the role and function of the radion in indigenous (local) societies

Radio is one of the most accessible platforms for the indigenous (local) peoples, and in many countries this has resulted in an active community movement. Small, community-based radio stations may look like an old communication style, but for many indigenous people, radio is a low-cost, ideal tool for protecting their own culture, land, natural resources and rights. Even in very poor communities that do not even have electricity, many people can earn money from a small battery-powered radio. The high level of literacy in many indigenous communities prevents people from accessing information from sources of oppression. And in many remote regions, indigenous people, especially the elderly, can speak only one language, which means reaching the majority of the important messages published in other languages ​​in the mainstream media.

At the first anniversary of World Radio Day in 2017, James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, stressed the importance of community radio for the Indigenous Peoples: radio is a fundamental tool for indigenous peoples to pursue their tongues. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own language and to have access to all other non-indigenous media. Without discrimination, States should take effective measures to ensure that the media reflects their local cultural diversity as appropriate, and encourage the freedom of expression to fully reflect the indigenous cultural diversity of the privately owned media without precautions.


Despite the risk of death for police raids, imprisonment, threats, and even community journalists, community radio stations serve vital work in many parts of the world, distributing information about important programs and educational programs such as emergency disaster relief and voter registration. The power of the radio is reaching even the most rural areas, providing local communities with access to programming in their native language and serving as a voice to support their culture, traditions and belief systems.

* Legal Status of Local Community Radios

The United Nations Standing for Peoples' Affairs Forum, the Mechanism of the Expertise on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and various Conventional Agencies, International Human Rights systems, including Special Procedures, serve in part to provide legal mechanisms. However, many Indigenous peoples in their own countries do not recognize or support Indigenous rights. Indigenous peoples who are culturally, linguistically, and geographically separate from mainstream cultures lack the financial resources and experience to ensure that their best interests are represented.

There are no alternatives to indigenous communities around the world, state and corporate controlled media. It is known that the lack of access to the existing national communications infrastructure, the disregarding national telecommunications legislation and, in some cases, the efforts to create and maintain community-based radio stations are hampered by challenges such as government pressure. As a media voice representing communities develops voice, many indigenous peoples come up against the lack of resources for capacity building and lack of technical knowledge as a platform on the radio. Radio is a reliable and low-cost means of spreading news, information, education and entertainment around the world where media options are limited.

However, some countries still have legislation that does not allow any profit-free radio, including community radio. For example, in Guatemala, only commercial and government stations can buy radio frequencies. Buying a commercial license is done with the highest bidding process. As a result, the vast majority of Guatemala's Indigenous communities can not legally reach radio stations. Instead, many indigenous communities operate illegal radio stations. They borrow unused frequencies, but always under the threat of raids, confiscated by expensive equipment and imprisoned by government officials.

According to most linguistics, half of the world's 6500 languages ​​will rise in the next century. When a language disappeared we lose more than language and vocabulary. Each language represents a unique world view or cosmology. Language is a collection of information accumulated through long-term interactions with cultural values, spiritual practices, natural environments and resources. By losing a language, we will delete the invaluable record of our cultural diversity and local biodiversity from memory.

As the International Year of the Native Languages, the United Nations has drawn attention to the urgent need to protect, promote and revitalize the endangered languages ​​of 2019. The UN continues to emphasize the commitment of Member States to ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples are protected against national and international development policies and programs.

Although there are a few quantitative studies to prove the methodology of the revitalization efforts of the indigenous language radios in stopping the decline of language, the indigenous language radio has abundant evidence of the communities themselves.

To record a language, that language must be transferred to the next generation. The radio raises the prestige of the language and strengthens it to be beneficial. In many indigenous communities around the world, people are already listening to radio every day.

Benefits of Local Radios;

* encourages the use of language and stops further language degradation.

* Raises awareness about language loss and inspires new language learners.

* serves as an alternative media source for publishing in local communities.
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