Ecuador to grant radio frequencies to indigenous nations

by Ingrid Bachmann, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Ecuador's 14 indigenous nationalities will be able to present proposals that will help them get low-frequency radio permits for at least one citizen-based, "community radio" station in each nation, El Telégrafo newspaper reports. Guidelines should be available in two weeks.

The government-published "official" newspaper, El Ciudadano (The Citizen), says the measure is part of the Correa administration's strategy to democratize access to media and to ensure balance in the radio spectrum.

The president of Ecuarunari, the largest indigenous organization in Ecuador's Andes, says he hoped the new radio move does not form part of a political campaign to diffuse everything about the ideology of the ruling party, the AP adds.

According to El Telégrafo, President Rafael Correa has said the Shuar nationality will be licensed to operate one or more radio stations in regions now served only by commercial media. One of those stations could be The Voice of Arutam (La Voz de Arutam), whose license was revoked by the government shortly before Christmas for accusations that it had incited violence in the Amazon region last October. See this story by Gonzalo Solano of the Associated Press.

article originally published at Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

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