2023 Digital Video Storytelling, Series, Large Newsroom finalist

52 Documentary

About the Project

52 Documentary is the flagship documentary series of Voice of America (VOA), an international multimedia broadcaster that operates in over 40 languages. With a global audience of more than 327 million people.

At the heart of VOA’s mission is the new documentary series, 52 Documentary, designed to connect and engage audiences worldwide through captivating human interest stories. Through visually stunning imagery and powerful storytelling, these documentaries take you on a journey to different corners of the world, empowering you to see and understand it in new and profound ways.

52 Documentary was launched in December 2021 to cater to a growing audience seeking unique and compelling content. The series releases one documentary per week, providing a constant stream of thought-provoking material. It was created by Euna Lee, a documentary journalist who gained international attention in 2009 when she was detained in North Korea for 140 days while filming a documentary on human trafficking. Lee’s personal experience in North Korea, a country she had considered an “enemy,” revealed the shared humanity and empathy of its people. Inspired by this encounter and motivated to bridge the gaps in understanding between different communities, Lee established 52 Documentary to challenge misperceptions and foster a sense of shared identity among diverse audiences.

The team has been involved in an incredible storytelling journey, covering more than 15 countries, spanning Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Georgia. Through our lens, we have had the privilege of meeting remarkable individuals who are dedicated to improving the lives of their communities, preserving the land for future generations, fighting injustice, and advocating for freedom of speech. These are individuals whom most of our audience may never have the chance to meet personally, yet they all share commonalities through their stories. They champion inclusivity and possess a deep understanding of the diverse world we live in.

Stories have the power to inspire and create empathy, allowing audiences to understand and appreciate the diverse perspectives that exist in our world. By sharing these stories, you are giving a voice to those who may not have the opportunity to be heard otherwise. 52 Documentary team’s work can contribute to fostering a more interconnected global community where people can learn from one another and work together towards a more inclusive society.

While their specific struggles and aspirations may differ, the underlying desire for a better life and a fairer world is something that resonates with all of us. By highlighting these shared values, you are encouraging our audience to embrace diversity and recognize the common humanity that binds us all.

Through this efforts, we hope to not only bring attention to their causes but also inspire others to take action and contribute to positive change in their communities.

VOA delivers news, information, and cultural programming through various platforms such as the Internet, mobile and social media, radio, and television.