MALAWI: WRONG PLANNING, AIRWAVES FROZEN

Capital Radio (pictured here is a speaker from the station) was one of the first radio stations to be shut down by the airwaves regulator, after the airwaves were frozen due to planning errors
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Two years ago we spoke (see here) about the frequency allocation plan wanted by the government to free up channels and allow new broadcasters access to the FM band. But once the channeling was done, the wave of protest from the radio stations mounted, struggling with more interference than before. So the regulatory authority (Macra) froze the allocations and is reviewing the authorisations, removing the channels requested but not activated, and checking the payments of the concessions. As Red Tech magazine explains, there is now an attempt to make room by ‘tightening the bolts’: six radio stations in arrears with their license fees (Angaliba FM, Capital Radio, Sapitwa FM, Joy Radio, Ufulu FM, and Galaxy FM) have already been affected, but this could become 23 of the 54 actives in the country. But couldn’t this have been thought of earlier, saving the consultancy costs?

Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini

BURKINA FASO: RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONALE SHUT DOWN

In Burkina Faso, RFI was broadcast on six frequencies: 91.5 (Banfora), 93.0 (Koudougou), 94.0 (Ouagadougou/RTB), 94.3 (Ouahigouya), 94.4 and 99.4 (Bobo-Dioulasso)
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The West African country’s military junta suspended RFI’s broadcasts on December 4, 2022, accusing it of broadcasting a message of intimidation from a terrorist leader and misleading information. The broadcaster rejects the charges, saying the interruption occurred without warning and without implementing the procedures prepared by Burkina Faso’s High Council for Communication. According to RFI, the programs are widely listened to by the population: more than 40 % of citizens tune in at least once a week. RFI was broadcast on FM, free-to-air on several satellites, through about 50 partner radio stations and remains receivable on shortwave.

An uncomfortable voice

In Mali RFI transmitted from the capital Bamako (98.5 MHz), Gao (92.1 ), Kayes (102.2), Mopti (97.7), Ségou (93.6), and Sikasso (95 FM)
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Burkina Faso is the second African country to shut down RFI: in Mali, the international broadcaster had been silenced on March 17, 2022 along with France 24 TV after reports implicating the army in abuses against civilians were published. Radio France Internationale has foreign programs in 19 languages, broadcasts on shortwave, and has 145 FM repeaters in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, as well as Central and South America. These are mainly countries of the former colonial empire, with a predominance on the African continent, which has as many as 108 installations.

Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini

ANGOLA: NATIONAL RADIO TO BE UPGRADED

Founded in 1977, two years after the end of the civil war for independence, Radio Nacional de Angola is based in the capital Luanda
Founded in 1977, two years after the end of the civil war for independence, Radio Nacional de Angola is based in the capital Luanda
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The Angolan government has earmarked USD 40 million to modernize Rádio Nacional de Angola (RNA), which will enable it to complete its coverage of the territory (currently 52.77%) to 95%. The announcement was made by Pedro Afonso Cabral, chairman of the public broadcaster’s board of directors, on the occasion of the station’s 45th anniversary, celebrated on October 5, 2022. The station, said Cabral in an interview with the Jornal de Angola, spends 98% of its state funding on staff salaries (1795 people) and has not received investment support for eight years. The broadcaster operates national radio stations (Canal A, Ngola Yetu, Rádio Cinco, and Rádio Cultura, three regional, 18 provincial, and seven municipal. It has 29 production centers and 80 repeaters throughout the country.

SOMALIA: SIXTH COMMUNITY RADIO CREATED BY THE UNITED NATIONS

With UN support, Dhusamareb launches first-ever community radio station
UNSOS provided antennas, transmitters, a current generator, and audio equipment for the studio
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Established on 14 July 2022, Radio Daar Dheer is the first community radio station in Dhusamareb created by the UNSOS (United Nations Support Office) in Somalia, which provided the technical support and equipment. Operating for six hours a day on 87.7 MHz, the station has ten staff members, seven of them journalists, including two female reporters. It is the sixth station established as part of the UN mission’s efforts to consolidate peace and strengthen the Somali state. The other five are Radio Beer Lula in Beletweyne (88.8 MHz, established on December 10, 2018), Radio Waamo in Kismayo (December 15, 2018), Radio Arlaadi in Baidoa (November 15, 2018), Radio Isnay in Jowhar (87.7 MHz, on May 15, 2020) and Radio Sanguuni in Dhobley (87.7 MHz). In the country, characterized by oral culture and a high illiteracy rate, radio is the most reliable and accessible means of communication for the majority of the population, and radio consumption is very high.

NIGERIA: STOP THE CLOSURE OF 53 RADIO AND TV CHANNELS

Nigeria suspends 53 TV and radio channels causing an outcry in the media world
The Nigerian airwaves regulator claimed a total of six million euros from the broadcasters
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Closing inconvenient broadcasters by claiming that their licence has expired is a typical vice of authoritarian regimes. Which, in the most perfidious guises, do not respond to broadcasters or do not issue a receipt even if the publisher delivers the application in person (this happened in Nicaragua to the bishop Rolando José Álvarez, we reported on it here). But in a democratic state, gagging stations is a little more difficult. As the recent case of Nigeria shows: last week, the chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had given 53 radio and television stations 24 hours to pay the fee or else be suspended from broadcasting.

Appeal won

An appeal was immediately lodged against the article in the regulation that NBC wanted to use to revoke the licences (claiming that it is unconstitutional and illegal, as it violates freedom of expression), and also against President Muhammadu Buhari. In defence of the broadcasters, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-governmental organisation that protects economic and social rights in Nigeria, and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) have come to the defence. Justice was swift: on 29 August, Judge Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court in Lagos issued an interim order preventing the revocation of the licences and adjourned the case until 8 September 2022.

BURKINA FASO: A RADIO FOR THE YOUTH OF THE SAHEL

RJS will be broadcast on FM in five countries in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad) and online (internet, app).  It will offer programs in French and in the main languages of the region (Mooré, Bamanakan, Hausa, Arabic and Peul)
RJS will be broadcast on FM in five countries in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad) and online (internet, app).  It will offer programs in French and in the main languages of the region (Mooré, Bamanakan, Hausa, Arabic and Peul)
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In sub-Saharan Africa, the focus is on radio to educate young people about active citizenship and how to deal with the challenges they face, such as idleness and unemployment. Choosing the airwaves to dialogue with young people are the heads of state of the G5 Sahel, an organization that since 2014 has brought together Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad to unite efforts in the fight against terrorism. The initiative was also created with support from the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) and the European Union. Radio Jeunesse Sahel will begin FM operations on October 1 from Ouagadougou, where the last staff training courses are being held: 26 media professionals deployed between headquarters and national branches. The editorial and administrative directors are both from Niger. Aimed at the audience between the ages of 15 and 35, it will have six hours of programming in French and the main languages of the region, with repeaters in each country.

EGYPT: ANCHORWOMAN DEMANDS BACK PAY AND IS BEATEN UP

On the website of Middle East Eye, an independent organisation with news from the Middle East and North Africa, there is footage of Amani al-Sabah being assaulted by Hani Amasha, the broadcaster’s managing director
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It sounds incredible, as the world of radio is full of anecdotes. However, this is a true fact, which happened in June 2022. An anchorwoman of the Egyptian state radio station Wast al-Delta (Mid-Delta Radio) in Tanta, which broadcasts on 1161 kHz medium wave, was abused by her boss, who also raised his hands on her. She demanded payment of a monthly salary. Fearing a violent reaction, the presenter filmed the scene, and in the video (which can be seen on the Middle East Eye website) one can distinctly hear the heated tones of the argument, followed by the woman’s screams of pain when she was hit and injured. Amani al-Sabah filed a complaint against the CEO of the broadcaster. Amani is an uncomfortable character: in 2014, she had expressed views against the government and criticism of the media authority (National Media Committee) and has since had problems with the Egyptian authorities.

NIGERIA: RADIO MARIA EXPANDS IN AFRICA

RADIO MARIA EXPANDS IN AFRICA
The start of the experimental broadcasts was announced on the Radio Maria website on 17 February
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The global Radio Maria network adds a new element in Africa, opening in Nigeria. It is the 27th African country (out of 54 on the continent) where the radio station is present. In Africa, Radio Maria also has another 29 radio stations with programmes in local languages. Fr Patrick Alumuku, director of communications for the archdiocese of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, announced in February 2022 that broadcasting would begin in the city on 91.3 MHz. The inauguration took place on 18 March 2022, while streaming was activated on 4 April 2022. In order to expand its presence in the country (where out of 206 million inhabitants 49.3% are Christian and of these 24.8% are Catholic), an initial group of five frequencies will be switched on in Kaduna, Owerri, Makurdi, Gboko and Ibadan, upon completion of fundraising.

A post published on Radio Maria’s website after the launch of the subscription
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Radio Maria, which finances itself with donations from listeners, periodically launches extraordinary subscriptions to expand into new countries. These are long live broadcasts called “mariatone”: the one for Nigeria was launched on 7th September 2020 by Father Livio Fanzaga, the true “soul” of the radio station, which he has been directing for 35 years.

While in South America it strengthens

The announcement of the new Mexican frequency in Sinaloa was made on 7 April 2022
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The focus on the African continent does not divert attention from other locations: the broadcaster continues to improve even where it is already active. It was only a few days ago that a frequency was activated in Mexico at Guasave Sinaloa on 90.5 MHz. In Argentina (where it has 270 repeaters), the cities of Colonia Caroya (95.3), Jesús María (95.5), Villa de Totoral (96.1), Laborde (97.0) and Monte Maíz (97.0) have been added in the province of Córdoba; in the province of Santa Fe, the cities of Rosario (103.9, flanking 89.1) and María Teresa (94.9). The World Family of Radio Maria takes care of the affiliates: founded in 1988, it is a non-profit association that helps to spread the radio station by taking charge of the organisation and exchange of experiences of all the activities which can promote and develop the project in the world. The World Family of Radio Maria brings together all the national associations which develop a Radio Maria radio station in their own country.

TUNISIA: ZITOUNA INCORPORATED IN THE NATIONAL RADIO STATION

ZITOUNA INCORPORATED IN THE NATIONAL RADIO STATION
The Tunisian radio portal, in addition to streaming, offers a selection of news items from the national and regional radio stations and provides an archive of Tunisian music masterpieces, radio plays and rare recordings
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Religious broadcaster Zitouna FM has joined the group of Tunisian national radio stations. Founded in 2007 by Sakher El Materi, son-in-law of then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, it was confiscated after the revolution of 14 January 2011. Ten years later, the station was officially incorporated into the National Radio Authority. On the Tunisian radio portal, however, it is not yet listed among the stations that can be listened to online, which include Radio Nationale, RTCI (Radio Tunis Chaîne Internationale), Radio Jeunes, Radio Culturelle, Radio Sfax, Radio Monastir, Radio El Kef, Radio Gafsa, Radio Tataouine.

TUNISIA: Copy, cut, transmit – Polish radio jingle pleases abroad

On the Wirtualnemedia website, you can listen to a recording in which the jingles of RM and RMF are compared.
On the Wirtualnemedia website, you can listen to a recording in which the jingles of RM and RMF are compared. Source

The world of radio has accustomed us to the craziest stories. And this one certainly deserves a prominent place. Accomplice technology and probably… a tourist. Wirtualnemedia, a Polish site specializing in media and broadcasting, has discovered that Tunisian broadcaster RM FM had infringed copyright by using jingles from Polish radio station RMF. And in a very detailed report the site interviews an audio producer who explains technically how the infringement took place: the jingles, perfectly identical in melody and singing, are one second shorter, as the final part of the song has been cut to remove the F of RMF, since the Tunisian station is called RM. You can also see that the sound is compressed, a sign that the jingles were recorded from the net or downloaded from YouTube (where they are available) or from the site of the prestigious American production studio that made them.

A few days after the article RM no longer aired jingles

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Wirtualnemedia monitoring the audio streamed by RM, and a few days after the article was published, they discovered that the counterfeit jingles were no longer being aired. So it approached the Polish network to see if it had warned the Tunisian station, but the station would not provide details. RMF is Poland’s largest network, with 30.1% of listeners between March and May 2021, according to the Radio Track survey conducted by research institute Kantar.

Radio M’saken RM FM is a station in eastern Tunisia that broadcasts on 99.8 MHz FM from Zeramdine, a town in the governorate of Monastir
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RMF is based in Krakow and on its website it offers a summer game that has a prize pool of 520,000 zlotys (over 115,000 euros)
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