“We could have an AIDS-free generation,” promised former President Clinton at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington DC. His words echoed the tone at the conference, but Clinton went further than inspiring hope – he focused on funding and investment, namely, how to get it. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the conference on its last day, to hear Clinton and others talk about the prospect of reaching an AIDS-free generation in my lifetime. My internship in the Russian Service at Voice of America is incredibly holistic: one day I’m assembling b-roll for the show Podelis, the next day I’m transcribing an interview, translating commentary, or updating our social networks. The most exciting part about working in news is being able to attend events like the AIDS Conference, and having that inform the other work that you’re doing. Clinton reprimanded governments for failing to fund treatment and prevention efforts, but reminded us that private investors could have a much larger role in eliminating AIDS. It was refreshing to see a politician speak so frankly and at such length about the money behind public health; his experience in fundraising via the Clinton Foundation showed. It was thrilling to be on the front lines of this story, to fight for a spot in front of the stage among dozens of flashing cameras, and that excitement is why I love working in news. “You have nowhere near tapped the pool of people who want to invest,” Clinton said, encouraging researchers that if they keep producing results, “the money will be there.” The role of private investors must increase because AIDS is a public health problem, not a criminal justice problem. Not only that, but AIDS is also a social justice problem, and Clinton recognized that, going so far as to compare the rural South to Africa in terms of access because of the social stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. Not only was it exciting to sit in the media section with a camera and a press pass, listening to President Clinton inspire an audience, but I am able to apply what I learned at the conference to inform my experience reporting about the HIV/AIDS crisis. Voice of America has provided me with the opportunity to put the world into a bigger and more learned perspective than I’ve ever had, and it’s a perspective that I plan to use for the rest of my life."
- Anna Kark, Russian Service Intern (Summer 2012)
Anna Kark is a rising junior at American University, studying International Relations. Her interest in telecommunications began with ATV, where she continues to host “Capitol Politics.” This summer at Golos Ameriki has been infinitely more rewarding than she could have imagined.