Voice of America’s popular program, South Sudan in Focus, has added Bentiu Radio AM and FM to the growing number of affiliate stations that broadcast the half-hour English language show to the newly-independent nation.
Produced at the VOA studios in Washington, South Sudan in Focus relies on a large network of reporters working throughout the country, and provides up-to-date news and information about South Sudan, Africa and the world. The show airs Monday through Friday and is hosted from Washington and Juba.
Washington host John Tanza says the addition of the new affiliate in Bentiu “is a dream come true because the station has FM 99.0 and Medium Wave 558 kHz, so the signal covers a large area of Unity State.” Voice of America also recently added Radio Jonglei 95.9 FM in Bor Town to its list of affiliate stations, which can also be heard in Juba, Yei, Maridi, and Yambio.
South Sudan in Focus, which went on the air in September of 2010, is broadcast on shortwave, AM and FM affiliate stations, mobile, and streamed on the Internet.
Gideon Gatpan Thoar, State Minister for Information and Communication, said listeners in Unity State “had been calling in to express their pleasure” about the local airing of the VOA programs. He said journalists in the region would also benefit from listening to the VOA shows and from the training that is conducted by the agency.
In July, Voice of America broadcast live coverage of South Sudan’s independence celebrations, including interviews with key leaders who guided the historic transition, and the swearing-in of the new government. South Sudan in Focus is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department.