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Popular VOA Radio Program to Afghanistan Gets New Sound

More breaking news, call-in shows, sports, and features

Washington, D.C., October 15, 2010 – Voice of America's popular Ashna Radio hits the airwaves in Afghanistan Monday with a refreshing new sound that will include more news, sports, music, call-in shows and features.

VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch says, "After years of coverage focused mainly on the day-to-day progress of the Afghan war, our listeners want to hear more about life for ordinary people, and to hear what they are saying about issues like health care, education, sports, the economy and entertainment."

Exciting new stories in production look at the shortage of playgrounds for children, a new ski resort in Bamiyan and life in a drug clinic, stories that describe Afghanistan's struggles and the way people are coping after decades of war and strife. An in-depth education series is planned that will look at the challenges and success stories that often go untold. Monday's program will feature an interview with former First Lady Laura Bush.

The new format for Ashna Radio, which is on the air two hours each morning and six hours each night, will also have more live coverage of breaking news and call-in programs. On Friday, satire will be introduced with a segment that will feature a well-known Afghan comedian.

VOA Afghanistan Service Chief Beth Mendelson says, "This is a new chapter for Ashna Radio, which plays an important role in Afghanistan because listeners and viewers place high trust in our broadcasts. Radio is an important vehicle to strengthen the relationship and understanding between the United States and the Afghan people."

Voice of America has a three-decade history in Afghanistan, and Ashna Radio, which broadcasts in both Dari and Pashto, reaches more than 50% of the country’s people. Ashna is heard on 100.5 FM in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, Khost, Gardez and Kunar. They are also broadcast on 1 mediumwave and 3 shortwave. In addition to Afghanistan, Radio Ashna can be heard in Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Visit VOA online at:

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