VOA Deewa TV/Radio is bringing its social media campaign to the next level with projects that allow the audience to participate in online discussions about top issues in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border Regions.
English language Facebook
conferences and TweetChats, introduced in April and May, have been reaching out to all ethnic and language groups in the area.
“It’s a suitable medium for getting access to Pakistanis who don’t speak Pashto since our broadcasts are basically in Pashto,” said Nafees Takar. “[The area] is very multiethnic…so I think English is what mixes them together and makes it easier for everyone to understand and communicate.”
A recent TweetChat focused on the controversial case of Dr. Shakil Afridi, who is going to jail for 33 years for his role in an immunization campaign that helped U.S. forces locate Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. His treason conviction in a tribal court sparked a furious TweetChat debate.
I told Deewa before, as a doc I disagree w/ #drafridi actions but today it was just travesty of justice,” tweeted Mohammad Taqi, a doctor and columnist at Daily Times Pakistan.
While, Taha Siddiqui, a columnist for the Express Tribune, tweeted that it is “interesting to note how #DrAfridi debate revolves around #ISIBashing, not dishonesty to his oath as doctor n destroying health workers trust!”
The events are hosted weekly on topics ranging from the media environment in Pakistan, polio, which is a significant health challenge in the target region, tolerance in society, and human rights and minorities.
Around 100 people took part in a recent Facebook event with Farhat Taj, author of the book Taliban and Anti-Taliban. Declan Walsh, Pakistan-based New York Times correspondent and Ansar Abbas ex-BBC South Asia Director and ex-editor of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, were also guests for another Deewa Facebook event.
In addition to real time news updates on social media, VOA Deewa
broadcasts to over 40 million Pashto-speaking Pakistanis and Afghans through shortwave and medium wave radio, internet and satellite. It provides regional and international news coverage.