Washington, D.C., January 9, 2009 – The Voice of America's (VOA) Studio 7 today launched LiveTalk, a 30-minute weekly call-in radio show for Zimbabwe, offering people a forum to discuss the political, economic and social challenges facing the nation.
"With LiveTalk, Zimbabweans have a chance to say what is on their mind and express themselves openly and freely," said Gwen Dillard, director of VOA's Africa Division.
Brenda Moyo and Blessing Zulu, co-hosts, discussed the stalled power-sharing process between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's economic collapse, food shortages, the on-going cholera epidemic and other issues during the inaugural show.
Among the callers were Vijana from South Africa, who said, "People are disappointed with the current leadership, including the regional leadership."
Callers to LiveTalk, which airs Friday at 8:00 p.m. Zimbabwe time, are able to speak English, Shona or Ndebele, the three languages in which Studio 7 broadcasts.
Started in 2003, Studio 7 broadcasts 90 minutes Monday-Thursday, and one hour on Saturday and Sunday, on shortwave, medium-wave and on the Internet at VOANews.com/english/Africa/Zimbabwe/programs.cfm. The program provides news and information about the latest developments in Zimbabwe, including details of the humanitarian crisis under way in the country. The World Food Program, for example, is providing assistance to 4.5 million Zimbabweans.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.