New Urdu Radio Service Launched

Radio Aap ki Dunyaa, a new Urdu-language service of the Voice of America (VOA) began transmitting 12 hours a day today, providing millions of Pakistanis and other Urdu-speakers in India and the diaspora with news, information and entertainment.

Aap ki Dunyaa – “Your World” in English – features 10-minute newscasts twice an hour during prime time, and hourly newscasts throughout the night, with in-depth coverage of events affecting South Asia and the world; features on topics such as health, education, and political issues; call-in shows; roundtable discussions; and a mix of Pakistani, Indian, and Western music. With its combination of news and features, about half of Aap ki Dunyaa’s unique programming consists of information. The program runs from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. Pakistan time.

“We’re delighted we’re able to provide balanced and accurate news and to help promote a better understanding of the United States in such an important part of the world,” said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors which supervises all U.S. nonmilitary international broadcasting, including VOA.

Steven J. Simmons, the BBG member who has spearheaded creation of Aap ki Dunyaa, said, “With this station, we are reaching out to millions of listeners primarily between the ages of 15 and 39. We want to interact with our listeners and to let them learn more about us while we learn about them. We’ll be using the latest research techniques to make sure this station becomes part of our listeners’ lives.”

VOA Director David Jackson noted that Aap ki Dunyaa “will introduce a fresh new sound to the South Asian media scene while also being faithful to the VOA Charter, which requires us to serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.”

Aap ki Dunyaa will be staffed by 27 people in Washington as well as a network of more than 15 stringers in Pakistan, India and North America. Dr. Brian Q. Silver is chief of the service. All staffers from the original VOA Urdu Service are now part of the Aap ki Dunyaa team.

The station will be distributed on a medium wave (AM) signal that reaches millions
of listeners in Pakistan and northeast India. It can be found at 972 kHz. It
will also be broadcast for three hours on shortwave (7 to 8 p.m., 10 to 11 p.m.,
and 6 to 7 a.m. Pakistan time). It will be carried for 12 hours on digital audio
satellite and via the Internet (
Internet enhancements will be phased in, providing audience interaction through
e-mail, and texts of selected feeds, interviews, and other programs of interest
to the listening audience.

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