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VOA Increases Coverage of Crucial Ethiopian Election

Multimedia analysis, interviews, special reports and features

Washington, D.C., May 19, 2010 – The Voice of America is expanding coverage of Sunday's Ethiopian parliamentary elections with special daily radio programs in English, enhanced multi-media efforts, and additional live broadcast hours on election-day in Amharic, Tigrigna, and Afaan Oromoo.

A 10-minute daily English-language program, titled Ethiopian Elections in Focus, is now airing evenings with the latest on the issues and candidates as they prepare for the crucial May 23 vote. The program, which is part of VOA English to Africa's extensive lineup, will continue all week after the election.

Analysis, interviews, special reports and features are available at, and through a special newsletter that is being distributed by email in an effort to reach listeners who have been affected by the jamming of VOA's popular broadcasts to Ethiopia.

VOA's Horn of Africa service will broadcast live to Ethiopia election-day from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the evening, bringing uncensored coverage to its large audience through shortwave and on VOA 24, a new satellite service carried by Arabsat. The extended election coverage, in Afaan Oromoo, Amharic, and Tigrigna, will include on-the-scene reporting of election-day events, panel discussions of polling station turnout and interviews with Ethiopians around the world. VOA has also added a 30-minute morning program in Amharic that starts at 6 a.m.

Earlier this month, Voice of America Director Danforth W. Austin issued an open letter to Ethiopian listeners expressing deep concern about the jamming of VOA broadcasts and websites. He also assured listeners that VOA will continue to do all it can to bring Ethiopian listeners the news they have come to trust and rely on for almost 30 years.

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 125 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.

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