The U.S. International broadcasting networks of the Voice of America (VOA), Alhurra TV, Radio Sawa, and Afia Darfur, will provide extensive coverage in English and Arabic, of the historic independence referendum that begins Jan. 9 in southern Sudan. The referendum will give residents from southern Sudan the option of declaring independence from the North.
Radio, TV and online coverage will include on-the-scene reports, interviews with expert analysts and observers, social media engagement, and audience feedback. Highlights include:
- U.S. based reporters and anchors will speak to analysts, NGOs, human rights groups and key leaders including Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ).
- Multimedia updates from diaspora voting sites around the world.
- Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa journalists will report live in Arabic from Khartoum, Juba and the disputed Abyei region to provide extensive coverage from both northern and southern Sudan.
- VOA’s Sudan in Focus program team, with reporters in nine cities, will update listeners in English with on-scene coverage from the start of the voting.
- Sudan in Focus aired a series of special reports on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that laid the foundation for the vote, and the international community’s role in the process.
- Alhurra’s daily talk show Free Hour will host a series of interviews with key leaders of southern Sudan to discuss the nation’s future.
- Alhurra’s Al Youm will examine how the vote of succession will impact the southern Sudanese living in the north, discuss education reform in southern Sudan, and highlight the Carter Center’s fight to eradicate the guinea worm, a dangerous parasite found in Sudan.
- Radio Sawa will extend nine of its daily newscasts to 30-minutes to provide up-to-the-minute details on the referendum vote and topical coverage including southern Sudan’s plans for sharing oil revenue with the north, international reaction to the referendum vote, and the political relationship between northern and southern Sudan following the referendum vote.
- The all-news and information Arabic-language program, Afia Darfur, will focus on the impact of the referendum vote on the displaced people in Darfur during hour-long extended versions of its shortwave radio daily program on January 9th and 10th.
- Upcoming reports will focus on post-referendum challenges and lessons learned from other countries that have split apart.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí).