Perhaps the single most important element to civil society and democracy is a strong independent media. Afghans for Civil Society, with initial support from the Carr Foundation and the Open Society Insitute, created the first independent radio station in Kandahar - Afghan Azada Radio – FM 88.0 - and we are currently in the process of training and planning for expansion to an independent television. With an Afghan staff of journalists from the area and veterans of radio in Kabul and the BBC, the station offers news, public affairs, Afghan history and music and information on education, nutrition, health and drug awareness. The station also sponsors community fairs and events and features advertising to assist in rebuilding local businesses and services.
The station currently broadcasts 5 hours a day and reaches all of Kandahar City and most of the surrounding districts in the 40 kilometers radius. News and programming broadcast from Afghan Azada Radio is done in two local languages, Pashto and Dari.
In its short history Afghan Azada Radio has accomplished remarkable achievements:
- Stands to be the only truly independent radio station in the province of Kandahar
- In the first 8 months of broadcasting, the radio won awards for its programming and creativity.
- Women have joined the all male radio staff and now work in programming and management positions
- First radio station in Southern Afghanistan to air a woman’s voice.
We have also started training for the Television Station.