Grassroot radio examples


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Loudspeaker narrowcast

Radio is the preferred medium in regions with low literacy [UNESCO, 2006]. Radio is also generally speaking cheap and uncomplicated to produce. This makes it a perfect tool of empowerment. Nifty individuals all over the world have come up with the simplest way of broadcasting by themselves: the "loudspeaker narrowcast". A loudspeaker narrowcast has two distinct channels:

  • a loudspeaker is placed preferably facing a square or in a large community space. The show is then broadcasted live.
  • Tapes of the live broadcast are recorded and are distributed to other broadcasters.


All that is needed for a loudspeaker narrowcast is a ghetto blaster, with twin tape decks, integrated microphone and receiver, and large loudspeakers, but above all, the equipment should run on batteries.


The gettho blaster depicted above was sold on an online auction site in India for the equivalent of 22,52 Euros.

Sudanese refugee camp

Musa John Atebera now has another job (see link below), but back in 2008 he was a presenter at the radio station of a refugee camp in Kauda (Sudan). This picture presents direct evidence of what it takes to set up a professional radio station with absolutely minimal means. The price tags are based on online auction prices for used equipment.


Musa “Mosquito” Atebera, a reporter at Voice of Community, Kauda, in the studio. Source: | Internews Network (by-nc-sa)

You can listen to Musa John Atebera online here:

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