Washington, D.C., June 15, 2009 - Iranians today flooded the Voice of America (VOA) with videos, pictures, e-mails and calls from inside Iran as the popular U.S. broadcaster's Persian News Network (PNN) launched a morning show to cover the country's tumultuous post-election events.
"We're leading all the Persian News Network (PNN) shows with news from Iran, giving our viewers the latest information and interacting with our audience inside the country," said Alex Belida, acting director of PNN, whose original satellite-television broadcasts reach almost 30% of Iranian adults every week.
PNN's new breakfast show aired for two hours today, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tehran time, and will continue as an hour-long special for the foreseeable future, examining events in Iran in the aftermath of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declared victory. Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi have protested the election results. In advance of the election, VOA created new TV satellite paths to circumvent jamming by the Iranian government.
Besides news videos, PNN has received and aired home-made videos and pictures delivered to a YouSendIt address. The videos provide on-the-spot accounts of events inside Iran, including protests which have turned violent in some cases.
PNN's viewers have emailed comments that are posted on PNN blogs, Facebook, a dedicated YouTube channel and other social media sites. Callers have phoned in to various PNN shows.
PNN journalists have fanned out to cover expatriate communities in the United States, Dubai and Malaysia, and interviewed constitutional experts about the election and its aftermath.
In addition to the new morning show, 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.VOANews.com/Persian.
Currently, one in four adults in Iran watches or listens to PNN broadcasts at least weekly. Research indicates 96 percent of Iranians daily watch TV, which is the preferred medium for getting news and information.
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 138 million people.
For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.