Radio is still the most used source of information. It reaches vulnerable people, like illiterates, disabled persons, women and children, even in remote areas. Radio offers a platform to participate in the public debate and plays a crucial role in conflict areas and disaster relief management. Over 5 billion people worldwide have access to radio.
Radio saves lives during natural disasters
Last summer millions of people were struck by heavy floods in the North of Bangladesh. Thanks to 5 local radio stations that broadcast 23 hours in a row, victims were not deprived of information. The radio's stationed over 40 reporters at local disaster teams and autorities, so they could directly inform their listeners. All 18 local radio stations were trained in effective disaster reporting by our partner BNNRC, shortly before the floods.
Radio reduces child marriages
Our Nepali partner NEFEJ connects more than 100 local radio stations and produces the radio soap Mitini. Thanks to this huge network, the soap reaches 6 million youngsters and 15 million adults – also in the remote rural areas. The soap tries to make people aware of the damaging consequences of child marriages. So millions of young girls get a fair chance for a brighter future.
Joining the public debate through radio
“My mother is illiterate. The radio is her sole source of information.” Reading a newspaper is out of the question for someone like the mother of Jean Ignace Manengou, Director of the Association of Central African Community Radio Stations (ARC). Indeed, independent local radio stations play a crucial role in the public life of Manengou’s home country. A sizeable share of the programmes’ estimated 1 million listeners contribute to the discussions. The radio stations ensure that everyone in the community has access to information and is able to share his or her views.
Radio as a source of hope
Radio Dabanga plays a crucial role in the Darfuris’ efforts to survive. The station tells them where there is fighting going on, and which way they can flee. And for the refugees in the camps outside of Darfur, Dabanga is a source of hope. Radio Dabanga helps break taboos, gives victims a voice and brings the actual facts to light. The radio station also reunites families, after being seperated for years.
Radio for women's rights
In many countries mainly men are active in the media, and women are often depicted as subordinate. Radio empowers women by discussing topics like gender equality.
Radio saves lives
Besides social functions, radio can also save lives. It provides information about where it is safe and where not. Where the rebels are and when it is a good time to flee. Information that is crucial to survive. In the Central African Republic, for example, it is the daily reality.
A selection of our radio projects:
- Radio soap Mitini in Nepal brings up the subject of child marriages for discussion, for all ages.
- Female journalists in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) get equipment and the necessary training to work independently.
- Community radio in Bangladesh educates women to work as journalists.
- The radio station Mama Radio in DRC is known for its programmes that discus female rights and the violation of these rights.
- Radio station Saura Surabaya in Indonesia is a place where local people can always go to.
- Independent radio stations in the Central African Republic give local people access to reliable information.
- Radio Dabanga is the only source of independent information about Darfur and other conflict areas in Sudan.
- The South Sudanese radio series Na'eesh Mabadh brings different groups closer together through folk tales.
Free Press Unlimited believes that everyone is entitled to access to independent information and reliable news. And radio is and remains a powerful source to reach a large part of the population. Regardless of whether they can read, belong to a minority or even worse: live in war. Help us support journalists in almost 40 countries with training, emergency aid and capacity building.