- Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 09:42
Tunis (March 11)- The Amman-based Community Media Network launched Aswatona a program supporting community radio in Arab spring countries. Contracts were signed during on the second day of the AMARC conference on Community Radio and the Arab Spring in Tunisia for the establishment of seven radio stations.
Agreements were reached with Yemen Times, The Tunisian Union of Free Radios, Sawt Al-Manajem Radio in the Tunisian town of Qafsa, Palestine News Network from Bethlehem, Palestine, Shabab Libya Fm and Al Andalus Institute and Horytona Radio in Egypt.
Daoud Kuttab, director general of Community Media Network said that Aswatona is the dream of Arab peoples seeking to have their independent voices heard away from governmental or commercial monopolies. "Our project will sensitive the public to the importance of community radio and will provide a vehicle for local staff and volunteers to experiment with this concept." We will work on creating strong popular support which will encourage the creation of enabling legislative amendments. In addition we will create community radio nucleus stations to broadcast via internet and satellite within the coming months to be followed by FM broadcasting in countries that will allow it."
For his part advocate Mohammad Quteishat the supervisor of the advocacy said that efforts to raise awareness will parallel radio establishment. "We will work with civil society, legislature and freedom of expression activists to create an enabling environment that will support changes in laws to be in tune with international criteria."
Aswatona is a program funded by the Swedish Agency SIDA for three years. In addition to the stations and the advocacy component it will include workshops, an annual conference and the creation of online resources and forums on a website aswatona.org
Community Media Network is a not for profit organization established in 2006 in Jordan. It runs Radio al Balad and AmmanNet website.