VOA broadens Afghan access on news portal

VOA broadens Afghan access on news portal

To reach more Afghan citizens, the Voice of America has expanded its newscasts in the Pashto, Dari, Urdu, Uzbek and Farsi languages common in and near Afganistan.

The year-old VOAnews.com international news site, launched in November 2000 to supplement shortwave radio broadcasts, presents streaming audio and video news about the U.S. war on terrorism and subjects such as anthrax. The home page appears in Arabic and Chinese as well as English.

Media director Letitia King said the Special English section has been "terrifically popular" with listeners who learn English by listening to news segments read slowly via Real Networks' Real Audio server. VOA's worldwide audience is about 91 million.

"Design for the Internet is different from design for radio," King said. "There's very little Net access in Afghanistan." VOAnews.com uses distributed caching to make its prgramming available to media globally [GCN, May 29, Page 11].

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