Since 21st October 2020, on 95.3 MHz in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, you can receive Ibiza Global Radio. On the Balearic Islands, the radio station defines itself as “the soundtrack of the island“. This is the second stage of expansion abroad by a Spanish radio: the first was in Italy, where every Sunday (from 10pm to midnight), Radio Studio Più broadcasts on 70 frequencies a programme offering live links from Ibiza’s discos. The choice to expand into the Persian Gulf country is dictated by the international atmosphere of Dubai, a cosmopolitan capital that in 2019 was visited by 19 million tourists. And since the country will host the Universal Exhibition in 2021, the broadcaster’s operators expect to be interested in an avant-garde and pioneering sound like the one offered by the broadcaster.
In Cambodia, about 250,000 children of school age are not educated. While universal access to primary school has increased year on year, the same is not true for ethnic minorities. So, when schools were closed due to the pandemic, the NGO Aide et Action International equipped children with portable battery-operated radios to receive educational courses, and trained them how to use them. And to allow even those who do not have electricity at home to do their homework while following the lessons in the evening, the programmes were also placed in morning time slots. Details in the Globe article.
The world of radio continues to give beautiful and incredible stories, such as the one starring Giancarlo Guardabassi, publisher of Radio Aut Marche. After 43 years of activity, the business goes into crisis. The frequencies are sold and broadcasting ends on 31 December, 2019. But two days later the publisher and presenter turns the transmitter back on and starts again, calling himself a “pirate”.
Article (In Italiano)
Il mondo della radiofonia continua a regalare a storie belle e incredibili, come quella che vede come protagonista Giancarlo Guardabassi, editore di Radio Aut Marche
La nascita delle radio libere italiane è stata un’epopea: dal 1975 si andava letteralmente all’arrembaggio dell’etere. Niente regole su frequenze e potenze, finché nel 90 la legge Mammì mise fine al far west. Nel frattempo i giovani pionieri venivano progressivamente sostituiti da editori o fagocitati dai network, e la concorrenza spietata sui prezzi della pubblicità iniziava a minare le basi di sussistenza. Con gli anni sarebbero subentrate la stanchezza e la crisi.
Tra i pionieri c’era anche un conduttore affermato della Rai, Giancarlo Guardabassi, cantante, autore, che nel 1976 decise di aprire la sua emittente. Aveva appena presentato il Festival di Sanremo ed era al culmine del successo, ma decise di fare la sua radio nelle Marche. Dopo 43 anni sono state vendute le frequenze e successivamente è arrivata la chiusura. Un percorso comune a piccole e grandi emittenti (Radio Aut Marche aveva una copertura regionale). Ma dopo la trasmissione di addio, il 31 dicembre 2019, Giancarlo Guardabassi ha riacceso il trasmettitore: il 2 gennaio 2020, sull’unica frequenza non ceduta, i 100.5 di Francavilla d’Ete, ha ripreso a trasmettere, come lui si definisce, da “pirata” solitario.
Il profilo di Giancarlo Guardabassi pubblicato sul sito della radio. La storia invece si può leggere qui.
After 27 years Radio Liberty returns to speak to Hungarian citizens: on 08th September 2020 it opened an editorial office in Budapest, given the political involution in the country. Premier Viktor Orbán has put more and more stress on democracy and has plunged Hungary into 89th place in the press freedom index produced by Reporters sans Frontières. But things are not simple: the American ambassador (President Donald Trump is in ideological harmony with Orbán) has asked the broadcaster (who declares not to be pressured) to be sympathetic to the Hungarian premier. More info here and here.
For two years an all female broadcaster is shaking the tree in this West African country that – according to a UN report – is one of the fifteen less developed countries in the world. The radio station aims to raise awareness on gender equality, formally granted by the constitution, but very difficult to apply in a Muslim and patriarchal society that still uses genital mutilation on young women. Born in Bafata, thanks to the efforts of Periodistas Solidarios – a NGO from Seville (Spain), it operates with equipment donated by Radio Nacional de España and Canal Sur Radio (Regional government of Andalusia’s official radio station); now the project is supported by UN. It could be a coincidence, but within a year the main broadcaster of the city (RCB, Radio Comunitaria de Bafata, 105.5 MHz) hired three women: previously the transmissions were all hosted by men. Radio broadcasting isn’t easy in Guinea Bissau, not only for social and political reasons: electricity is only supplied for a couple of hours during the night, so it’s necessary relying on photovoltaic panels or generators.
The Indian army has opened a community broadcasting station in Anantnag, capital of the district of the same name in the federal state of Jammu and Kashmir. It operates on 90.8 MHz and is aimed at the population, with the intention of sending peace messages to young people to prevent them from joining Islamic independence groups. The region is at the centre of tensions between India (which controls two thirds of it) and Pakistan, but China also occupies a small portion of the territory. After Radio Raabta a second station will be opened in the Shopian district. More details in the ABP Live article.
In the wake of the racial protests following George Floyd’s death, the iHeartMedia group launched an all-news radio for the black community. BIN, which stands for Black Information Network, offers 24 hours of news seven days a week and according to the promoters is “an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a black voice and perspective”. The publisher has also carried out a study according to which 86% of black listeners believe that this service is necessary and that they will probably use it as an important source of news, while 83% think that it provides information that today cannot be received on the radio or TV. The broadcasts will have no advertising, but will be funded by a group of companies: Bank of America, CVS Health, GEICO, Lowe’s, McDonald’s USA, Sony, 23andMe and Verizon, “who share and support the mission of BIN”. This line-up suggests that the “black” have been identified as potential consumers.