Millions of news consumers across Eurasia tuned in to VOA Russian for live, unfiltered coverage of events in America, primarily focusing on U.S.-Russian affairs and Russia’s malicious influence in the region. Through its digital platforms and the Current Time Network, the “America First Coverage Desk Project” engaged highly active audiences with real-time analysis by U.S.-based experts. It simultaneously translated presidential addresses, major policy pronouncements and speeches, debates, and congressional hearings. On social media platforms, more than 200,000 people watched VOA Russian’s comprehensive coverage of President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, and more than 100,000 engaged with the live program featuring his first address to the Congress.
At a time when Russian state-sponsored media are filled with anti-U.S. propaganda, the content produced by the Coverage Desk gave audiences an accurate portrayal of U.S. policymakers and events, and provided thoughtful analysis and discussion. The real time engagement of so many viewers is a testament to the interest and need for such programming.