The Voice of America (VOA) will debut two 30-minute television news programs to Afghanistan beginning Sept. 30. The Saturday-through-Thursday newscasts, which will air in the Dari and Pashto languages in a one-hour block titled TV Ashna (Friend), will offer a new source of regional and world news to Afghanistan's emergent television market.
TV Ashna will also feature interviews with Afghan and American policy makers and political, economic and security analysts on issues of importance to the people of Afghanistan. The hour-long block will be divided into two different news programs for Afghanistan's two national languages.
"VOA has proven to be extremely popular on the radio in Afghanistan," said VOA Director David S. Jackson. "These new shows will now allow us to offer television viewers the same kind of objective and comprehensive news and information that they have come to expect from the Voice of America."
VOA's Shaista Mangal will host the Pashto program and Lina Rozbih will host the Dari program from Washington, D.C., with reports from Afghanistan and other cities around the world.
Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) will initially air the new program at 4:00 p.m. local time in Afghanistan.
VOA's Radio Ashna programming currently reaches millions of people daily with a 12-hour program in Dari and Pashto via FM, AM and shortwave radio.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.