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VOA and Pakistani Cable News Station Unveil Joint TV Project

Inaugural program airs today

Washington, D.C., June 28, 2010 -The Voice of America and "Express 24/7," a cable news channel in Pakistan, have launched a new joint TV program called The Platform, which will focus on key issues in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and the fight against terrorism. <!-- IMAGE -->

The twice-weekly 50-minute program, co-hosted from Express studios in Islamabad and VOA studios in Washington, is the first English-language TV talk show to be jointly produced by stations in Pakistan and the United States.

In addition to studio guests, the show will feature live reports from the State Department, the Pentagon, the U.S. Congress, the United Nations and VOA's New York, Los Angeles and London bureaus.

VOA Director Danforth W. Austin says, "This groundbreaking live show will provide a unique opportunity for both sides to talk to each other about perceptions or misconceptions."

"The Platform gives newsmakers and analysts in Islamabad the opportunity to present opinions on issues related to the United States and its foreign policy," Austin says, "while guests in Washington will provide the U.S. perspective."

The inaugural show, airing June 28, explores the more than 60-year history of U.S.-Pakistan relations, and puts today's alliance in perspective. The June 29 program will examine the issue of U.S. drone attacks inside Pakistan.

"Express 24/7" is the only 24-hour English language news channel in Pakistan. The Platform will air Monday and Tuesday in Pakistan at 11:05 pm. VOA's Niharika Acharya and Raza Naqvi will host in Washington while Express' Munizae Jahangir and Kamran Shahid will anchor from Islamabad.

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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 125 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.

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