On January 9, 2009, during the height of the conflict, Internews became the first and only international organization to organize the broadcast of vital information on distribution of food and blankets, safe havens, road closures, medical care, and other humanitarian news to the people of Gaza. Put togther very quickly due to the pre-existence of another project in country, and produced by a team of Palestinian journalists, the special broadcasts, which focused on humanitarian information but also the fragile ceasefire and reconstruction period, aired on three independent radio stations in Hebron and one in Gaza. The stations were part of UPNN, a new network of electronic media, radio and TV stations that formed in August 2008 with media partners Internews has been working with since January 2007. Reporters from the member stations in the West Bank and Gaza worked together to create shared programming for radio, TV, and electronic media. Using the radio network of UPNN, the member stations in Hebron were activated to direct humanitarian information to Gaza. The humanitarian broadcasts from the Internews-supported stations were funded in part by a grant for humanitarian media from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and individual donors.
“If we had no radio we would have been in complete darkness about what was going on around us”Listener of the Internes Programs, Gaza
- Reaching affected communities – According to a survey conducted for Internews by Near East Consulting, based on a random sample of 878 Gazans, the three Hebron stations were widely listened to;
- Humanitarian Information – According to the same survey conducted for Internews by Near East Consulting, 92% of respondents found the information they broadcast to be helpful or very helpful;
- Coordination of humanitarian Information – UNRWA, UNICEF and more than 20 agencies working in Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid used and shared information woth the Internes project on a daily basis