All VOA language services covered President Trump’s first address to Congress and the Democratic response. Many services provided simultaneous translation, giving audiences direct and unfiltered access to the speeches, along with comprehensive analysis. The programming attracted strong audience engagement on social media.
Among the coverage, VOA Russian produced a special edition of Current Time America, going live with a one hour-45-minute program. The event was streamed on Russian’s digital platforms. It was viewed more than 100,000 times on Facebook and attracted more than 1,000 comments. VOA Persian aired a more than two hour live special that included correspondent reports from the White House and the Capitol Rotunda. Guests included Hossein Khorram, co-chair of the American Mideast Coalition for Trump and Professor Shirin Hunter of Georgetown University. The full video of the President’s address, along with short video excerpts on Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram garnered over 386,000 views.
VOA Ukrainian was the only media outlet in Ukraine to carry the speech live with simultaneous translation on digital platforms. VOA also filed for leading TV channels in Ukraine. The President’s address dominated morning newscasts in Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Georgia, where more than 35 affiliates relied on VOA for coverage.
VOA’s Deewa service provided live streaming of the speech with simultaneous translation on Facebook. Deewa interviewed prominent members of Congress offering reaction, including Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), and U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA). VOA Afghan provided live coverage from the National Mall and discussed the speech and the democratic response with one of its top affiliates, Tolo TV, in Kabul.
More than a dozen stations across Africa picked up English coverage while more than 30 television and radio stations in Latin America carried VOA Spanish’s simultaneous translation and linked to VOA Spanish Facebook Live. VOA Indonesian provided live reports for TV affiliates, including CNN Indonesia, and for 20 radio affiliates. VOA Khmer aired the President’s speech live via Facebook, simultaneously translating important quotes.