VOA Starts Mobile Newscasts to Mali

Washington, D.C. — Voice of America is now offering special daily news broadcasts for mobile phone users in Mali, where Islamic militants in the north have clamped down on independent sources of information.

“Mobile phones are the single best platform to share news and information in places like northern Mali,” according to Gwen Dillard, the Director of VOA’s Africa Division.

“The audience for mobile broadcasts has been growing by leaps and bounds in Africa.  It’s an excellent way to reach places where radio and television are subject to censorship and intimidation.  Even in the most unstable regions, you find widespread use of mobile phones,” Dillard says.

The three-minute French-language mobile newscasts include on-the-ground reports from Bamako and the northern cities of Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, and Mopti, as well as breaking news from the surrounding countries of Mauretania, Niger and Chad.  The first broadcast included information about a recent Cholera outbreak.

The newscasts can be accessed on the mobile platform www.Mali1.com.

Many private radio stations have stopped broadcasting in northern Mali and the flow of information has been sharply limited since Islamic militants seized control of the region following a coup that overthrew Mali’s government earlier this year.  Some independent reporters in the region have been assaulted and threatened by militants who have imposed strict Islamic law and shut down private radio stations.

Voice of America’s French Service, which can be heard online, on shortwave and medium wave, has been providing extensive coverage of the situation in Mali and the neighboring countries.

For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write kking@voanews.com.  Visit the VOA Public Relations website at www.insidevoa.com, or the main VOA news site at www.voanews.com.

 

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