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A radio station in South Sudan tries to reach more audience

Monday 30 May 2016, by SIGNIS

Juba, May, 30th, 2016 (BBC). In South Sudan, radio is a crucial medium since illiteracy is high and many areas lack an electricity supply. The problem is that many people living in remote villages are out of range of existing FM and AM broadcasts.

To reach these potential listeners, Eye Radio, based in the capital Juba and can be heard in regional capitals, has just started broadcasting on shortwave. The new service covers "the whole of South Sudan, including remote areas in which communities are not able to access FM radio", says Eye Media head Stephen Omiri.

Shortwave signals are reflected back to earth from the upper atmosphere and are capable of travelling huge distances. Given sufficient power, as well as other considerations, they can reach any point on earth.

Shortwave was a staple of international radio broadcasting for most of the 20th century, but its popularity has tailed off with the advent of satellite and online platforms.

Eye Radio is run in partnership with Internews, an American NGO, and says it aims to provide objective news, as well as music, sport and entertainment. It broadcasts in English, standard Arabic, and local languages Dinka, Nuer, Juba Arabic, Bari, Shilluk, Zande and Moro.

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