The United Nations yesterday announced that they have launched a new radio service for the United States market. Why they have decided to try and go after the American radio audience now is an interesting question.
The news service can be found at http://www.un.org/radio/newsusa. According to a press release:
Broadcasters can browse a selection of actualities as well as complete, unedited audio of the day’s meetings, speeches, news conferences and media stakeouts, making it possible for stations to cover the UN as never before… UN Radio News/USA offers broadcasters several short bulletins each day on news and events at the United Nations, as well as longer features on UN issues with an American angle. These segments are designed to fit into local newscasts or to stand alone as international and current affairs programming.
The United Nations has long had a radio service with which radio broadcasters could download free content and use them for their news and current affairs programming. But perhaps this American-focused programming is an attempt of the UN to reach out to the American public, to get them to be more aware of the work of the UN, and bolster overall support for the UN among the citizens of the most powerful nation on earth.
My guess is that they simply got hosts and reporters with American accents to read the same stories they have always done, since the ones with the “funny accents” were offputting to your average American.
Unfortunately, the new programming is only available to broadcasters. The general public can’t download the MP3 files and no podcast is available.
It will be interesting to see how many American radio stations start using the programming.