Radio ARA is the independent, non-commercial radio station of Luxembourg. Active since 1992, Radio ARA is the oldest community radio in the country and has always been identified as an alternative in the Luxembourgish media landscape. Nowadays, more than 170 people with very broad backgrounds, professionals and non-professionals, are committed into radio production with ARA: journalists, volunteers, social workers, artists, educators and students.
The program of radio ARA is as colourful and diverse as the opinions, culture and music of the people living in the Grand Duchy. This is why every program of the radio reflects part of the Luxembourgish society that is not represented in any other media, and has its own special identity.
Many organizations take part in the program, using the radio as the main media to reach out their audiences. ARA has always given a voice to the international community of Luxembourg, with more than 10 languages, a big part of our program is addressed to non-Luxembourgish speaking citizens living in the country. In fact Ara City Radio, active in the ARA network since 2000s, is the main reference point for the English speaking community in the country. A special role is also played by the youth shows of Graffiti – a project made by youngsters for the youngsters, together with media pedagogues.
Radio ARA is referred as free radio or community radio and in its vision, program and structure differ from both public and private radio stations:
Every project of Radio ARA is supported by a diversified source of funding: donations, membership fees, small sponsorships or public subsidies. This system allows Ara to be an independent hub for creativity and a safe space for freedom of speech.
ARA is a citizen’s media, it was founded on the principle of free speech and free participation. Everyone has the possibility to participate to the program of Radio ARA as a volunteer as long as the internal rules are respected: no advertising, no sexual offence, no hate speech, no racism.
Radio ARA plays a key role in media pluralism in Luxembourg. In fact, due to the complex situation in the national media landscape and its personal role, ARA represents a voice for the big heterogeneous group of foreigners living in the country that are not included in the media.
Introducing people to media production is one of the main goal of the Radio. The trainings done with the volunteers, the constant formation offered by Graffiti are only few examples of how we give our ideas a powerful tool to reach out the audience.
ARA is the frequency of all colours. This aspect of multiculturalism is intrinsic into the organisation’s nature and into Luxembourgish society as well. Radio ARA is the radio of the people that are living in Luxembourg and that are an active part of it. The mission of Radio ARA in this sense is to include every small groups of the society that don’t fit any gender, political, ethno-cultural or social categorisation.
Artistic, eclectic or even underground, the logic of ARA is far away from being mainstream. As an alternative media ARA sounds different at every hour, it promotes different stories, different ways of making radio, and different styles of music. ARA sounds a lot like the mix that compose the Luxembourgish society, due to a strong relationship with its territory and with the communities that it represents.