WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fans of LiveTalk, VOA Zimbabwe’s tri-lingual radio call-in show, can now watch the interactive daily program on an expanded one-hour TV webcast.
The first half hour of LiveTalk still airs on shortwave and medium wave Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 9 p.m.
Online audiences will be able to watch an extended full hour edition of the program, which is captured with hi-definition cameras rolling in VOA’s Washington studio. The program is streamed live on the VOA Zimbabwe website (in English, Shona and Ndebele) and is available on demand.
“The Zimbabwe Service has found a very effective and creative way to integrate TV into their lineup,” says Africa Division Director Gwen Dillard. “Our audiences in Zimbabwe and throughout southern Africa and the diaspora have been asking for something like this, and we are pleased to be expanding to television.”
LiveTalk hosts Blessing Zulu and Gibbs Dube introduce the day’s news and take callers’ questions in English, Ndebele, and Shona, with a mix of politics, sports, and social issues.
“LiveTalk has consistently had people waiting on the phone lines after 30 minutes, so the TV simulcast will give our audience more of a chance to interact with us,” says Zimbabwe Service Senior Editor Ray Choto.
The web audience will get a fly-on-the-wall experience of watching a live radio show, but Choto says the long-time radio audience won’t be forgotten.
“We really want this to be a radio show on TV, in that radio audiences won’t lose anything, but those who tune into the TV webcast will get a feel for what goes into a live radio call-in show,” Choto says.
The first expanded edition of LiveTalk focused on the legacy of Nelson Mandela, and featured guests Dewa Mavhinga, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, and South African writer Raks Seakhoa, who spent time in prison with Mandela on Robben Island. Listeners from South Africa, the U.S., Zimbabwe, and other regions weighed in on the loss, and callers on the ground in Johannesburg painted a picture of a city still in mourning.
LiveTalk has been part of VOA Zimbabwe’s (also known as Studio 7) lineup since 2010. The program airs in Zimbabwe and across southern Africa on shortwave and medium wave radio, and is also available online as well as live or on-demand over the phone for listeners in South Africa, the UK, and North America.