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Breaking News Numbers Increase with Focus on International News

Intense interest fueled by such stories as the Beijing Olympics and Russia's invasion of Georgia

Washington, D.C., August 7, 2008 – Visits to the Voice of America's (VOA) website increased 38 percent in the first part of August, reflecting intense interest in international news stories including the Beijing Olympics and Russia's invasion of Georgia.

Between Aug. 1-11, 2008, the number of people going to for news and information in text, audio and video jumped to more than 300,000 average visits per day. The website, which is available in 45 languages, contains up-to-date news compiled by VOA, the largest U.S. international broadcaster with an overall audience of an estimated 134 million.

"Our website has become the 'go-to' site for many people interested in the latest developments around the world," said VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch. "We have 18 news bureaus, and correspondents and stringers in virtually every country across the globe," he said, adding, "And our website lets people get information when and where they want it."

The Russian and the Georgian services saw a spike in traffic after fighting between the two countries started last week. VOA has correspondents on the ground and on the front lines.

Among other stories, the services featured interviews with Georgia's Foreign Minister, a former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia and a series of experts based in Moscow, Tbilisi and the United States.

Web visits from inside China also increased by 62 percent during the Beijing Olympics where VOA has 10 reporters covering events.

VOA's website is ranked as one of the top sources of news and information found through Google News.

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 1,250 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

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