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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: January 26, 2023

VOA’s Coverage of the Ramstein-8 Meeting Dominates News Agenda in Ukraine

VOA Ukrainian’s exclusive interview with Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov following the eighth Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Ramstein, Germany, was cited more than 160 times, including by influential Western media (Reuters, The New York Times, The Guardian), top Ukrainian news sites and numerous Russian websites, among others. Reznikov told VOA that Ukrainian forces will train to use German-made Leopard-2 battle tanks, describing the development as a breakthrough. VOA Ukrainian’s wall-to-wall coverage of the Ramstein-8 also featured an exclusive interview with Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova and a special 1.5-hour-long TV show featuring simultaneous translation of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley’s press conference. The special was restreamed live by six Ukrainian media and was used by at least 10 other TV outlets. VOA Ukrainian’s coverage, including comments by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) following their visit to Kyiv last week, garnered more than 360,000 views and more than 23k interactions on social media in the last five days.

Audiences tune in for VOA News Center Journalists’ On-the-Ground Coverage in Ukraine

Heather Murdock and Yan Boechat provided crucial on-the-ground coverage from Ukraine's hotspots, including frontlines in Bakhmut, a war-wounded hospital in Lviv, destroyed buildings in Dnipro, and the battle-scarred city of Kherson. They witnessed the devastation of war and the resilience of locals determined to rebuild their lives. Murdock's video from the liberated town of Lyman has garnered 16k views on YouTube in the last three days, and their reports continue to draw thousands of audience members across platforms, highlighting the importance of accurate and timely coverage of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

VOA Mandarin Engages its Audience with Prompt, Comprehensive Reporting on Monterey Park Shooting

When news of the shooting near Los Angeles broke, audiences turned to VOA Mandarin’s coverage in big numbers. On Lunar New Year’s Eve, a 72-year-old member of the local Asian community opened fire at a dance club popular with older Asian Americans. The attack left 11 dead and 9 others injured; the gunman later killed himself. Chinese-American community leaders told VOA the incident was not a hate crime, but it did highlight the need to address mental health issues of elderly Asian-Americans. One Mandarin video report alone garnered 143k views in the last 24 hours on YouTube.

VOA Coverage of U.S. Supreme Court Case Hearing Cited by Turkish Media

As the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the legality of the pursuit of criminal charges against Turkish state-owned Halkbank. Lawyers for the bank, which is accused of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions, invoked sovereign immunity to defend the Turkish entity from prosecution. During the hearing, a Halkbank attorney mentioned Voice of America during the oral argument, saying such a prosecution could result in foreign countries prosecuting U.S. entities such as the Export-Import Bank and Voice of America. VOA Turkish coverage was picked up by at least 34 outlets with full attribution, including T24, Halk TV, and Diken.

Timely Coverage on Burkina Faso Women Kidnapping Engages the Audience

VOA covered the kidnapping of 66 women near Arbinda in Burkina Faso and news of their release on radio, television, and digital in French and in Bambara. As the news first broke, Ouagadougou stringer Kader Traoré sent a video report, which garnered nearly 100k Facebook views in one week. In a country ruled by a military junta, Burkina Faso citizens rely on VOA’s reporting to provide unbiased accounts of instability there. Africa division programming featured interviews with authorities, residents, activists, and a city council member, who spoke about the security situation and famine people face.

Latin America Audiences Show Interest in Biden-Harris Administration’s Two-Year Anniversary

Comprehensive multimedia coverage of the anniversary of the Biden-Harris administration’s first two years in office, including legislative achievements, handling of immigration challenges, adoption of new programs, and analysis of the U.S. policy towards Venezuela, attracted significant audiences across Latin American. In addition to TV shows Foro and Venezuela 360 focusing on the anniversary, the digital team produced a Las Claves video explainer breaking down accomplishments. For web audiences, produced a timeline of the administration’s immigration challenges since President Biden took office. This content generated more than 94.3k views on social media over the past week.

VOA Persian's In-Depth Interviews with Analysts About Developments in Iran Engage the Audience

VOA Persian's Hamideh Aramideh hosted a special program on the Hamid Nouri appeals trial in Stockholm with experts analyzing whether this historic court case could be a roadmap for future cross-border litigation. She has been reporting live from Stockholm covering the trial. In addition, Siamak Dehghanpour interviewed Dr. Cornel West, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton University, who compared the conditions of the civil rights movement with Iran's uprising. Dr. West said, "The Woman, Life, and Freedom movements must link the failure of patriarchy to the dignity of the working class.” Audience engagement on all digital platforms for this programming surpassed 1,074,820 in the last week.

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.