The inaugural chat on July 11 will be with author and journalist Alan Weisman about his book, The World Without Us. The book presents a hypothetical look at what would happen to earth if humans suddenly disappeared, and how quickly nature could reclaim "civilization".
T2A replaces the weekday radio program Talk to America, and just as the radio show did, will bring a wide range of international newsmakers and personalities to a global audience. As VOA's latest expansion into the Internet, T2A aims to be the online destination for interactive information on everything from breaking news to international relations, and from science and health to cultural trends.<!-- IMAGE -->
"We're excited to reach out to our online audience with T2A. A webchat brings news and information in an interactive forum," said VOA Director Dan Austin. "We have worked hard at developing and exploring new methods for delivering our content to audiences around the world," Austin added.
"The Internet is where global conversations take place, so it's exciting to introduce fellow web users everywhere to important and interesting figures they could not otherwise be in contact with," said Moderator Erin Brummett.
Participants will reach the webchat through VOA's main portal at VOANews.com. Once on the chat page, web visitors will be in touch by typing in their questions to the moderator and guest, or they can submit questions via e-mail to email@example.com.
Talk to America's shortwave time slot of 1400-1500 UTC Monday-Friday will be filled by an hour of regular VOA News Now programming. On Fridays, the second half of the show (1430-1500 UTC) will be devoted to the live VOA Reporter’s Notebook program featuring VOA correspondents and reporters discussing the events of the week, with Sarah Williams as regular moderator.
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 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.