing deportations and fleeing the state, and concerns from entrepreneurs who warn the law threatens the local and potentially national economy, generated 537K+ views across social media.

News Center Coverage of Israeli Attacks on Jenin Draws Attention

A video story with analysis by the News Center's senior diplomatic correspondent attracted more than 204K views on YouTube since July 5 and was republished by the West Observer. Another video of Jenin residents escaping tear gas drew 190K views since July 4, while footage of Palestinians holding a funeral after the Jenin raids has generated 12.5K views on YouTube since July 5. A News Center story about the Jenin violence signaling a new era in the Israel-Palestinian conflict was republished by the New Delhi Times, and another report about Israel ending its two-day siege was cited by

VOA Urdu Initiative on Grocery Prices Engages Audience

Audiences responded positively to VOA Urdu's initiative to exhibit weekly rates of basic grocery items as a snapshot of Pakistan’s economy and inflation. “Thank you for talking about this topic,” one audience member wrote. “The condition of the poor and the laborers in our country is very bad at this time.” “VOA is concerned, not the rulers of Pakistan,” wrote another. Some audience members commented, providing commodity prices in their own localities. The latest post on July 11, which depicted the prices of staple diet items, generated 2.5K reactions and more than 400 comments within hours.