The Voice of America (VOA) will carry the first presidential candidates’ debate on foreign affairs live from Oxford, Mississippi, this evening providing international audiences with analyses and commentary. VOA is sending a team of journalists to cover the debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.
VOA journalists from English-language programmes as well as those from Hindi, Urdu, Persian and Central African services will be on location at the University of Mississippi, with supplemental coverage at VOA’s Washington, DC headquarters.
In a special programme aimed at Urdu-speaking audiences in Pakistan, VOA and Pakistan TV (PTV) will assemble panelists in Islamabad and Washington to discuss issues raised in the debate about US relations with Pakistan and its neighbours.
“The 2008 presidential election is generating intense interest around the world,” said VOA Director Danforth W Austin. “VOA - reaching about 134 million people in 45 languages - is uniquely poised to explain to its audiences the differences and similarities in the candidates’ foreign policy positions.”
VOA will also cover future debates, including those between McCain and Obama at Belmont University, Nashville, Tenn., on October 7, and at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, on 15 October. It will also cover the debate between the Vice Presidential candidates, Senator Joseph Biden, the Democrat, and Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican, on 2 October at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.
Televised debate coverage will be carried in English on all of VOA’s satellite paths - Intelsat 907, New Skies 806 and 703 (VC 340 only), Asiasat 3, and Eutelsat Hot Bird 3 (VC 340 only). Special coverage in Urdu of the presidential debates, but not the vice presidential debate, will air on New Skies 703 (VC 420), Asiasat 3 (VC 409), and Hot Bird 3 (VC 240).