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Ways of Communication

Local Radio Stations

“The intellectual, artistic, scientific freedom of opinion and press is guaranteed without censure or authorisation.”
So any citizen has the right to express himself - even favelados. It is a basic right like breathing, thinking, living.

Why are local radio stations so important for favelados?
The reverse of illiteracy, poor access to schooling, and isolation have given audio/visual media a big standing. In Brazil the local value of music (the visual [equivalent?] would be the 'telenovela') is a lot different from that in Europe.
Media are transmitting politics. Media are making politics.

Level of education in Brazil, 2002
Illiterates 25,4 %
5th - 8th grade unfinished 37,5 %
no graduation 22,4 %
Graduation 13 %

Commercial radio stations are reporting world affairs; while local radio stations are responding to local surroundings and are integrating ideas and needs for their neighbours.

„The commercial radio is not debating the water shortage in your street, nor the missing of electricity, nor the situation in your children's school, and nor the abuse of the local authorities. Those broadcasters don't want any collaboration nor any broaching the issue of favela with the habitants.“

matters of local radio stations
internal news 52,6 %
other music than in the comercial ones 23,9 %
artists from the favela 10,9 %
boundless collaboration, no title bearer 10,0 %
other reasons 2,6

During the dictatorship the establishment of clandestine radio stations was forbidden by Decreto 236; in the 1980s the situation was defused.
Transmission licenses were granted from 1998 gradually on (law # 9.612), but the insolence [continues?] with the discrimination between first- and second-class radio stations: the commercial stations and the 'weak' local ones, limited to 25 watts and a range of 1 km.
Any 25-watt radio station has to broadcast on the frequency 87,9 MHz. This causes interferences, which means [the de facto] censorship of second-class information. In the case of interference between a commercial and a 'weak' radio station, the local station has to shut down. It has to switch off! Commercial radio stations receive a licence for 10 years; local stations for just three.
This de facto censorship was announced to bring 'regularity'. Therefore all local radio station - for a start - should close to declare it again officially.

ANATEL closed over 6.400 local radio stations from 1998 until 2002. As recently as 2003, the government of Lula was closing 2.759 broadcasters in Brazil.

The ministry said that it could not handle the multitudinous petitions of the parishes; nearly every favela in Rio de Janeiro has a radio station, some even more than one. The consequence of this thwarting is frustration, discontentment, and revolts.

A catalogue of claims includes:
– a permanent help desk in the ministry for local radio stations; an amendment of law 9.612 including the cancellation of article 6 treating the area limitation without substitution;
– allocation of three frequencies per region reserved for local radio stations;
– amplification from 25 watts to a minimum of 250 watts;
– permission for small shops to advertise on the radio

Several organisations, for example 'VivaRio' and 'Rede Viva Favela,' are asking for multifaceted access possibilities to teach radio-interested folks.
Because one thing is for sure: The favelados are lobbying for their radio; they are fighting for it! They brave losses and backlashes, keep their chins up, grab at any chance for a new beginning for their local radio station.

So        – w h a t    i s     m i s s i n g    h e r e ?
support, appreciation, encouragement;
contact point, schooling, experts;
brief a radio production centre for local radio stations.