Over the last few decades, radio has played an important role in the realm of development. It has enabled the distribution of information on new policies, technology, products, and ideas with the potential of stimulating growth and development, largely in rural Africa.
With less than half the world’s population online, radio continues to be world’s most widely accessible source of news and information.
It is Wednesday afternoon in Bangalore, known as India’s tech city for being the hub of information technology companies. In her small four by four-foot studio, Vaishalli Chandra, channel manager of QRadio which is dedicated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, is in conversation with Ankit Bhuptani, a 21-year-old gay youth from Mumbai.
Radio Totopo was founded in February 2006 in the Pescadores neighbourhood, the oldest and poorest part of the city of Juchitán in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. But the authorities closed it down in late March, even though Congress is debating a constitutional reform that would recognise community radio stations.
At the age of 23, Gao travelled to Thailand to escape intense fighting in his native Shan State in the east of Myanmar (Burma) and possible recruitment into the Shah army.
Lesedi Mogoatlhe has dedicated her life to empowering African youth by helping them to find their voices through radio journalism.
The sun is just beginning its descent as a knot of farmers gathers around a small, portable radio in the grounds of the Nachol Pilot High School in Bangladesh’s northwestern Chapainawabganj district, about 300 kilometres from the capital, Dhaka.
In 1983, producers of popular radio, alternative radio and educational radio convened in Montreal to define a new genre of radio: community radio. Those dialogues led to the formation of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).
For the first time in El Salvador, a community radio is broadcasting under its own licence. The struggle continues, however, for legislative change that will give these kinds of broadcasters more airspace.
A community radio station silenced by Haitian authorities is open again thanks to the mobilisation of other stations as well as organisations and associations both inside and outside of Haiti.
Every morning from 6:00 to 8:00 AM, native people in this sprawling working-class suburb of La Paz, Bolivia listen to the programme broadcast by former education minister Donato Ayma in the Aymara language.
"Atispa mana atispa ñawpajman rinanchis tiyan" ("Power without power, we have to keep moving forward”) in the Quechua language, Ruth Rojas told her listeners at the end of a series of radio programmes on political culture, broadcast to indigenous women in Bolivia.
When an Egyptian court fined former president Hosni Mubarak and two aides a total of 90 million dollars for cutting mobile and Internet services during protests that led to his ouster, it indicated the value placed on communication services in this Arab country.
Community Radio (CR) broadcasting in India, long bound by red tape, has received a fillip with the government announcing a hike in advertising tariffs and the auction of licenses.
The advent of mobile phones has given a fillip to CR because even the cheapest handsets come embedded with FM capability. But K.S. Hariskrishnan reports that red tape is still hampering the establishment of new community radio stations.