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2015-01_dc

20 D+C Vol.42.2015:1 national news from the state broadcaster Patria Nueva. However, most of the localities concerned did not have any media outlet earlier. Many villages are several hours away from the next sizeable town. Roads are poor and, in many places, unpaved. Ac- cordingly, the government sponsored radio stations are the first information-providers the villagers have ever known. One thing that community radio stations and the new indigenous village stations have in common is that very few people working for them have a back- ground in journalism or communications. Many of the established stations are family businesses. Chil- dren watch adults at work and later take over them- selves. The biggest obstacle to achieving professional journalistic standards is lack of money. Rosa Jalja has always financed her stations herself – with small ad- vertising revenues from the village painter, with as- sistance from non-governmental organisations and literacy campaigns or by organising markets and fes- tivals. “No one gets rich in this business,” she says. Freddy Calle is still working on the financial plans for his radio station. He already runs a small company that offers internet streaming and con- tent-management systems for other broadcasters. But he still wants to look around for new and alter- native sources of finance. “We need money to pro- duce good radio programmes. We will only be able to compete with the commercial broadcasters if our programmes are better than theirs.” Freddy Calle’s station will focus on the issues faced by the people who move to Cochabamba. Ac- cording to the latest census, more than 60 % of the city’s population were born elsewhere. The vast ma- jority come from the surrounding rural areas, hoping for a better life in the city. “Our job is to give those people a voice,” says Calle. Better qualified For centuries, Bolivia’s indigenous peoples were oppressed; now they take an active role in the development of the state. Furthermore, now they have a voice in the media. The centre of radio production CEPRA trains members of the indig- enous population in journalism skills. During the eight years of Evo Morales’ government, Bolivia has undergone many structural changes. That is true of the media too. The right to informa- tion and communication has been made part of the national constitution. In 2011, a new telecom- munication law was passed. It distributes radio frequencies evenly between public, private and community radios. By 2017, only a third of all radio stations should be commercially oriented. Another third will be public and state broad- Juan Ordoñez Caetano is journalist and trainer at CEPRA, the Centro de Producción Radiofónica, in Cochabamba: [email protected] Mysorekar Citizen journalist of the Aymara people.

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