When violence between Venezuelan protestors and security forces killed more than 40 people, President Nicolas Maduro clamped down on reporting of the violence, blaming the United States for plotting a fascist coup. VOA broke through that censorship with balanced reporting from Washington and Caracas on leading networks in Colombia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru—all of which are seen inside Venezuela–-and with Internet censorship circumvention tools to thwart online suppression of the news. VOA coverage of the crisis surrounding unaccompanied minors from Central America crossing the southern U.S. border included reports from the White House and Capitol Hill, correspondent interviews with regional affiliates, and reports from the region.
When Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, more than 300 news organizations sought an interview. She granted only seven—including VOA Urdu. The seven-minute interview, conducted immediately before she went onstage to accept the Peace Prize, was distributed across Pakistan, including to the state-owned PTV, the Pakistan Television Corporation, and to VOA’s worldwide audience. At the award ceremony in Oslo, she requested a song written and performed by VOA Deewa Service poet Sardar Ali. “Bibi Shereena” or “Adorable Lady” salutes the importance of women’s education.