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VOA Provides Around-the-Clock Coverage of U.S. Presidential Election Results

VOA Spanish talks to guests in studio on election night.
VOA Spanish talks to guests in studio on election night.

VOA journalists and staff worked continuously to bring audiences uninterrupted and insightful coverage of the 2016 presidential election results. Reporters spread across Washington and at the Trump and Clinton headquarters in New York, working through the early morning hours to deliver the results and analysis in 45 languages.

VOA Spanish was a main provider of content on the U.S. elections in the Latin American region. The service provided more than 150 live hits to affiliates, including TV Azteca in Mexico, Mundo TV in Honduras, and CB24 in Costa Rica. In addition, the Latin American division produced a live seven-hour special show used by dozens of affiliates throughout the region. “Our unbounded thanks for all the support you provided us throughout the election’s coverage. You were a critical part in our broadcasting,” NCDN News Director wrote to VOA Spanish. “Amazing coverage that was fundamental for our broadcasts,” wrote El Tiempo TV in Colombia.

VOA Russian produced a more than five-hour program that aired on the Current Time television and digital network and livestreamed to the service’s website and social media accounts. VOA Eurasia Division reporters provided more than 100 live remotes on Election Day and overnight, concluding with breaking news on Donald Trump’s victory, reactions, and analysis.

Click on the photo gallery below for a look at our staff hard at work during this historic night: ​

​VOA Persian went into special programming mode on November 8 and 9, extending its broadcast schedule by 7.5 hours. Coverage focused on the race for the White House, and reaction from the Iranian-American diaspora in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The service produced reports from polling stations in the Los Angeles area, including California's 45th district where an Iranian-American, Democrat Ron Varasteh, was running against Republican U.S. Representative Mimi Walters.​

VOA’s Africa Division, including the VOA Horn of Africa, Swahili, Zimbabwe, Portuguese, Somali, French and Bambara services, expanded their radio programming for a total of five hours to report live on the vote count across the U. S. The division deployed reporters at polling places in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, and provided coverage in diaspora communities in New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Ohio. “For me, this is my country, this is for my future, for my children’s future and for my grandchildren’s future,” Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim woman to hold public office in the U.S. (elected to the Minnesota State House), told VOA Somali from Minneapolis.

VOA News Center correspondents around the world jumped into action immediately after the result was announced. Correspondents Bill Ide in Beijing and Brian Padden in Seoul teamed up for an analysis on how a Trump presidency would affect East Asia. From London, correspondent Luis Ramirez presented international reaction to the Trump victory. Correspondent Daniel Schearf weighed in from Moscow shortly afterwards with reaction from the Russian capital.

“I kindly thank VOA and the people who worked on the segment. Good Stuff!” Umur Ali Birand, anchor and editor in chief of very popular 32.GÜN TV show of Turkish Kanal D, wrote to VOA Turkish. A number of major TV channels in Turkey aired VOA Turkish reports on Election Day. VOA Afghan’s election programming through Facebook Live garnered more than 100,000 views. Radio and TV outlets in Pakistan received special election coverage from VOA Urdu, and the service provided more than 100 live hits. VOA Deewa’s live Radio-on-TV program was extended for 5 hours while reporters supplied live election coverage updates to RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal via Facebook and calls from Washington and the Trump and Clinton headquarters in New York.

VOA Burmese produced three 30-minute election specials for affiliate Skynet TV, the largest private satellite TV provider in Burma. VOA Khmer followed a former refugee Cambodian-American from his home to a polling station in Woodbridge, Va. VOA Indonesian kicked off its Election Day coverage with a live report into CNN Indonesia at 6:30am and produced more than 50 live hits for its affiliates. “Thank you VOA. We are able to see what is going on in the U.S. as you continue to update your news,” Jeesje Susana commented on one of the Facebook Live programs. VOA Korean followed North Korean refugee and a first time voter to a polling station in Fairfax, Va. “I was proud that I was given the privilege of electing the president as an ordinary citizen,” said Ahn after casting his ballot.

Lastly, VOA’s Student Union reported the events through the eyes of international and American students for six hours from American University, George Washington University and outside the White House. SU livestreamed the thoughts of students and educators on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.