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Historic Obama Inauguration to Reach Millions Through Special VOA Programs

New and traditional media will cover the story

Washington, D.C., January 15, 2008 - Special interactive television and radio programs, live video streaming and real-time blogging are among the programs Voice of America (VOA) is using to reach worldwide audiences with in-depth coverage of Barack Obama's historic presidential inauguration.

Nearly 200 VOA journalists and technicians are fanning out across the city on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 to report - in 45 languages to an audience of 134 million - on Obama's swearing-in, inaugural speech and celebratory parade. They'll be stationed on the roof of VOA's headquarters in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, on Pennsylvania Avenue and in front of the White House.

"The eyes of the world will be on Washington for the inauguration of the first African-American president, and we'll make sure our international audiences are given the latest, most up-to-date news and analysis of this event," said Danforth Austin, VOA's Director.

Among the highlights of VOA's coverage:

• VOA English airs a 90-minute TV/radio simulcast special report covering the inauguration. Streaming video and audio feeds are available on and
• VOA, on its YouTube partner channel,, is asking viewers around the world to submit a videotape telling how they feel about Barack Obama becoming the 44th president of the United States.
• Persian News Network (PNN) will broadcast a four-and-a-half hour special report, with live coverage of inaugural events and analysis. PNN produced an eight-part special report covering the transition of power, which includes U.S.-Iranian relations, Iraq and Afghanistan.
• VOA's Indonesian service will deliver 15 hours of live interactive reports for nine of Indonesia's 11 national television stations. Radio reporters will have question-and-answer programs with Radio 68H network, with more than 400 affiliates.
• VOA's Spanish service produced a special inauguration web page ( with original video stories on topics including event security and inauguration costs. The daily El Mundo al Día television program will be devoted to inauguration coverage, including man-on-the-street interviews.
• VOA's Urdu service is partnering with Pakistan Television and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporations, the state networks, and GEO-TV for wide distribution of live radio and television programs across the country.
• VOA's Afghan TV service begins its countdown to the inauguration before the celebration with a package of interviews with an array of experts. Radio will have wall-to-wall coverage with a call-in show and guests in Washington and Kabul.
• VOA's Swahili service plans a two-hour special as well as coverage of an inaugural party hosted by the Embassy of Kenya, the home of Obama's late father.
• VOA's Portuguese service will host a live program with Angolan National Radio.
• VOA's Russian service will have live video streaming at as well as real-time blogging, reports from New York and California, and a video blog on advice for Obama from VOA's Russian audience.

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 approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail