Bangladesh, a country where a large part of the more than 160 million inhabitants have trouble reading and writing. A country where the state media focuses mainly on the capital city of Dhaka. And a country where the small local radio stations are the only ones that do manage to reach all far-off corners of the country. Thanks to these radio stations, isolated farming communities have access to relevant and reliable information and are represented in the national media as well.

Together with local partners, Free Press Unlimited sets up local radio stations at various locations in Bangladesh and educates the editors on radio management, fund raising and producing radio programmes. Together, the radio stations can ensure the national coverage that other media do not manage to achieve. The typhoon in 2013 emphasised once again the incredible importance of reaching everybody in the country. At times like those, the radio stations take on the emergency alarm role and warn people to leave before being surprised by floods. 

Apart from that, radio stations are often the only source of education in the poor rural areas. Since the radio stations started, children have been listening to radio in groups and take English lessons that way. Girls join in as well, which is not self-evident in a country where negative discrimination of women and children is considered very normal. While they work, farmers also listen to agricultural consultants who talk about agricultural techniques on the radio. 

Bangladesh

Apart from listening, the people of Bangladesh can participate as well. By calling in or texting, they let the stations know what is important to them. Through the local radio stations, the poor farming community of Bangladesh gets a common voice in the national media. A voice so loud that it reaches the offices in the capital.