Washington – Audiences around the world will get to witness one of the fundamental elements of American democracy as President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday night. The networks of the BBG will provide comprehensive coverage of the address, as well as the Republican response by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, to countries such as Russia, Iran, Syria, Egypt and Cuba via radio, television and the Internet.
“Our networks offer a unique and essential service to audiences by providing a front row seat to observe democracy in action, along with analysis and context in more than 60 languages,” said Jeffrey Shell, Chair of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees all U.S. international civilian media. “The State of the Union address is a milestone event in the American way of governing that helps educate people around the world.”
Coverage highlights include:
Voice of America will broadcast a live two-hour English TV special featuring the President’s speech and Republican response, along with reports, analysis and reaction from Washington. Its Persian Service will air a two-and-a-half-hour TV special with correspondent reports from the VOA roof and in the Capitol Rotunda. Audiences in China will be offered an in-depth preview of the speech on a special edition of WeiShi and live steaming with simultaneous translation. VOA’s Spanish Service will air a special edition of El Mundo al Dia for audiences in Latin America. Coverage and expert analysis of the event will be provided in all of VOA’s 45 broadcast languages.
For audiences in the Middle East and North Africa, Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa will provide coverage and simultaneous Arabic translations of the speech and the Republican response, along with reports from correspondents at the White House and Congress. The networks will provide reactions from the Middle East as well as pre- and post-speech analysis from American political experts and lawmakers. Coverage will be live streamed on Alhurra.com and on the Alhurra app, and live blogging will be available on both Alhurra.com and RadioSawa.com.
For Cuban audiences, Radio and TV Martí will air the speech and response with simulcast Spanish translations, take calls from Cuba, and will follow with analysis. A follow-up report will be featured in Wednesday’s Antena Live and on the weekly round-up show 7N30. A live stream of the speech and response will also be available online at martinoticias.com, and coverage highlights will be distributed via the Martí’s extensive presence on social media.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda will broadcast live coverage of the speech to Iran, as will other RFE/RL language services that are on the air at that time. All 28 RFE/RL Services will produce reports and analyses of the speech and what it may mean for their respective parts of the world that will be available online and via broadcast during morning news programs the next day.
Radio Free Asia’s Mandarin Service will provide comprehensive coverage of the speech and response, as well as reactions from mainland Chinese citizens.