Washington D.C., January 17, 2010 – Voice of America (VOA) Creole-language broadcasts to earthquake-stricken Haiti are now being heard throughout that country on multiple radio frequencies, many delivered by transmitters aboard a U.S. Defense Department-sponsored aircraft that began flying Saturday.
The added service features a five-hour afternoon FM program providing news and disaster relief information for the Haitian people, struggling to cope with that country's worst natural disaster in over 200 years.
Since the January 12 earthquake, VOA has increased its Creole programming from 1.5 hours to 10.5 hours Monday through Friday and from 1 hour to 9.5 hours Saturday and Sunday.
"We are very gratified to have the direct FM transmission to complement our shortwave and AM broadcasts in response to the crisis in Haiti," said Danforth W. Austin, VOA director. "These broadcasts demonstrate how U.S. Government agencies can work together when disaster strikes."
VOA Creole is covering the relief efforts in Haiti with VOA correspondents and Haitian stringer reporters on the ground, as VOA Washington headquarters and Miami bureau staffs work the crisis around the clock. Public service announcements are airing hourly to provide information about public safety and availability of water and food and other disaster assistance. VOA has also set up a call-in line to broadcast messages from family members and friends to Haiti, along with Twitter and Facebook accounts.
VOA Creole has long been a trusted source of news and information in Haiti and is the most popular international broadcaster in the country with a weekly audience reach of just over 50% of the adult population, according to independent survey research.
Stories, audio reports, photos, video and survival information are posted on VOA's main website, www.VOANews.com.
Please contact Joan Mower at 202-689-4662, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or Will Marsh at 703-615-4548, e-mail email@example.com.
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 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.