In the wake of increased violence in Mali, the Voice of America has dedicated a transmitter specifically to address the capital city of Mali, Bamako and the surrounding area in French.
BBG Board member Susan McCue said, “Using every means at our disposal, we will now do more to help safeguard lives in Mali with accurate and up-to-date information about events that affect the people there and in the region.”
The new operation provides for 24/7 coverage. VOA has also added to staff and correspondents to handle the influx of news. In addition, the VOA has instituted a mobile phone news service called Mali1. The mobile system is capable of penetrating areas not covered by the transmitter, such as Islamic extremist-held towns and the countryside.
The BBG is also experimenting with programming in the Songhai language. The language is used in many areas where the extremist are active. An SMS service is in the works.