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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: January 12, 2023

VOA Reporting on New U.S. Military Aid for Ukraine Cited in Influential Local Media

VOA’s comprehensive coverage of the new $3-billion U.S. security assistance package for Ukraine, which for the first time includes several dozen Bradley fighting vehicles as well as additional #HIMARS rocket launchers, was cited in influential local media outlets, including Kyiv24,,, Rakurs, Daily Lviv and VOA Ukrainian’s reporting featured a live interactive from the White House, and VOA Russian reporter Mykhailo Komadovsky's tweet about the new U.S. military aid package got picked up by at least 12 major news agencies, including one of the largest Telegram channels in Ukraine with more than 1M followers.

VOA Mandarin’s In-Depth Reporting Exposes Extent of China’s COVID-19 Surge

VOA Mandarin provided comprehensive coverage of the COVID surge in China after Beijing abruptly ended its zero-COVID policy. Coverage featured interviews with families and funeral home employees, footage of overwhelmed hospitals, and satellite images of busy crematoriums obtained with the help of VOA Korean. The reporting – which revealed the extent of outbreaks was far worse than Beijing claimed - generated nearly 200,000 views on Twitter. In interviews with VOA, health experts urged Chinese officials to be transparent with COVID data and accept western vaccines to bring the situation under control.

Border Migration Policy Changes, President Biden’s Texas Visit Attract Significant Audiences

As President Biden made his first visit to the southern border since taking office, VOA coverage of U.S. border policy attracted 700K+ views across social media. Coverage included Biden’s speech urging migrants to not just show up at the border, which was streamed with Spanish language translation on Facebook and YouTube; interviews with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Brian Nichols; photo galleries; and explainers of the humanitarian parole program. The VOA Spanish team responded to 50+ live and pre-taped report requests from affiliates.

VOA Afghan Report on Anticipated Taliban Decision on Media Licenses Engages Audience

The anticipated Taliban court ruling on licensing for media outlets has raised alarm among press freedom advocates. The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) asked the Taliban to reconsider the decision and stop making cases against free media. “This action can stop international media’s work in Afghanistan,” Sharif Hassanyar, a former news manager at Ariana TV, warned in comments to VOA. Afghan journalist Abdullah Saljuqi told VOA, “This decision of the Taliban is carrying a very worrying message: increase suppression of the media, strangulating crisis-hit Afghan society. If the international community continues to simply watch, we will be witnessing irreversible catastrophe in all affairs of social life in Afghanistan.” VOA Afghan covered the story robustly across platforms, including satellite, radio, web, and social media platforms.

News Center Coverage of U.S. House Speaker Election Attracts Audience's Interest

News of the protracted efforts by lawmakers to elect a new speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives attracted more than 123k audience members. Updates on January 4th and 5th by Katherine Gypson and Ken Bredemeier garnered more than 30K article views, a video story yielded 19,451 views, and an explainer on electing a speaker got 12,324 views. Gypson’s social media videos on the wait for Republicans to choose their leader on YouTube and Twitter got 5,229 views, while video of a sign being installed at the U.S. Capitol after Kevin McCarthy was elected attracted 53,000 views. Gypson and Veronica Balderas Iglesias also reported on the new Republican agenda.

VOA Persian's Special Program on the Iran Uprising Engages the Audience

VOA Persian's Siamak Dehghanpour hosted a one-hour special program, “Solidarity and Collective Wisdom,” during which six experts discussed the efforts to advance the revolutionary uprising in Iran, as well as leadership challenges. Hamed Esmaelion, spokesman of The Association of Victims’ Families of Flight PS752, said coordinating leadership inside and outside Iran is key. Mehdi Arabshahi, a civic education consultant, said: “The recent uprising has field leadership, but needs political leadership after victory.” Saeed Derakhshandi, a Farashgard political action network member, said that Prince Pahlavi should head any potential leadership effort. The program garnered more than 1,565,300 views on all digital platforms.

VOA Video of Somali Woman and Youth Prayer Group Resonates with Audience

A VOA Somali video of an elderly woman and a group of young children in Mogadishu coming together every Friday to pray for peace in the country has generated half a million views on digital. The kids eat food prepared by the woman and, following the meal, they pray together for lasting peace. This human interest story, which has received more than 520k views, 32k likes, and 2k comments just on Facebook, showcases how everyone, from young children to elders, are eager for peace and stability in the war-town nation.

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.