Radio for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights 
A documentation by Dr Hansjoerg Biener
peace radio site
© PD Dr Hansjoerg Biener
created 0107, updated 0601
Comments and contributions are welcome. Material may be re-printed but a complimentary copy of the publication is expected.

Former Yugoslavia

In the annual worldwide index of press freedom published by Reporters Without Borders in October 2004, Serbia and Montenegro was listed as no. 77 of 167 countries surveyed.
Yugoslavia (Kosovo)

In June 1999, the United Nations asked the Hirondelle Foundation to set up an emergency radio station for Kosovo. So, in July 1999 a production studio was established and broadcasting began on 1 October 1999. The programmes in Albanian, Serb and Turkish were taken care of by a mixed team of about 20 journalists and technicians lead by Therese Obrecht (formerly with Swiss public service broadcaster RSR). The co-operation of journalists of different ethnic origin proved its feasability. With the improving broadcasting infrastructure the original mission of Radio Blue Sky ended, but the Hirondelle Foundation and the sponsoring Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (CHF 2 Mio. for 1 year) wanted to safeguard the achievements and existence of the radio in the hands of local journalists.

On 1 July 2000 Radio Blue Sky became the second network of Kosovo Radio and Television. RTK is the public service broadcaster in Kosovo, supervised by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and managed by the European Broadcasting Union. Although the majority of programmes is in Albanian, there are several hours of Serbian and Turkish on both channels. Radio Kosova broadcasts around the clock on 91.9 FM and medium wave 549 kHz. Blue Sky broadcasts 24 hours a day on a FM network with programmes targeting the young. The programme schedule of Blue Sky includes four major news bulletins in Albanian, two in Serb and one in Turkish, press reviews, a regular programme on reconciliation, entertainment programmes for different age groups. United Nations staff produce a three-minute programme each day in Albanian and Serbian. They provide mainly news related to the United Nations administration of the province, i.e.  institution-building, security, health, civil and voter registration, motor vehicle registration, travel permits, the supply of electricity etc. The programme is also available as internetradio at
RTK  -  Sheshi Nëna Terezë - 38000 Prishtina  - Phone +381 38 518 119  / 518 121

The Administrative Council of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has reason "to fear the worst for the future of public broadcasting" in Kosova, particularly Radio Television Kosova (RTK), according to a 16 May 2003 press release. The EBU played a key role in setting up RTK which, various sources today see as fulfilling "the traditional role of a European-type public service broadcasting organization, to the best of its ability" under present economic circumstances. The EBU has recently signed a cooperation agreement with the RTK. Such positive trends in Kosova public broadcasting, according to the EBU, appear to be "under serious threat, owing to a draft law which, if adopted, would remove [RTK's] economic basis. In addition, the EBU is concerned that a decision seems to have been made to adopt the law "in the shortest possible time," without giving any real chance to organizations such as the Council of Europe or the EBU to express a reasoned opinion on the latest draft.

In September 2001 multi-ethnic Radio K started broadcasting in the Albanian and Serbian languages, addressing community concerns for each group. Additional programmes in Romany and Ashkali were launched on 27 May by Adem Demaci, a well-known advocate for ethnic tolerance, and the new spokesperson of the OSCE mission in Kosovo, Poul Smidt. Visit for related links, documents, news and photos.

Kosova's temporary media commissioner announced on 28 March 2003 that no new broadcast licenses will be issued until a new body, the Independent Media Commission, has been established, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported in a press release. The independent institution of the temporary media commissioner was established on 17 June 2000. It acts as the regulatory agency for broadcast media and is responsible for the implementation of a temporary licensing regime.

RTK - Radio Kosova extends Bosnian Language programme
Starting Monday, April 4th 2005, Radio Kosova, part of the Kosova public broadcaster – RTK, launched an extension of its existing one and a half hour program on Bosnian language. The program, consisting of news, entertainment and music is now broadcast every day starting from 12:00 and lasting till 14:00, dedicated to the considerable Bosnian community throughout Kosova.
An additional journalist of Bosnian ethnicity has been employed to join the existing Bosnian-language radio staff engaged in launching, preparing and editing the two-hour daily program in Bosnian.
The new extended Bosnian-language program is the fourth broadcast language at Radio Kosova and Radio Blue Sky, with three others being Albanian, Serbian and Turkish language programs. As of August 2004, the Blue Sky Serbian-language news edition is also broadcast daily by the Television of Kosova as well.
The extension of the Bosnian-language program at Radio Kosova is in line with RTK public broadcaster’s policy to extend its community languages program in both its TV and Radio broadcasts towards fostering information for various communities in Kosova and building a pluralist, multiethnic and multilanguage society. (RTK Director General Agim Zatriqi 5 April 2005)

Kanal 77 Best Radio of OneWorld Radio SEE Macedonian Network
The OneWorld Radio SEE Network, is a multilingual internet platform for audio exchange in Macedonian, Albanian, South-Slavic, Romani and English languages. The radio network, which currently involves 81 radio stations in the region, operates as a segment of the multilingual OneWorld SEE portal.  In the fifth year of its successful cooperation with the radio stations of the Southeast Europe, OneWorld Radio SEE introduced the annual award for exceptional quality of the reporting and excellence in production of materials indented for exchange, in the fields of human rights and sustainable development.
 The winner of the Award for 2004 is radio Antena M Radio from Podgorica. At the same time, Antena M wins the award for the best station in the Programmes in South-Slavic Groups of Languages category.  The other awards, for best stations producing in Macedonian and Albanian language, went to Kanal 77 Radio from Stip and Radio Tema from Urosevac/Ferizaj, respectively.
 In 2004, through its involvement and activism in the network of radio stations from the SEE, Kanal 77 Radio worked on the increasing of public awareness for the need for protection of human rights, social justice and interethnic dialogue, demonstrating exceptional media professionalism. The Award for the Best Radio Station Producing in Macedonian Language was presented to Goran Gavrilov, General Manager of the station, at the ceremony held on 5 April 2005 in Skopje.
Having in mind that OneWorld Radio SEE is involved in exchange of audio material in four local languages, Albanian, Macedonian, South-Slavic group of languages and Romani, Award will be given to the best station in each of the four editions. The winner of the Annual OWSEE Radio Award for Profession Reporting on Human Rights and Sustainable Development Award will be selected among the four edition winners.
 In cooperation with the most active partner of the Network, the SEE Radio Network (SEERN) from Sarajevo, One World Radio SEE decided that the 2004 Awards should go to Antena M, Radio Tema and Kanal 77 Radio. The main criteria taken into consideration for the awards were that the radio station should be a member of the OWSEE Radio Network and toe have produced at least five posted and exchanged programmes for the network.
At the press conference held on the occasion, the representatives of OneWorld SEE presented the new platform for SEE, the OneWorld SEE Foundation, founded by nine organizations from the Region. The founders will use the platform to identify the future joint projects and possible cooperation.  The OW SEE Foundation was founded by the Citizens Pact for the SEE, the Media Development Centre from Macedonia, the Centre for Development of the Non-Profit Sector from Serbia, the Multimedia Institute MAMA from Croatia, the Centre for Electronic Communications from Albania, Syri and Visionit from Kosovo, MANS from Montenegro, Alter Media Regional Radio Network from B&H and the NGO InfoCentre from Macedonia.
(Elena Simonoska 06 April 2005

Radio Tema receives the 2004 Award for the Best OW SEE Radio in Albanian
Valentina Pellizzer and Predrag Vostinic, Coordinators of OneWorld SEE and OneWorld SEE Radio, presented the Radio TEMA from Ferizaj/Urosevac with the OW Radio SEE 2004 Award for Best Radio Station Producing in Albanian Language.  The OneWorld SEE Radio Awards, established this year, are presented to the best radio stations in the different language editions of the Network, for excellence in reporting on human rights, social justice and sustainable development.
“Radio Tema, with the approach in reporting human rights and social issues it brought in the OneWorld Radio platform, demonstrated full compliance with the goals of OneWorld SEE Radio network, which are the creation of an open society. Therefore, we decided that the 2004 Award should go to Tema Radio”, said Predrag Vostinic, the OW SEE Radio Coordinator.  “Radio Tema has been the most active radio station of the Albanian edition of OneWorld SEE Radio, in terms of production of professional audio reports that cover the fields of human rights, social justice and sustainable development in the region”, he added.
Visar Hoti, the General Manager of Radio Tema, promised that his station will continue and even increase its engagement in the fields of human rights and sustainable development in the future. Hoti emphasized the fact that both the Tema Radio and OW SEE Radio share the same goals and objectives, to promote the creation of open societies in the region.  “The award encourages us to continue with working in the public domain” said Hoti and announced the opening of a television station that will be a part of the Multimedia Centre of Radio Tema, which will also get involved in the efforts started by its Radio counterpart.  “I dedicate this award be dedicated to the dedicated and professional staff of our radio, which have undergone many national and international trainings. At the same time, this Award is an acknowledgement and recognition for the free Albanian journalism”, he ended.
OneWorld Radio Southeast Europe offers the opportunity to exchange audio materials online. This site enables the radio stations and NGOs from the region to exchange programmes they produced on the subjects of human rights, civil society, social justice, democracy and development.
(Luan Ibraj  07 April 2005

OSCE Kosovo mission supports minority language radio news programmes
One 1 June, four radio stations in the Mitrovice/Mitrovica region started to produce and broadcast daily news programmes in the Roma, Bosnian and Turkish languages, with financial support from the Kosovo Mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The radio stations are Radio Ylberi - 94.9 MHz (Mitrovice/Mitrovica), Radio Mir- 92.9 MHz (Leposavic/Leposaviq), Radio Kosovska Mitrovica - 103.3 MHz (Zvecan/Zvecan), and Radio Vicianum - 105.7 MHz (Vushtrri/Vucitrn).
The daily news programmes are in addition to the news programming currently provided by the stations in either the Serbian or Albanian languages. "The goal of the broadcasters involved in this project is to serve the informational needs of the Roma, Bosniak and Turk communities in the region, while also contributing to inter-ethnic tolerance and co-operation," ," said Alastair Butchart-Livingston, Head of OSCE Mitrovicë/Mitrovice Office.
Radio Kosovska Mitrovica and Radio Mir, which broadcast primarily in Serbian, will air news programmes in the Roma language. Radio Vicianum will broadcast news in Turkish while Radio Ylberi will air in Bosnian and Turkish. The news programmes are produced and anchored by journalists from the respective communities, integrated into the news desks of the radio stations. The OSCE Mission in Kosovo supports the concept of multi-ethnic broadcasting and welcomes the willingness of these four radio stations to serve not only the majority communities in their respective municipalities, but the smaller communities as well. (Radio Netherlands Media Network 14 June 2005)

Dr. Hansjörg Biener
c/o  Lehrstuhl Evangelische Religionspädagogik der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg,
Regensburger Str. 160, DE-90478 Nürnberg

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