A new private radio station aimed at indigenous communities in the country’s northeast was officially launched in Ratanakkiri province’s Banlung City on Sunday after carrying out a series of trial broadcasts last month.
Radio Wild Flower will air daily shows in the ethnic minority Kreung, Tompuon and Jarai languages, plus a selection of programming in English and Laotian, said Klan Khoeung, the station’s chief of administration and accounting.
Mr. Khoeung, a Jarai man from Ratanakkiri province, said the station, which also aims to reach surrounding Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Kompong Cham, Kratie and Mondolkiri provinces, will translate political news and reports on land disputes from the country’s larger media outlets into indigenous languages.
“All of these types of news are really important for indigenous people because they always have land issues and by broadcasting it you make them consider what they can do in these situations,” he said.
Ly Siphanh, the husband of Radio Wild Flower director Soun Sorphea, who has also been involved in establishing the new venture, said it was free from any government or political influence.
“The reason we created this radio station is because we saw the potential for the sector’s development in Ratanakkiri province,” Mr. Siphanh said, adding that revenue would be generated through advertising from local businesses.
Mr. Siphanh said the station aims above all to inform youth within indigenous communities.
“The team have all lived here for more than 10 years and we have seen young people from ethnic groups are lacking information and education and we want them to have more knowledge,” he said.