Representatives of Radio ARA met with Prime Minister and Minister of Communications and Media Xavier Bettel on Wednesday, 19th May to sign an agreement for financial support that covers the next four years.
With this support the government reiterated its support for Radio ARA’s mission as a community broadcasting service in a democracy and the importance that the Government attaches to the existence of a varied, pluralistic and independent media landscape.
Radio ARA obtains stable funding for the years 2021-2025 that will allow it to develop the missions defined by the Convention.
The mission of the station is defined as:
The broadcast of programming that reflects the country’s social, cultural and artistic news.
Creating shows to include and reflect the diverse audience possible with regard to age group, cultural, social and linguistic diversity. Continued contribution to intercultural dialogue; the continued work of Graffiti asbl in establishing media literacy activities; encouraging the voluntary participation of citizens; and respect for ethical journalistic practices according to the standards established by the Press Council code of ethics.
Xavier Bettel congratulated Radio ARA for the efforts made that have allowed Radio to establish itself as a central citizen platform representing various interests and social groups, addressing the general public while including communities little served by other media. He noted the role played by Radio during the COVID-19 pandemic by broadcasting multilingual, internationally recognized information programs confirming Radio as a key player in an environment guaranteeing the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information.
Lisa McLean spokesperson for Radio ARA comments:
We are pleased to have signed an agreement with the government. We didn’t receive the amount we had asked for, but in the current climate that is also understandable. The financial aid we receive will make a huge difference to stabilising our current financial situation. And some of the money will go immediately to solving technical problems that we have been experiencing, and getting permanent technical support.
Saying Thank You
One thing that has overwhelmed us over the past year, is the outpouring of support we have received for different people in Luxembourg and beyond. In fact, much of the support online has come from other journalists here and abroad, many of whom started their career at Radio ARA, I guess the ARA community atmosphere, has created lasting ties, that we hadn’t really appreciated, until now. So, we are hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us; our listeners, our financial and political supporters, our volunteers, the different communities that are involved at the radio, Oeuvre and obviously the staff here, who have done everything possible to raise awareness and push for this support.
Sam Steen’s Breakfast Show is a staple for many in the international community as they start their day, but more than that Radio ARA adds to the diversity of Luxembourg’s media landscape, and with such a diverse population, this is extremely important. It is great to have recognition of this. The community shows that volunteers create make a difference to many people living here.
This would perhaps be a good opportunity to reiterate that our doors are always open to people who would like to get involved in creating shows. Either music shows, as heard in the evenings or weekends, youth shows in the afternoon, or community shows. We’re here to stay, so it is a great time to get involved.