VOA Connects to Audience in Pakistan

Washington D.C. — VOA’s growing online audience in Pakistan can now ask tough questions about U.S. policy, on a new Urdu and English language program that focuses on Pakistani-U.S. relations.

‘Access Point,’ an interactive 15-minute weekly show, explores the sometimes tense relationship between the two countries and lets the audience pose questions to a live studio guest via Facebook and Twitter.

Host Ayesha Tanzeem says the show offers something otherwise not available in Pakistan, a place for honest and direct discussion with U.S. policy experts and officials.

“On other VOA programs we noticed that even when we had well known Pakistani guests, the audience was often more interested in discussing issues directly with Americans. This show gives them a way to do that,” Tanzeem says.

The program, which airs Thursday evenings in Pakistan, is streamed live from the VOA television studios in Washington and is available on-demand on Facebook and the VOA Urdu Ustream channel.

Producer Imran Siddiqui says Pakistan has more than 6-million Facebook users, so this show opens up a new opportunity for audience participation and the questions will be put to U.S. officials and departments for answers. Policy experts and officials on the show will discuss the answers, and take follow up questions.

VOA’s Urdu service delivers a wide range of news programs to Pakistan on radio, television, the Internet and on mobile devices. “The service is always looking for new online ideas, and this show will make our presence more visible in Pakistan’s expanding social media market,” says Urdu Service Chief Faiz Rehman.

For more information about this program contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write kking@voanews.com. An online version of this release, with links, is available at the Public Relations website, www.insidevoa.com. For more about all of our programs visit www.voanews.com.

The Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.  VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 141 million people.  Programs are produced in 43 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.

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