From www.kimandrewelliott.com

Pakistan's news blackout is in the news.

Posted: 07 Nov 2007

"The closure of private TV news channels after the imposition of emergency in the country, viewers have turned towards foreign radio stations which broadcast Urdu news bulletins. Various political leaders told Dawn they were forced to pick radio sets to hear news bulletins on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Voice of America and Voice of Germany." Dawn, 6 November 2007. "A recent Gallup report suggests that today, more than 15 percent of urban Pakistanis now have Internet access. A small percentage compared with some nations, but a good chunk of Pakistan's politically active middle class." Christian Science Monitor, 7 November 2007. "The BBC World Service radio's Urdu section has upped its output from two hours a day to three and a half, its boss Mohammed Hanif told AFP. Their 10-million-strong audience has also seen a 'big surge,' including in Gulf states, where there are many expatriate Pakistani workers. And like satellite dishes, sales of short- and medium-wave radios have reportedly increased in Pakistan, he said, as locals clamour for hard fact instead of rumour. Hanif likened the situation to the days when BBC World Service foreign language stations provided information to the Soviet bloc, although the Internet has become a new source of news since then." AFP, 7 November 2007. "Geo sent an SMS to cellphone users on Sunday telling them to log onto its website (www.geo.tv) to get live transmission. Another channel, ARY One, sent out a similar email (www.arydigital.tv)." AFP, 6 November 2007. "Due to enormously heavy traffic on Geo TV website we are presenting light text-version to provide you the latest news updates in chronological order. The full version of the website will be available to all our visitors very soon." Geo TV website. During normal times, Geo TV is an outlet for reports from VOA Urdu. See previous post about same subject.

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