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An Open Letter to Ethiopian Listeners on World Press Freedom Day

from the Director of Voice of America

The Voice of America is deeply concerned about the actions taken in late February to jam the shortwave broadcasts of VOA news in Afaan Oromoo, Amharic, and Tigrigna and to block access to VOA web sites in these languages. We have stated publicly that we are opposed to all efforts to interfere with the free flow of news and information.

While we hope to work with the Ethiopian Government to resolve the issues behind the jamming, our broadcasters in Washington and in Ethiopia continue to work diligently to bring you balanced reports, timely news, and major events in Amharic, Afaan Oromoo, and Tigrigna. And, we will bring you full coverage of Ethiopia’s national elections.

We are addressing our audience in new ways that did not exist when we began our shortwave radio broadcasts to Ethiopia 29 years ago. We have begun sending e-mails to thousands of people who have written to us in recent months, inviting them to subscribe to our electronic newsletter. Ask someone you know who has access to our web site to enter your e-mail to receive news about Ethiopia Monday through Friday.

You can also now hear our daily radio programs on your TV set. I invite you to tune in to our new and very clear audio transmissions at VOA 24 on Arabsat in Ethiopia during our regular shortwave broadcast hours in all three languages. We have added a morning radio program show in Amharic at 6 a.m. and we have increased the number of shortwave frequencies on which you can receive our morning show. The evening shows are Afaan Oromoo at 8:30 p.m., Amharic at 9 p.m., and Tigrigna at 10 p.m.

Write to us at or make a collect call to 202 205 4447. When you hear our VOA musical greeting, press 13 for Afaan Oromoo, 14 for Amharic, or 15 for Tigrigna.

The Voice of America values its audience in Ethiopia. On behalf of our Horn of Africa reporters in the region and all of our writers, editors and technicians in Washington, D.C., I assure you we will do all we can to bring you news you can trust, news you have relied on for almost 30 years.


Danforth W. Austin
Director, Voice of America