Internews in 2006, launched its community radio project in southern Sudan. Internews took media, in local languages, to ‘information dark communities’ in remote locations for the first time. Located in some of the most challenging regions in southern Sudan, the establishment and maintenance of these stations represented a significant logistical achievement. As there were few, if any, radio stations in the south, in order to provide access to information, stations had to be built, legalized and staffed. This project increased awareness of and access to information about the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and implementation of the protocols in the Three Areas. Internews radio stations were also to provide accurate information about a range of issues including education, health, culture, women’s issues and agriculture. They were tasked with providing an open forum for debate and dialogue on a number of issues, including tribal conflict and tolerance. This project was funded by USAID and Mercy Corps.
“The Internews Sudan project is a profound example of the potential of community media; by reflecting the values and aspirations of a specific community, it gives ‘voice to rural people, minorities, women, the marginalized, and the poor and thus potentially represents a democratizing force.”Excerpt from “Light in the Darkness” Final Report
- Across all five sites, 84% of people identify their local Internews community radio station as their most popular and trusted source of information, well ahead of BBC (46%), Miraya FM (39.7%), SRS (36.6%) and Radio Omdurman (28.3%)
- 92.4% of all people surveyed agree that radio has increased their understanding of political processes (CPA, Referendum)
- 88.2% of people (who use radio as an information source) believe people in their community are more respectful of each other as a result of information heard on the radio
- More than 70% of listeners of Internews’ community radio stations across the five sites acknowledge radio provides reliable, credible information and equal access aimed at all communities within their broadcast range.
- This research found that Internews’ radio stations which broadcast into areas with high concentrations of returnees were cited as providing important information not only for the returnees but also for the host communities, despite their very different information needs.
- The radio Stations build in this project are still on air as of today and have been supported from the year 2012 to 2018 by the Internews iStream Project (LINK).