Radio station “Khrlo e Romengo” – “Voice of Roma”
The necessity for founding of
bilingual radio station that would broadcast program in Romany and Serbian has
appeared for several times during the past ten years. Initiators of the idea
were Romes, but often members of other nations as well.
During the past three-four years,
there were several activities towards realization of the idea. In that purpose a
non-governmental informative organization ”Rrominterpress” was found in 1995
because one of its planned activities were founding of independent radio station
in Romany. The first practical steps ”Rrominterpress” undertook in 1997 when
a project of such radio station was made and furthered to Media Program of
”Fund for an Open Society” and to ”European Commission” in Belgrade. The
project was positively graded by ”Fund for an Open Society”, but there were
no funds for its realization, above all because of non-adequate political
conditions. Since then, there were a lot of discussions and some agreements were
made during the past couple of months.
Our estimation based on a very
broad analysis of present conditions shows that this is the most convenient
moment for starting such radio station. Above all, the political conditions are
showing that such radio station would be backed up by a lot of government and
non-government organizations. This radio station could and should make a part in
directing the Romany people towards democratic principles and ideas for which
the recently elected authorities are pleading. This is the most important reason
for not putting off the founding of the radio station.
During the past couple of months, problems of Romas slightly changed. The new democratic government in Yugoslavia and Serbia is showing positive intentions in solving these problems, but it is still at a declarative level. Practical changes can be done after forming the Republic Government.
has assuring of the highest country authorities that it will get political
support in solving numerous problems related to informing of Romas, but material
help is not certain at this moment because country does not have financial
possibilities for complete solving of Roma problems.
At this moment, there are
conditions for starting this radio station and it has to be done in the most
recent time. Every putting off of the realization of the Project would be
counterproductive for the Romany people.
At the first time, the broadcast
would cover territory of Belgrade and its surrounding. Marketing strategy will
be developed according to possibilities and needs of Roma population. The
broadcast would last 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week.
News would be broadcasted on every hour. The main news source would be independent agencies Beta and Fonet, our news agency and all other Romany audio and video and printed media as well as our own correspondence network. It could also serve as Romany news agency, which would be formed soon, and which would send news and information about life and problems of Romas in Yugoslavia to all Romany institutions in the world. Our domestic and foreign correspondents would be primarily from Roma population and from existing media.
Communal problems are one of the
most important problems of Romas in Belgrade, because the largest number of them
lives in wild settlements.
According to world standards,
musical program makes about 70% of daily program. Majority of this kind of
program would rely on ethnic Romany music from around the world, but other music
trends would be presented, as well. Special attention would be paid to music for
children and to education of youth in the field.
Language is the base of education. A large number of Romas do not speak their native language, or speak it badly. The station would broadcast the program in Romany and Serbian. The educational program would be realized in cooperation with children’s newspaper “Chavrikano lil” – “Children’s Newspaper” and “Romoloske studije” – “Romology Studies”. Educational program would be produced in different areas, relying on all other institutions that deal with education.
The cultural program would cover
Roma inheritance, history, culture etc. This program would lean on publishing,
video production and magazines. In this program a special place would have
presentation of authentic Romany culture as well as recent Romany cultural
There are similar projects in
almost every country in the region and that is the reason for initiative for
starting an ethnic radio station “Khrlo e Romengo” – “Voice of Roma”.
All those projects in the region are supported by non-governmental organizations
and only a little part by government authorities. Similar situation is in
Yugoslavia. We are expecting only political support from government authorities,
but there are no means for starting of such radio station. The Project will
complete the picture of informative activities of Romas in the region. With
realization of the Project, Yugoslav Romas would be able to include in almost
every informative action in the region.
With founding the local radio
station “Khrlo e Romengo” – “Voice of Roma”, more than 100,000 Romas
who live in Belgrade could hear information in Romany or Serbian language (radio
station would broadcast bilingual). The entire population of about 700,000 Romas
would be covered in period 2001 - 2003.
In the following period it would be worked on improvement of the program and widening of covered territory in Serbia, what would increase number of listeners and have positive influence on quality of the program. We intend to achieve hearing on the entire Serbian territory by 2003 and to be included in the future European network of Romany radio programs that would start soon.
Roma population in Yugoslavia is
about 700,000. According to research, Roma Information and Documentation Center
(RIDC) found that the population is far more interested in electronic media –
radio and television – than in printed media.
The most important effects of
realization of the Project would be:
founded in Belgrade in 1995. It deals with information of Romas and publishing
in the Romany language and about Romas, and this is the only one organization of
this kind in Yugoslavia at this moment. Currently, “Rrominterpress”
publishes the following newspapers and prepares the following programs:
Every media published and
produced by “Rrominterpress” has its editorial office. There are 37
part-time employees in five editorial offices. Majority of employees is women
(25) and minimal level of education is a high school. Every employee is computer
literate and speaks at least one foreign language.
P.O. Box, CH-8031