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2015-01_dc

18 D+C Vol.42.2015:1 Village voices Rosa Jalja straightens her hat, adjusts her dark, heavy skirt and takes her recording device from her pocket. She’s ready for another interview. The 60-year-old Aymara Bolivian runs two community radio stations in Copacabana, her home town on Lake Titicaca. She sits at the microphone every day. Today, the topic will be violence against women. Radio broadcasting to serve the people has been her job for 44 years. She was 16 when she first spoke on the air. Before long, she had her own programme, teaching the village community her language, Aymara. Her conviction is: “Radio needs to educate!” Radio has a special significance in Bolivia, espe- cially in the remote regions. Even today, the main- stream media in Bolivia are confined to the cities – La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Sucre and Oruro. In small towns and villages, newspapers are not available, and only few people can afford a TV set. Even more, many people still cannot read, especially in rural areas. Radio stations are the voice of the By Linda Vierecke Inexpensive, easy to operate, resilient and in touch with the people – the success of radio is easy to explain in Bolivia. For the country’s large indigenous rural population in particular, radio is the principal, if not only, source of information. The government of President Evo Morales is trying to strengthen rural radio stations – but not necessarily their independence. Vierecke From the people for the people: radio has a special significance in Bolivia.

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