Zindagi 360, a fast-paced lifestyle and entertainment show, is attracting big audiences in Pakistan, where TV viewers are seeing a new side to Voice of America programming.
The half-hour show, hosted by Raza Naqvi and Annie Ali Khan, focuses on topics that resonate with young people in Pakistan, including music, life in America, even food. The program airs Friday evenings on Pakistan’s Hum TV, a private cable network.
The show, which went on the air in September, pulled in more than a quarter million viewers per episode in its first weeks, according to data from ratings agency M/s Media Logic.
Zindagi 360 relies on the great chemistry between the hosts, who speak a mixture of English and Urdu as they explore life in the US and talk to both Pakistanis and Americans from around the country.
“This show reaches young people in Pakistan by focusing on things that they are interested in, things that are unique to the United States,” says VOA Director David Ensor. “We are a news organization, but ‘telling America’s story’ is a part of our mandate, and this show not only draws in an audience it builds understanding between the two countries.”
“The pace of the show is faster and the language is more attuned to a youthful audience,” Urdu Service Chief Faiz Rehman says.
One popular aspect of the show, according to Executive Producer Joy Wagner, “is that it’s always taped outside the studio, on the streets, giving the program more life.”
One recent episode took viewers to famous locations in Washington that were used for Hollywood movies like the 2006 film, “Night at the Museum.” Another show focused on a well-known pizzeria in Washington that is owned by a Pakistani-American.
Zindagi 360 is one of four new television programs that were recently added to the VOA Urdu Service lineup, including Sana. A Pakistani, “Access Point” with Ayesha Tanzeem, a web-based interactive talk show, and VOA Urdu “Newsminute.”
For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write firstname.lastname@example.org.