February 13th is World Radio Day!

February 04, 2019

Radio is still one of the most accessible mediums of communication for Indigenous Peoples


Many people might think that small community-based radio stations are outdated, but for Indigenous Peoples all over the world, radio is still the most effective means of communication in terms of accessibility, reach, and cost. In cases where levels of literacy are low, and internet connectivity is non-existent, and even in places with no electricity, radio remains the platform of choice.

World Radio Day

The inhabitants of Platfontein have a history of being militarized by the Portuguese army during the Angolan War of Independence. After the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola assumed power in 1975, many of the !Xun and Khwe joined the South African defence force. In 1998, the Truth and Reconcilation Commission heard about the brutal treatment and forced conscription of !Xun and Khwe people who formed part of a battalion. In 1999, former South African president, Nelson Mandela, handed a the title deed to Platfontein to the former residents of Southern Angola, and North Eastern Namibia. The !Xun and Khwe people operate a radio station which is an essential source of information. X-K FM 107.9 went on air for the first time in August 2002. In this program, we speak to X-K FM program manager, Milton Edburg, who speaks about the radio station that broadcasts in Indigenous languages.

Radio is still the voice of the voiceless

Indigenous Rights Radio Producer Dev Kumar Sunuwar from Nepal interviews Suman Basnet from the World Association of Community Media Broadcasters. Basnet is the Regional Coordinator of AMARC-Asia Pacific. In this program, we hear about the history of community radio and how people, who were once voiceless, can now speak and be heard. From its roots in Bolivia, spreading across continents, we find out just how necessary and  important radio is.

Back Pack Radio for Emergencies 

Recognizing community radio's role of keeping grassroots communities informed, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), proclaimed February 13th as World Radio Day. There is no doubt that radio is a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium suited not only to reach illiterate, remote communities and vulnerable groups, but also has a stronger and more specific role especially for delivering emergency and disaster relief communication. In this radio program, Cultural Survival covers the Japanese tool for emergency radio broadcasting, a prototype 'Back Pack' radio system. This low cost radio system costs less than 500 US dollars. It may not be the best tool for regular broadcasting, but it certainly does the job during emergency situations. 

Indigenous Rights Radio News Bulletin

A short update on current events from around the world on the topic of Indigenous rights.