Accessibility links

Breaking News

VOA Provides Multi-Media 2008 Election Night Coverage in 45 Languages

News via radio, television, and interactive Internet

Washington, D.C., Nov. 3, 2008 - Live reports from Kenya, home of Barack Obama's late father, and Vietnam, where John McCain was imprisoned for seven years, highlight the Voice of America's (VOA) special election programs around the globe November 4.

VOA’s coverage of the historic election will be available in English and 44 other languages that reach an estimated worldwide audience of 134 million. Comprehensive, multimedia coverage at VOA’s new community interactive website,, will carry English video coverage starting with 10-minute newscasts every hour from 2300-0200 UTC. Live video program start at 0300 UTC. Additional radio frequencies are available on our Election Frequencies information page.

Visitors can track returns on the site’s U.S. map, reflecting the popular and electoral counts as well as the balance of power in Congress. also offers blogs and a live T2A (Talk2America) online chat beginning at 0000 UTC. Users can also find and VOA updates on Twitter.

"The presidential contest of 2008 has riveted people around the world from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe," said VOA Director Danforth Austin. "Because we broadcast in English and vernacular languages, VOA has the unique ability to deliver news and information about the election, the democratic process and the people of the United States," he said, adding, "We'll be using every technology possible to reach people with the results of this race."

VOA's English-language radio and TV will air extensive election coverage, culminating in non-stop simulcast programming beginning at 10:00 p.m. EST (0300 UTC) and running until five minutes past the winning candidate's victory speech. Coverage will include the latest election returns, live correspondent reports from the McCain and Obama camps and updates on key Congressional and regional races.

Audiences in Kenya, Vietnam, and Indonesia, Obama's childhood home, have shown a particularly keen interest in the race, prompting special VOA programs. On election night, the Swahili service will co-produce shows with Citizen FM and Radio Free Africa in East Africa; the Vietnamese service will fan out across the United States to interview people in Vietnamese communities; and the Indonesian service will participate in a 90-minute panel discussion on Metro TV.

Highlights of VOA language coverage include:

- African affiliate stations in Rwanda and Burundi will expand programming from VOA's Kinyarwanda and Kirundi services with a live interactive show involving VOA reporters and RPA-FM in Kigali.

- VOA Kurdish will air an extra hour of programming to Iraq, from 0600 to 0700 UTC Wednesday morning (1:00-2:00 a.m. EST).

- VOA Spanish reporters will conduct live interactives with affiliate stations throughout Latin America.

- VOA Creole will have two live, one-hour interactive broadcasts with Haitian analysts and journalists in Washington and Port-au-Prince.

- VOA Persian will produce a live election night special 10:30-11:30 p.m. EST (0330-0430 UTC), including guest commentary and analysis, and reports from each candidate's campaign headquarters.

- VOA Albanian will cap a week of special programming with a 90-minute program on the elections, co-produced with Albania's Top Channel and co-hosted by Top Channel's news director.

- VOA Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian, and Ukrainian services will all provide live reports for affiliate stations.

- VOA Indonesian will deliver more than two dozen reports to seven Indonesian national TV networks throughout November 4, along with the 90-minute panel discussion with Indonesia's all-news station Metro TV.

- VOA's Thai service will report on radio and through Thai TV networks MCOT and True Vision.

- VOA's Urdu service plans election specials with media in Pakistan.

On the web:
- VOA Russian will provide on-camera, hourly updates; blogs from Republican and Democratic headquarters; views and commentaries on how a new president may shape U.S.-Russian relations; and interactive dialogue about the election and process.

- VOA Mandarin will engage audiences through a live web chat with VOA reporters and U.S. experts.

Media interested in observing Voice of America operations, shooting B-roll, and/or conducting interviews should contact VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959. Frequency and satellite broadcast information can be found on

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 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

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