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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: June 23, 2022

Many Media Outlets Pick up VOA's Interview with New U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Eastern Europe bureau chief Myroslava Gongadze interviewed the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, in Kyiv, where Brink arrived three weeks ago. Brink explained her priorities and challenges, from helping Ukraine defend itself to reopening the embassy. The interview was picked up, with credit to VOA, by Ukrinform (Ukraine), (Ukraine), The Times Hub (India), Newsbreak (U.S.), Techy Job (India), Mail BD, Top News (Australia), and Uazmi (Ukraine). The ambassador retweeted a tweet of the interview, which was also posted on YouTube and used in translation by several VOA language services.

VOA Coverage of Ukrainian Parliamentarians’ Washington, D.C. Visit Widely Cited in Regional Media

VOA’s coverage of a visiting delegation of high-profile Ukrainian parliamentarians who met with U.S. government officials and members of Congress was widely reprinted in the region, including in more than 100 Ukrainian outlets and in Russian-language media. Coverage featured interviews with parliamentarians David Arakhamia, Rustem Umerov and Evgenia Kravchuk on negotiations with the U.S. government and Congress and humanitarian negotiations with Russia. Former Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev reacted to Arakhamia’s statement to VOA that “Ukraine may resume talks with Russia from a strengthened position at the end of August after counteroffensives are conducted in certain areas," saying, “It’s not clear there will be anyone to negotiate with by then."

Audience Highly Engaged with VOA Persian's Congressional Interviews on Iran

VOA Persian’s Kambiz Tavana interviewed Congressional leaders about Iran. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and chair of the Abraham Accords Caucus, told VOA that the U.S. should foster cooperation among Abraham Accords signatories to adopt a common missile defense strategy against Iran. U.S. Representative Andy Levin (D-MI) said reviving the nuclear deal is a foreign policy issue and should be non-partisan. The interview garnered nearly 112,000 impressions on Instagram. Additionally, in Wednesday’s special TV program, that garnered more than 200,000 views on Instagram, experts analyzed Congressional efforts to advance security agreements between Israel and Arab countries. Audience engagement on all digital platforms surpassed 993,100.

VOA Coverage of Nigeria’s APC Party Convention Generates Strong Digital Numbers

VOA Hausa produced very robust coverage of Nigeria's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party convention. Hausa stringers Halima Abdulrauf and Alhassan Bala reported for the service's social media video program 'Naji Na Gani' from Eagle Square in Abuja where candidates vying for the APC presidential candidacy were selected. Original social media programming included more than a dozen Facebook Live interviews and reports with key APC members and citizens. The Facebook Live videos have generated more than 1.2 million video views and 40,000 user engagements.

Affiliates Eager to Receive VOA Spanish's Coverage of Colombian Presidential Elections

“What outstanding news,” stated Venezuelan affiliate El Nacional, summarizing Cristina Caicedo Smit's exclusive interview with Colombian President Iván Duque, which took place less than a week from the country's critical presidential elections. Colombia's political campaign and election day coverage was the most requested topic from region affiliates. Concerns over Russian military presence in Nicaragua led digital visits. VOA Spanish also launched the original-produced documentary “Wings of Hope,” now available through VOA+. Along with a special website section and exclusive interview with UNHCR's Filippo Grandi, VOA Spanish added depth to International Refugee Day coverage.

VOA Mandarin’s Coverage of Ex-Hong Kong Governor’s Warning an Instant Hit

Mandarin’s reporting on the upcoming 25th anniversary of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China included a press conference by its last governor-general – which generated 63,000 Twitter views instantly. Chris Patten, now Oxford University’s chancellor, lamented Beijing's curtailment of the autonomy and freedoms promised for the former British colony under the “one country, two systems” principle. Urging constraint of China, not containment, he warned of Hong Kong’s future as a financial hub without rule of law. He advised the city’s new chief executive to let his family keep their British passports.

VOA Kurdish Interview with Top Regional Official Cited by Many Local Media Outlets

In an interview to VOA, Kamal Muhammad, Kurdistan Region’s Acting Minister for Natural Resources, spoke about the dispute between regional Kurdish authorities and the Iraqi central government over oil and gas exports. The minister considered military confrontation unlikely adding, “Iraq is aware of oil contracts in the Kurdistan Region. On reaching a mechanism for agreement, the Kurdistan Region is willing to accept a common understanding for a solution.” The interview was cited by major local media outlets including Xendan News, Zamen Press, Shar Press, Spee Media, and Radio Nawa.

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.