BBG Launches New Television Program for Iran

Voice of America (VOA) debuts a new, nightly, Persian-language TV program, News & Views, on July 6, aimed at reaching millions of Iranians who watch satellite television.

News & Views, a daily, 30-minute show, will be broadcast from 9:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. in Iran. It will feature original news reporting from Iran, where pro-democracy protesters have been active. Additionally, the show will include world news round-ups, analyses of issues and events and special interest and cultural features. Radio Farda reporters will contribute to the show.

“By reporting what’s happening in Iran today, we can help further the struggle for freedom and self-determination in Iran,” said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees all U.S. nonmilitary international broadcasting, including VOA. “If ever there was a time when the people of Iran need sound, factual reporting on their country, it is now.”

Key participants include managing editor Fereidoun Farahandouz, veteran TV anchor Hossein Kangarloo, and lead anchor Setareh Derakhshesh. VOA’s Persian Service is led by Ahmad Baharloo.The new show will feature reports contributed from inside Iran, Washington, New York, Los Angeles and around the world.

The show’s premiere will include the first of a special series of reports leading up to the fourth anniversary of the Iranian government’s July 9, 1999 crackdown on student uprisings in Iran.

Scheduled to run through at least September 30, News & Views is expected to cost up to $500,000.

Satellite television is a leading source of news in Iran, where some 70 percent of the population, estimated at 67 million, is under 30. Satellite dishes are available in many homes throughout Iran.

Until now, VOA has produced two television programs, Next Chapter, a weekly newsmagazine, and Roundtable With You, a 90-minute discussion show. The shows complement VOA Persian’s daily radio service; and Radio Farda, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, youth-oriented radio program that is a joint project of VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

The BBG is an independent federal agency which supervises all U.S. government-supported nonmilitary international broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); Radio Free Asia (RFA); Radio and TV Mart