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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: October 19, 2022

Audiences Turn to VOA for Coverage of Key Global Meetings on Ukraine

Audiences in Ukraine turned to VOA for coverage of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels. VOA Ukrainian’s coverage featuring a livestream with simultaneous translation of U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s news conference, following the NATO meeting, shows, live interactives and numerous social media videos, garnered more than 440,000 views and tens of thousands of interactions on digital platforms, and was rebroadcast by many Ukrainian news outlets. The service also reported on the World Bank/IMF annual meeting in Washington, D.C., where finance ministers met on the sidelines to discuss help for Ukraine. Value-added coverage featured live, on-site reporting and exclusive interviews with IMF Director for Europe Alfred Kammer and Ukraine’s World Bank representative Roman Kachur.

VOA Persian's Interviews with John Kirby and Shirin Ebadi Generate Significant Audience Engagement

VOA Persian covered Iran's nationwide demonstrations and worldwide rallies. During the fifth week of protests, the service interviewed Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council, John Kirby and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and human rights lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, about the Iranian regime’s violent crackdown. John Kirby told Farhad Pouladi that the U.S. will support protesters and hold the Iranian regime accountable with sanctions. Hamideh Aramideh interviewed Shirin Ebadi about protesters’ rights. Ebadi said, “People have the right to defend themselves against officers who beat and arrest them… protesting peacefully… not a criminal offense.” Audience engagement on all digital platforms for this programming surpassed 2,142,700.

VOA Mandarin’s Coverage of CCP Party Congress Pulls in Considerable Audience Numbers

VOA Mandarin’s in-depth reporting on China’s 20th Communist Party Congress attracted more than two million visits to its website this past week, while article viewership increased by 31.6%. In addition, the service's YouTube channel recorded more than six million visits, while the TV special carrying exclusive expert analysis alone garnered 250,000 views. Coverage of reaction to a rare one man protest against Xi Jinping in Beijing generated 830,000 views and 200,000 engagements on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube combined. Separately, Britain’s Sky News cited the service’s reporting on the protest at China’s Manchester consulate.

VOA Spanish Exclusive on Venezuelan Immigration Process, Republished by Many Media Outlets

Department of Homeland Security Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Blas Núñez-Neto exclusively told correspondent Jorge Agobian that processing of applications for the new program for Venezuelan immigrants, which allotted 24,000 visas for qualified applicants to live and work in the U.S. for two years, begins on October 18. Audiences flocked to VOA Spanish for breaking news on the rules. A Facebook live from the White House generated 260K views. An explainer got more than 21K views. Related content attracted 1.5M views across digital platforms. Reporting was shared by more than 20 media outlets, including Univision, El Tiempo Latino, Diario Las Américas, Bloomberg Español, El Nacional Venezuela, EVTV.

VOA Africa Interview Draws Significant Digital Viewership and Engagement

During a trip to Washington, former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama visited VOA for an on-camera interview with Straight Talk Africa, during which he discussed Ghana's economy, elections and the prospect of a "Marshall Plan" for Africa. Mahama would not say whether he plans to run for president again, but discussed how he thinks African countries should navigate geopolitical tensions. On Facebook, the interview has generated more than 540,000 video views and nearly 54,000 engagements. In addition, it was cited by Ghanaian outlets including GhanaWeb and ModernGhana.

VOA Turkish Coverage of Responses to Disinformation Bill Cited by Many Media Outlets

The adoption of a new law by the Turkish parliament, carrying a prison term of up to three years for spreading “disinformation” online, has drawn criticism from the opposition, independent media advocates, as well as representatives of the international community. VOA Turkish provided extensive coverage of the potential impact of the new law on press freedom in Turkey. VOA Turkish obtained exclusive statements from EU's Turkey rapporteurs, which many local media outlets, including Sözcü, Diken, Evrensel and Kısa Dalga shared with full attribution to VOA.

VOA Reporting on U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relations Generates Audience Interest

Audiences tuned in over the past week to watch a VOA video report about the U.S. government considering whether to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia, after the kingdom sided with Russia to cut oil production at last week's OPEC+ meeting. Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine’s story, “Biden to work with Congress on Consequences for Saudi Arabia,” attracted 42,000 views on YouTube. Her report was also picked up by Trend Detail News (U.S.), The Press United (India), and U.S. News Press.

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.