Reporters Without Borders has provided financial support for many community radio stations under its mandate to assist local media in difficulty.
They include the Chadian radio station FM Liberté, whose transmitter and amplifier stopped working after a short-circuit in February 2009. The equipment was sent to Belgium for repair. Reporters Without Borders contributed to the transport and repair costs, which totalled 1,125,000 CFA francs (1,714 euros). Granted in September 2009, the funding enabled the station to resume operating quickly.
FM Liberté was launched in 2000 by nine human rights groups and the Chad Labour Union (UST) with the aim of providing general news and information with a particular emphasis on human rights and governance. Closed several times by the authorities for “operating illegally” or “deviant behaviour,” it has experienced major problems with equipment and resources.
Those in charge of FM Liberté, which had received no foreign funding since 2003, told us they were extremely grateful for our support.
More recently, Reporters Without Borders provided funding for Faluma Bimetu (in Spanish, Radio Coco Dulce), a radio station that serves the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna community on the Atlantic coast of Honduras.
The target of frequent threats, this community radio was ransacked and torched on 6 January 2010. Reporters Without Borders sent 600 euros on 26 January to help with rebuilding and the purchase of equipment.
The station has been threatened on several occasions because of its criticism of the June 2008 coup d’état. The arson attack may also have been prompted by Garifuna opposition to local real estate projects and the sale of community lands by the municipality of Tela in questionable circumstances.
The people who run this community radio station thanked Reporters Without Borders for its help, which enabled them to resume operating quickly.
Reporters Without Borders has provided a total of 140 funding grants to threatened journalists and news media, including some 10 local media.