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VOA Weekly Programming: January 19, 2023

VOA's Exclusive Interview with Former U.S. Secretary of State Resonates with Audiences

VOA Ukrainian's interview with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was covered by media in Ukraine, the South Caucasus, and the Balkans. In just four days, the interview has garnered tens of thousands of views on social media platforms. Dr. Rice strongly advocated for increased military aid to Ukraine, stating that the U.S. should provide Kyiv with all necessary support to resist Russian aggression. She also said that engaging in negotiations with President Putin would likely not be productive nor beneficial for Ukraine. VOA’s English, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish websites carried the interview.

VOA News Center Reporting on Myanmar Informs International Investigators

The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, established by the UN Human Rights Council to collect evidence of violations of international law committed in the country, reached out to VOA News Center reporter Ingyin Naing this week, saying her interviews are providing them with legal documents for their work. Naing’s exclusive interviews with released prominent political prisoners Mya Aye and Htin Lin Oo about their experience in Myanmar’s notorious Insein prison "furnished evidence of grave human rights violations under the Myanmar junta," IIMM said.

VOA Spanish Reporting on Immigration Issues Totals 1.3M Views Across Digital Platforms

VOA Spanish's reporting on migrants seeking entry to the U.S., deportation fears at the border, Coast Guard interception of Cuban rafters in the Florida Keys, 400+ Cubans repatriated, family separations, and migrants’ reactions to President Biden’s visit to the border, has generated more than 150K views on all social media platforms. Web stories about an increase in migrant deaths en route to the U.S., the situation of recently arrived migrants in El Paso, activists’ call for migrant aid, humanitarian parole expansion for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans, President Biden’s attendance to North American Leader’s Summit in Mexico, and spokeswoman Kristina Rosales interview sharing possible immigration solutions discussed at NALS, topped 1.3 million views across all digital platforms during the last week.

VOA Mandarin’s Coverage of Personal COVID Tragedies Attracts Audience's Interest

VOA Mandarin’s comprehensive reporting on China’s COVID surge featured heart-wrenching stories of losing loved ones – including the story of 40-year-old Guan Yao from Beijing, which has generated nearly 360K views since January 10 that it was posted on Twitter. Guan, now living in California, told VOA he watched his COVID-stricken grandmother’s final moments on his cell phone. She was one of five relatives he lost to the virus over eight days, though COVID was not listed as the cause of their deaths. The official death toll remains incredulously low, even though China’s social media platforms were flooded with similar stories.

Interview with Former Afghan Official about Taliban Policies Engages the Audience

In an interview with VOA Afghan, Abdul Bari Jahani, Afghanistan's former minister of culture and information, denounced the Taliban policies that affect girls’ education and press freedom in Afghanistan. "Whoever closes a school, no good work can be expected from them," Jahani told VOA, calling on the Taliban to let girls attend school and allow a free press. Jahani also criticized the Taliban for changing the names of historic Afghan sites, saying such changes go against Afghan identity, values, and history. The interview generated more than 250K views in its first week on Facebook.

Audience Shows Interest in VOA Persian's Coverage of Third Anniversary of the Downing of Flight PS752

VOA Persian covered the anniversary with a 2-hour live TV Special hosted by Shahram Bahraminejad. A commemorative event was held in Toronto and many other cities around the world. Behrang Rahbari reported from Toronto and interviewed several family members. Hamed Esmaeilion, spokesperson for the victims’ families, and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, addressed the attendees. According to VOA reporters in London and Germany, hundreds of Iranians marched on the anniversary of IRGC’s attack on Flight PS752. Total audience engagement on all digital platforms for this programming surpassed 2,183,800 – significant for a target country with a population of under 87 million.

VOA Exclusive Video of Ethiopian Coach Returning Home Resonates with Audience

VOA Amharic was on the scene when Ethiopian track and field coach Haile Iyasu was among a group of athletes arriving at Mekele airport after winning medals at championships in Oregon. This was the first time he was able to come back to Mekele since the cessation of hostilities in the region in November. The reunion with family members was emotional for Haile, who had found out his mother had died during the war due to illness and lack of medication. VOA was the only outlet to capture this clip, which received more than 550k views, 12k likes, and nearly one thousand shares and comments during its first week on VOA Amharic’s Facebook.

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.