According to the Freedom of the Press-report by Freedom House, Nepal scores low in the field of independent and unbiased news. A score of 54 on a scale of 115 clearly asks for improvement. Nepal's shortcomings concerning press freedom are often criticized. And freedom of speech is generally diminished, which gives cause for concern.
Radio Sagarmatha is the first independent community radio station of South Asia, and plays an important part in the access to reliable information. The radio station was set up in 1996 by our partner CRSC/NEFEJ, and has 2,5 million regular listeners. The radio station tries to draw attention to various social problems in Nepal.
The station does this for example by broadcasting a radio soap. With the radio soap they want to make Nepali aware of the consequences of marrying off their daughters at a very young – often far before their 18th – age.
A festive inauguration
The studio complex of Radio Sagarmatha got struck by the destructive earthquake in Nepal in 2015. With financial support of the Dutch radio station Jouw FM, Radio Sagarmatha could be reconstructed. After twenty years of loyal service, Jouw FM stopped broadcasting on 12 December 2015. Jouw FM decided in cooperation with Free Press Unlimited to spend their remaining budget on the reconstruction of Radio Sagarmatha.
Jouw FM wanted to help the team of Radio Sagarmatha, that shares the passion for radio, find its way. The end of Jouw FM has led to a new start for Radio Sagarmatha. The festive inauguration of the station, that coincided with her 20th anniversary, took place on 22 May 2016.
Access to reliable information is of great importance for the inhabitants of Nepal. Everyone should be able to know and judge his or her situation. Thanks to Jouw FM the independent community radio station Sagarmatha can keep contributing to this for many years to come.