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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: December 2, 2022

VOA Mandarin Provides In-depth Coverage of Widespread Protests Against China’s COVID Curbs

VOA Mandarin’s comprehensive coverage of the protests that erupted in an unprecedented challenge to Xi Jinping’s zero-COVID policy, generated substantial audience interest. The service's discussions with experts and audiences on live TV, including comparisons with the 1989 Tiananmen uprising, garnered 683,000 views across all platforms. An article on Shanghai students’ protest received 110,000 views within hours, while corresponding footage got 814,000 views on YouTube. Mandarin’s reporting included reaction from US lawmakers and experts, as well as coverage of a rally in support of protesters by Chinese students in New York.

VOA News Center’s Collaborative Reporting Enlivens Coverage of China Protests

The VOA News Center worked with the Mandarin service to pull together and share original on-the-ground reporting, key interviews, and social media content, creating daily running stories and analysis. Stories explained China's COVID policy, illustrated the spread of protests, showed how protesters tried to circumvent government censors, and examined how the U.S. government reacted to the demonstrations. A News Center on-camera interview with Senator Mark Warner drew more than 111,000 views on Twitter and 17,000 views on YouTube. Other highlights include videos of protests at an iPhone factory, videos showing police detaining protesters in Shanghai and a graphics package on why protesters called for the resignation of Xi Jinping.

Exclusive: U.S. Official Compares Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine to Germany’s WWII Actions

In an exclusive interview with VOA Ukrainian on pursuing justice and accountability for Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack said Russia’s actions can be compared to World War Two in the systematicity of the types of abuses. Van Schaack said the kind of systematic abuse in Ukraine is very consistent with what we saw in WWII, where Japan and Germany invaded sovereign nations in an effort to annex territory. She said we see the same pattern in Ukraine where the abuses are not the work of rogue individuals or units, but rather the responsibility goes up the chain of command across all areas where Russia’s forces are active. The interview garnered more than 40,000 views and more than 2,900 interactions on social media and was picked up by local media outlets, including RFE/RL.

VOA Interview with Former Afghan Government Official Generates Half Million Views

In an interview with VOA's Afghan service, General Sami Sadat discussed the findings of SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) regarding the major factors that contributed to the collapse of the Afghan government in August 2021. While agreeing with the conclusions of SIGAR, General Sadat criticized the Doha Agreement and commented on the current threats from extremist groups. “They have recruited and relocated fighters from India, as well as European countries," Sadat told VOA in reference to the Al-Qaida resurgence in Afghanistan. The interview generated more than 528,000 views and 2,000 comments.

VOA Persian’s Human Rights Special Resonates with Audience

VOA Persian covered the United Nations special session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran. Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, reported the Islamic Republic’s violent and deadly suppression of protesters and VOA Persian's Siamak Dehghanpour hosted “Violation of Human Rights or War Crimes,” a one-hour special program discussing expectations of the UN fact-finding investigative mission and featuring analysis by human rights and international relations experts, including Shahin Milani, Dokhi Fassihian, and Mohammad Hossein Aghasi. Audience engagement on all digital platforms for this programming surpassed 2,815,600.

Zimbabweans Turn to VOA for World Cup Updates

Zimbabwe is currently undergoing a power shortage because the country's ageing power plants are being repaired, forcing power cuts up to 20 hours daily. Soccer fans are not happy as these cuts prevent them from watching World Cup games. Instead, they are turning to radio program Studio 7 to get updates from Qatar, where VOA’s Africa division has two reporters on the ground. "With these power cuts, we will see the World Cup games here (VOA Shona)," Nomore Kureva commented on Facebook. "You (VOA Shona) are the best. Stay with us," said listener Liberty Manyaidze.

World Cup Coverage Scores Big With Latin America Audiences

VOA Spanish World Cup coverage generated 856K views across social media, enhanced by reporting from Qatar. During their first week, VOA Spanish journalists Iacopo Luzi and Nelson Vignolles produced Facebook lives that garnered more than 27K views, 145 live shots and prerecorded reports for affiliates, including hits for India’s NDTV, podcasts, and content for VOA platforms. A special VOA Spanish website section showcases World Cup updates, as well as cultural stories. A thirty-minute broadcast special "VOA en Qatar," focusing on Doha’s Latino diaspora, attracted 3K Facebook and YouTube views. English-bridged story Soccer fans converge in Qatar was among most watched with more than 1,550 views.

VOA Programming Highlights are compiled based on information available from multiple sources at the time of posting. This information constantly evolves. If you intend to cite to information posted in VOA Highlights, please consult VOA Public Relations at to ensure it is accurate and current.