Sunday, August 23, 2009

Radio Sagarmatha: first independent community radio of Asia

Established in 1997, Radio Sagarmatha is the first independent community broadcasting station in South Asia. Broadcasting daily from the center of the Kathmandu Valley on FM 102.4 MHz from 5 am to 11 pm, the station has earned a name as a free, independent and highly credible radio station in keeping with its objectives of producing a cadre of professional journalists, addressing the information needs of audiences, stimulating awareness and participation in public issues, and facilitating democratization and pluralism.

Among the growing number of commercial stations in Kathamandu Valley, Radio Sagarmatha holds a unique position in terms of its programme content. Public affairs journalism and broadcasting are at the heart of Radio Sagarmatha's mission. However given Nepal's rich tradition of folk media and musical heritage, cultural programming is also prominent in the station's daily broadcasts. The station works to present a human package, blending culture with education, entertainment with information, and favors an interactive and participatory approach with a focus on originality and equality.
The primary language of broadcast is Nepali and the music is also Nepali. Radio Sagarmatha utilises the imagination of the listeners. The programme mix we are working with is simple yet embraces issues and subjects that are of interest and concern to listeners. As a result, the station has built up an impressive profile among a broad cross-section of the audience that extends beyond Kathmandu Valley and includes the Valley rim and parts of the neighboring districts - Kavrepalanchowk, Nuwakot, Dhading and Makwanpur. The station has the distinction of being the only public service station to survive the competition, proving to the and the populace that public broadcasting service is feasible and can be done successfully by non-governmental institutions.
Radio Sagarmatha has been constantly expanding its programmes in terms of time and diversity, and because of this expanded role it decided to increase its transmitter's power to 500 watts from the earlier 100 watts.
The station provides programming in various formats - radio magazine, interviews, discussions, interactions, commentary, monologue and music. Radio Sagarmatha starts its daily programming in the morning with a mix of South Asian Classical music and issues related to healthy living, both spiritual and physical. This is followed by the national news, a morning radio talk show and current affairs programmes. The afternoon is mostly given over to entertainment, while the evening programmes include social - oriented programming as well as music. Source: