uruguay: real world radio voices concerns of thousands
It was established in September 2003, during the World Trade Organization’s Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, to support the social movements, networks and organizations resisting liberalization. Ever since, the radio has covered key events dealing with social and environmental issues, has opened up a space for the voices and testimonies of those worst affected by liberalization and privatization policies and mega infrastructure projects, and has reported on the impacts of the neoliberal agenda in different parts of the world.
Real World Radio produces a daily news report, which is syndicated to community radio stations around the world. The report is offered in a variety of formats, both audio and written, and CDs are distributed weekly to radio stations in regions without good internet access. Friends of the Earth Uruguay / REDES has also given assistance to countries where internet connectivity is a problem and has worked to reach a wider audience. A newsletter with the most relevant news stories and features on specific themes is distributed to a list of subscribers - mostly organizations - and to several electronic lists.
The different categories it covers have been organized to foster and facilitate interaction with FoEI programs. New sections have also been created, such as the one for Peoples Affected by Climate Change.
During 2008, Real World Radio covered events including the Forum of the Peoples Affected by Climate Change in Guatemala; the Conference of Parties to the Biodiversity Convention in Bonn, Germany; the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal against TNCs held during the Peoples’ Summit in Lima, Peru; and the Americas Social Forum in Guatemala. It has also followed the free trade agenda, and more specifically the Global Europe Strategy and the negotiation of Association or Partnership Agreements led by the European Union.
In 2008, a new program was introduced. ‘Thousand Voices’ is a lively one-hour program, which is broadcast from Montevideo every Friday and then played by different radio stations and networks in the region. Correspondents from other countries, as well as activists and leaders from social movements, all contribute to the program.
lessons learnedThousand Voices has been a great success. It was quickly taken up by community radio stations and radio networks, proving that the culture of listening to radio programs is still alive and strong, and is an excellent way of communicating with local communities.
FoE Uruguay is currently working with FoE groups from Africa to develop the service in French. They aim to expand the number of languages offered and to reach Asian community radio stations too. In the near future, they hope to produce video as well as audio programs and interviews.
with thanks to our funders: the isvara foundation and the dutch ministry of foreign affairs (dgis)