Washington, D.C., June 12, 2009 - Iranians, energized by today's competitive presidential contest, are using video, pictures, e-mail and social media to communicate with the Voice of America's (VOA) Persian News Network, which is devoting extensive coverage to the historic election.
"By all indications, this election is different from the previous ones," said Setareh Derakhshesh, anchor of News and Views, PNN's flagship news program. "There are a lot of firsts - the intensity of the campaign, the reliance on technology and the debates among candidates. At PNN, we're providing thorough coverage of what's going on - inside and outside Iran."
On election day, PNN stationed journalists across Iran to provide on-the-spot reports from polling centers where heavy voting is reported in a four-way race led by conservative incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.
PNN is covering expatriate Iranians voting in the United States and abroad, including in Los Angeles, Fairfax, Va., New York, Houston, London, Paris, Rome, Dubai and Kabul. Prior to the election, PNN covered the presidential debates and interviewed representatives from all campaigns.
In a major multimedia effort, PNN solicited phone calls, e-mail, video and photographic reaction from Iranians inside the country by setting up an "Iran Votes" mailbox and creating a site to accommodate video submissions. Comments will be posted during PNN's shows. Call-in shows were devoted to the presidential election.
Facebook also played a role with 4,000 people responding to a special election page created by Hamideh Aramideh, anchor of Today's Woman, a daily talk show with a wide following in Iran.
Besides devoting regular PNN shows to the election, the news network is airing a one-hour special on the election. PNN has the largest combined radio and television audience of all international broadcasters in Iran, with one in four adult Iranians tuning in to a VOA show at least once a week. VOA's PNN broadcasts seven hours of television daily, repeated in a 24-hour format, and five hours of radio. Broadcasts are available on demand on the Internet at www.voapnn.com.
VOA is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government. Broadcasting in 45 languages, VOA produces approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people.
For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.