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Radio station for ethnic minorities to be launched in Lao PDR

Lao National Radio (LNR) – with the support of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) – is launching a new local community radio station in the Xiengkho district of the country next year.

“IPDC has been supporting the development of community media for decades and is particularly sensitive to projects aiming at strengthening ethnic minority languages”, says Rosa Gonzalez, UNESCO Advisor for Communication and Information in the UNESCO Bangkok Office.

Xiengkho, one of the 47 poorest districts of Laos, has been chosen as the site for this project due to the low number of local radio services.

A radio station will be built and equipped with the help of LNR staff and selected trainees with a particular focus on women. The radio station will primarily provide community-based radio programmes including ethnic language windows in Lao, Hmong and Khmu.

In line with the project, two mentors will train local radio trainees from the community on technical operation and maintenance of radio equipment, radio programme production techniques and journalism. The trainees will also conduct target audience research among the villagers of Xiengkho in order to identify their information needs. The results will be used to produce target based radio programmes.