VOA Launches Urdu TV for Pakistan
Washington, DC: The Voice of
America (VOA) will launch Beyond the Headlines - its new television
program in Urdu-on Monday, Nov. 14. The half-hour program
will air on GEO TV in Pakistan at 7:30 p.m. Monday through
Friday and on selected international satellites, including
AsiaSat (Virtual Channel 409) and IOR (Virtual Channel 420).
Beyond the Headlines (Khabron se Aage), a fast-paced, contemporary
production designed with young and urban Pakistanis in mind,
will continue VOA's 63-year tradition of broadcasting accurate
and balanced information. Programs will examine international
developments, technology, politics, social issues, education,
religion, sports, and entertainment.
"We look forward to opening this important new channel
of communication between the American people and Pakistan,"
said Steven J. Simmons, a member of the Broadcasting Board
of Governors (BBG), which oversees all United States international
radio and television services. Simmons is chairman of the
BBG's Voice of America Committee, and has played a key role
in increasing radio and TV service to Pakistan, including
Beyond the Headlines.
"We're particularly delighted with our partnership with
GEO TV, the leading cable/satellite broadcaster in the Urdu
language," Simmons added.
"This new program, together with our expanded radio service,
demonstrates our growing commitment to reach the people of
Pakistan with new, engaging programs on both radio and TV."
"The links between Pakistan and the United States are
strong and growing, and our new show is a reflection of that,"
said VOA Director David S. Jackson. "Beyond the Headlines
will focus not only on the big issues of the day, but also
on features, business, and culture stories that illuminate
the world we live in. For example, we'll show how Pakistanis
live and work and go to school in the US. We want to provide
a unique mix of stories that viewers can't find anywhere else."
Farah Ispahani is the managing editor and executive producer
for Beyond the Headlines. She joined VOA earlier this year,
bringing more than 20 years of experience in print and television
media at such news organizations as CNN, ABC, and NBC. Before
she joined VOA, Ispahani, who is a fluent Urdu speaker, was
instrumental in the launch of CNN's Paula Zahn Now and Anderson
Anchoring Beyond the Headlines will be Aneka Osman. A familiar
face to Pakistanis, Osman worked as an English language news
anchor on Pakistan Television. She has covered regional and
national security issues, Pakistan-India relations, the conflict
in the Middle East, and Pakistan's general elections. She
has also worked on Prime Television, the UK-based Pakistani
channel, and on the Business Plus Channel.
Ayaz Gul is VOA Urdu's Chief Reporter and Pakistan Coverage
Coordinator for Radio Aap ki Dunyaa (Your World Radio), VOA's
Urdu radio service, and Beyond the Headlines. Gul, who is
based in Pakistan, has been filing on-the-scene reports in
Urdu and English for VOA since 1996, and his reports are translated
into numerous languages throughout VOA. VOA's Urdu Service
broadcasts 12 hours a day of news and information to millions
of Pakistanis and other Urdu speakers on Radio Aap ki Dunyaa.
The program is distributed by medium wave at 972 kHz, digital
audio satellite, the Internet and a three-hour shortwave broadcast.
The launch of Beyond the Headlines adds two-and-half hours
of television to the Urdu Service's weekly broadcast schedule.
For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at
(202) 203-4959 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.