VOA Spanish editor Ramon Taylor behind the scenes in 2012 U.S. international media's weekly audience has reached a new high of more than 203 million people thanks to substantial audience growth in Latin America for the Voice of America, innovations across digital media platforms, and expanded networks of distribution for award-winning news and information programs. These programs are produced around the clock for people around the globe in countries where the media are not entirely free.
The journalists supported by the Broadcasting Board of Governors continue to garner worldwide recognition for their high-quality reporting while the BBG solidifies new distribution avenues such as FM stations in South Sudan, Mali and Libya; TV affiliates in Burma and Russia; and digital content platforms such as SoundCloud, a smart phone app for audiences in Cuba, and SMS news service in Nigeria.
The latest audience measurement is an increase of 16 percent since the agency released official figures in November 2012, and has climbed from 165 million in 2010, a 23 percent gain.
"With dwindling federal resources, the BBG is proud to have reached a broader worldwide audience," said Michael Meehan, chairman of the agency's Strategy and Budget Committee. "In these tight fiscal times, breaking 200 million is a remarkable achievement. Then when you add a growing number of closed societies over the past decade, the feat is of an even greater magnitude."
Noteworthy audience growth has occurred in Latin America, where more than 26 million adults are now getting up-to-date news, analysis and other content from VOA each week. The increase in audience numbers is the result of expanding partnerships with local stations from Mexico to Chile that are making use of VOA's top-notch radio, TV and online reports and live, on-the-scene analysis of events in the United States and around the world.
Results from Gallup World Poll surveys in 16 Latin American countries from September through December 2012 estimate the combined weekly audience for VOA Spanish content at 26.7 million. The figure includes a weekly audience of 18.7 million on television, 16.2 million on radio, and 8.3 million on the Internet, including use of syndicated or reproduced content.
"Every day, people around the world count on our broadcasters to provide them with accurate news and diverse viewpoints, " said Governor Susan McCue. "These people are hungering for the high-quality journalism that our broadcasters provide."
BBG-supported broadcasters' outstanding journalism continues to earn accolades, including awards this week from the New York Festivals for investigative reporting in Iran, and in 2012 by the Association of International Broadcasters' for documentary work on human trafficking in Asia and a highly innovative teaching program to China, by the South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO) for reporting from Syria's war zone, as well as a Hong Kong Human Rights Press Award for reporting on child soldier recruitment in Burma.