The Voice of America and Express 24/7, a cable news channel in Pakistan, have launched a new joint TV programme called The Platform, which will focus on key issues in the US-Pakistan relationship and the fight against terrorism. The twice-weekly 50-minute programme, 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 US 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 US perspective.”
The inaugural show, which aired on 28 June, explored the more than 60-year history of US-Pakistan relations, and puts today’s alliance in perspective. The 29 June programme examined the issue of US 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.