Washington, D.C. — From pomp and circumstance to prayer services, BBG networks provided wide-ranging coverage of the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
Voice of America
The VOA News Center produced 26 television packages in advance of the inauguration to be used by its language services in the days leading up to the swearing-in, or during live broadcasts on inauguration day. These features highlighted issues such as key priorities for the new administration, historic perspective including the legacy of President Barack Obama, and logistical preparations for the inauguration. They also included two stories from Melania Trump’s hometown in Slovenia and an exclusive interview with former president Jimmy Carter, who spoke to reporter Kane Farabaugh about the new administration.
The VOA digital team also produced two interactive graphics, a web map populated with social media reporting by newsroom reporters across the city and an interactive that allows users to explore the history of U.S. presidential inaugural addresses.
The News Center’s social media team live-streamed key events of the day on Facebook Live, garnering more than 720,000 views for the swearing-in and more than 1 million views for a video of the parade.
VOA’s Eurasia Division’s inauguration programming was carried by more than 200 television networks and digital media outlets in Russia, Ukraine, the Balkans and the South Caucasus.
South and Central Asia division provided a total of 17 hours of live radio coverage of the inauguration with simultaneous translation of the speech and another five hours of television programming to nine affiliates.
VOA’s Azerbaijani service, which conducted four Facebook Live reports from various locations throughout the day, received hundreds of comments and feedback from its audience despite restrictions on its website by the government of Azerbaijan.
VOA’s Africa Division aired more than 22 hours of live radio coverage of the inauguration with simultaneous translation of the speech. Additionally, for television, the services provided live feeds of the ceremony, translated video profiles of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and fed live correspondent reports to more than 40 African television affiliates.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
On January 20, all RFE/RL language services translated and posted the Central Newsroom’s rich, live blog of the proceedings, starting at 4:00 am with a look at the president-elect’s meteoric political rise, and closing the live coverage at 5:00 pm, after President Trump and his family arrived at the White House and the inaugural parade drew to a close. Language services localized the blog in real time, adding content as appropriate for their local audiences. The blog was enriched with Facebook Live recordings from the streets of Washington, where an RFE/RL correspondent reported on the festivities as well as the often peaceful, but sometimes violent protests against President Trump’s inauguration.
Current Time was on the air live for six hours on Inauguration Day, with the first three hours covered by Voice of America reporters and anchors, while the last three hours featured an extended edition of the Timur Olevskiy Hour offering analysis from Russia, Ukraine, the Baltics, and Georgia as well as coverage of the inaugural parade in DC. All 15 RFE/RL services producing content in Russian for their audiences carried the Current Time web stream on their pages. Live video streams of the inauguration were also provided for all digital platforms used by RFE/RL services, including YouTube and Facebook, making use of simultaneous translation by VOA in six languages.
Office of Cuba Broadcasting
Radio Martí provided full coverage of the inauguration for its audience in Cuba. During President Trump’s inaugural address, Radio Martí provided live analysis from Sebastián A. Arcos, associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University; Astrid Arrarás, PhD., professor of political science at Florida International University; and attorney Nicolas Gutierrez.
The network’s coverage was picked up for a nine-hour block (from 5:00 am to 2:00 pm) by SiriusXM’s Spanish-language station La Politica Talk.
Middle East Broadcasting Networks
Alhurra Television and Radio Sawa provided their audiences in the Middle East and North Africa with comprehensive coverage of the inauguration with simultaneous Arabic translation. Alhurra’s 12 hours of live coverage included updates from the parade route and expanded news shows along with a variety of guests.
As part of Friday’s coverage, both Alhurra and Radio Sawa hosted live blogs highlighting the historic day. Alhurra’s website produced several reports on Trump’s first day in office, his inauguration address, protests in Washington, security during the inauguration, American inauguration rituals and a report on Democratic lawmakers who boycotted the inauguration and the reasons behind their decision. It also hosted a poll about people’s favorite inaugural address.
The television and radio networks featured the inauguration events across their social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and Instagram. Included in Alhurra’s Facebook coverage were videos on the Presidential Oath, 84 years in 20 seconds and of Obama leaving the White House.
The day after his swearing-in, Alhurra covered Trump’s participation in the interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral. Alhurra’s Facebook video of this event generated 1.5 million views. The television network also covered live Trump’s remarks at the CIA headquarters. Alhurra’s coverage also showed the protests that were occurring during the inauguration ceremony.