اردو(Urdu) English(English) عربي(Arabic) پښتو(Pashto) سنڌي(Sindhi) বাংলা(Bengali) Türkçe(Turkish) Русский(Russian) हिन्दी(Hindi) 中国人(Chinese) Deutsch(German)
Friday, June 21, 2024 09:10
Question of Palestine Eternal Wisdom: Iqbal Building Futures: Empowering Pakistan's Youth for Tomorrow Tourism: An Essential Element for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Connecting Youth to Global Opportunities Algorithms: The Silent Architects of Warfare Pakistani Youth: The Driving Force for National Progress Investing in Future Generations: Pakistan Army Lost Voices: The Systematic Marginalization of Indian Muslims Parallel Struggles: Examining the Palestinian and Kashmiri Quests for Self-determination Emergence of BJP as a Hindutva Force The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Transforming Pakistan Building Sustainable Cities: Urban Search and Rescue Preparedness Simulation Exercise In the Pursuit of Happiness: Understanding Hedonia, Eudemonia, and Naikan COAS’ U.S. Visit: Strengthening Ties and Fostering Collaboration A Biological Marvel of Human Heart Educational Empowerment: FC Balochistan (North) Initiates Literacy Program for Soldiers Digital Pakistan Journey: Pioneering Towards a Connected Future Driving Digital Transformation: Pakistan CJCSC Calls on His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussain During His Visit to Jordan COAS' Peshawar Visit Highlights Security, Socioeconomic Development and National Unity Unity in Diversity: COAS Joins Christmas Celebrations with Christian Community in Rawalpindi Chief of the Naval Staff Attends Indian Ocean Naval Symposium in Bangkok Strengthening Bonds and Elevating Collaboration: Combat Commander Turkish Air Force Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Closing Ceremony of Multinational Special Forces Exercise Fajar Al Sharq-V Strengthens Counterterrorism Collaboration Off the Beaten Track: Exploring Jiwani's Coastal Marvels and Heritage Special Investment Facilitation Council: A Game Changer for the Economy of Pakistan Rising Stars: Pakistan’s Youth Shines Bright in 2023 Indian Supreme Court’s Decision and the International Law Challenges to Justice: The Indian Supreme Court’s Fallacy in IIOJK Belt and Road Initiative: Strengthening Global Ties with Unhindered Trade and Connectivity The Media Matrix: Unraveling How Technology Shapes Our Perception Decoding Human Interaction: The Comprehensive Guide to Reading Body Language The Magic of Moscow On the Same Wavelength: Suno FM's Impact on Community Empowerment, Diversity, and Social Progress in Pakistan The Journey of SAIL: A Beacon of Hope for Autism in Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan National Youth Convention 2024: COAS Stresses Youth's Vital Role, Urges Unity, and National Strength Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Calls on COAS COAS Attends Inauguration Ceremony of the Second Chapter of NASTP Silicon PAF's Induction and Operationalization Ceremony Showcases Technological Advancements and Operational Excellence COAS Witnesses Firing of Different Air Defense Weapon Systems During Exercise Al-Bayza-III, 2024 COAS Visits POF Wah, Highlights Importance of Indigenous Defense Industry Exercise Sea Guard-24: Strengthening Maritime Security Al-Noor Special Children School and College Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023 in Multan Garrison Exercise BARRACUDA-XII: Strengthening Global Cooperation for Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection Pakistan-Qatar Joint Aerial Exercise "Zilzal-II" Held in Qatar March 23, 1940: Charting the Course for Pakistan's Future Peshawar’s Namak Mandi: A Gemstone Heaven Genocide in Palestine Rising Cities, Shrinking Spaces: Tackling Overpopulation and Urbanization in Pakistan Impact of Pakistan Resolution Day on National Identity Building Leaders: Jinnah and Iqbal's Timeless Wisdom for Today's Youth National Parks–Natural Assets India's New Playbook for Extraterritorial Assassination of Opponents The Legacy of Khan Brothers in Pakistan Armed Forces (Part II) Beyond the Battlefield: AIMH’s Quest for Military History Preservation The Siege of 634 A.D. (Part II) SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part II) A New Dawn in Pakistan's Agriculture The Crowdsourcing Practices The Last Post: Eulogy of a Hero Securing Tomorrow’s Food: Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaculture in Pakistan The Saindak Copper-Gold Project: A Beacon of Pak-China Friendship and Prosperity Prime Minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and COAS Visit Muzaffarabad CJCSC Calls on Minister of Defense, KSA 7th International PATS Exercise-2024 Held at NCTC, Pabbi CNS Visits Coastal Belt of Sindh and Coastal Areas of Balochistan to Oversee the Conduct of Exercise Seaspark-2024 Keel Laying Ceremony of the Second HANGOR Class Submarine Held at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Chinese Ambassador Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Navy Demonstrates Combat Readiness with Live Missile Firing Exercise in the North Arabian Sea PAF's Jf-17 Thunder Block-III Fighter Jet Participates in World Defense Air Show-2024 A Day of Celebration and Global Solidarity: Pakistan Day Parade 2024 Gaza: A Tragedy Beyond Words Better Late than Never... Escalating Tensions: India's Violations of the Indus Waters Treaty Preserving Pakistan Pakistan Day Parade-2024: A Celebration of National Unity and Strength Demolition of Muslim Properties in India: A Weapon of Choice and State Policy Sustainable Energy Transition: Strategies for Pakistan’s Shift towards Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency The Impact of Climate Change on Global Health: Building Resilient Health Systems SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part III) Emerging from the Depths: The Pakistan Army Dedicated to Promoting Tolerance and Diversity: Pakistan Army, in Collaboration with the University of Peshawar, Hosts a Successful Grand Peace Fair Pak-Saudi On Job Training 2024 CJCSC Addresses SCO Military Medical Seminar 2024 on Challenges in Military Medicines Loyalty, Honor, Duty: The Pivotal Role of Pakistan Armed Forces in Upholding Peace and Security From Darkness to Light–One Year On: Contemplating May 9, 2023 to May 9, 2024 Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors Global Perspectives on Content Regulation: Examining Network Enforcement Act and Disinformation Laws The Issue of Palestine: A Historical, Religious, and Humanitarian Perspective Modi’s Guarantee and Hindutva Incorporated Divide and Conquer: The Dangerous Surge of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in Indian Politics India's Hybrid Warfare in Kashmir India: Where the Price of Protest is Death! Pakistani Peacekeepers and the International Peacekeeping Day Empowering Pakistan: Navigating the Path to Sustainable Energy Autarky Overpopulation: Navigating Challenges and Charting Solutions for Pakistan Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Friendship: Dawn of a New Era SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part IV) A Tale of Two Sultans: Brigadier Sultan Ahmed, SJ & Bar (Part II) In the Footsteps of Valor: A Journey through Peshawar Garrison Pakistan Military Academy Passing Out Parade-2024 CGS Turkish Armed Forces Calls on COAS Green Pakistan Initiative Conference Highlights National Commitment to Agricultural Innovation and Economic Growth Commander Turkish Land Forces Calls on COAS Minister of Foreign Affairs, KSA, Calls on COAS Assistant Minister of Defense, KSA, Calls on COAS PAF Academy Asghar Khan Hosts Prestigious Graduation Ceremony for Aviation Cadets Faculty and Students from Muzaffargarh Government Post Graduate College Visit Multan Garrison SIFC's First Year: Transforming Pakistan's Investment Landscape SIFC’s First Birthday SIFC Building an Investor's Paradise: A Major Improvement in Pakistan's Investment Environment SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part V) : Driving Growth in Industry, Tourism, and Privatization SIFC and Pakistan’s Economic Landscape: A Year in Review China Social Media in Pakistan: Balancing Risks and Governance for National Security Indian Ambitious “Make in India” Approach for Defense Production: An Appraisal India's Bold Shift: Extraterritorial Killings and Regional Instability as the 'New Normal' Charting a Path Towards Water Sustainability: Pakistan Comparative Analysis of IQ, EQ, SQ and AQ Harboring Opportunities: The Socioeconomic Benefits of Gwadar Port Development for Pakistan and the Region From Gridlock to Green Lanes: OLMRTS Drive Progress Evolution of Multan: A Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future Empowering Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs: The Al Barq e-Business Hub Embracing Tradition: Welcoming the 17th Entry to Military College Sui Balochistan Champions of the Desert: Balochistan Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Girls Cadet College Turbat Hosts First Passing-out Parade Secretary General of Defense and National Armaments, Italy, Calls on CJCSC U.S. CENTCOM Commander Calls on COAS Chief of Defense Forces Australia Calls on COAS Turkish Foreign Minister Visits COAS COAS and CGS UK Army’s Address at 6th Pakistan-UK Regional Stabilization Conference GHQ Investiture Ceremony Held at General Headquarters COAS Extends Condolence to Iran Following Helicopter Crash That Claimed Top Officials CNS visits PLA (Navy) Headquarters China CNS Attends 19th Western Pacific Naval Symposium CNS Attends the Launching Ceremony of 1st HANGOR Class Submarine CAS Calls on General Secretary of MOD and Commander of Iraqi Air Force Commander Southern Command and 2 Corps Visits Khairpur Tamewali Pakistan-U.S. Navy Bilateral Exercise Inspired Union 2024 Pakistan Navy's Humanitarian Mission in Balochistan's Flood-ravaged Villages
Advertisements

Hilal English

On the Same Wavelength: Suno FM's Impact on Community Empowerment, Diversity, and Social Progress in Pakistan

February 2024

Suno FM's native language programs serve the local communities in remote parts of Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including newly merged districts. This initiative stands out as a prime example of a community radio service that listeners engage with because it closely resonates with their lives.



Of late, community radio has played a vital role in broadcasting the promotion of indigenous native languages and cultures in parts of Pakistan. Various studies conducted in different parts of the world reveal that community radio stations can positively affect the local population. Research studies also discovered that the establishment of community radio stations centered on local community aspirations has the potential to create community-based public spheres for the promotion of languages and cultures, as aired on local areas’ radio stations. Thus, using native languages simplifies the understanding of information and encourages the participation of listeners who might otherwise be excluded due to language difficulties. Most importantly, radio personalizes listeners' experiences, driving them to use their imagination while decoding what’s unfolding. Hence, to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the radio's death are greatly exaggerated.
In Pakistan alone, according to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), approximately 200 commercial FM radios are covering the country. It is important that radios are in close contact with their listeners and constantly examine the needs and desires of various target groups. Multiple genres of community-based radio formats cater to respond directly to a community’s needs, with information about livelihoods and the local economy, health, education, political scenarios, cultural interactions, scientific developments, etc., that have the power to change communities and individual lives radically. Community radio is an opportunity for discussing and deciding how we can make radio an even more powerful tool in promoting sustainable development and the well-being of our countrymen.


In Pakistan alone, according to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), approximately 200 commercial FM radios are covering the country.


Following the establishment of FM 96, the Voice of Peace Radio in Swat in the year 2008, the dominant paradigm of extremism was challenged. The Voice of Peace Radio played a significant role in changing the mindset of the people in the area, enabling them to reject Maulvi Fazlullah's radio propaganda. This was achieved through the dissemination of counter-violence messages, audience engagements using an inclusive approach, and widespread mass engagement through radio programs.
Suno FM, being a community radio station, always tries to stand as a lifeline for information and communication to the remote, marginalized, and disadvantaged during the most challenging times of Pakistan's recent history, whether it was the War on Terror, natural disasters like the floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan, information, updates and travel plans regarding roadblocks in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Kashmir due to landsliding, earthquakes, heavy snowfall or the ongoing rehabilitation and development processes in the newly merged districts of KP. In those challenging times of 2008 and onwards, the then Suno FM communicated crisis information during military operations against miscreants in Swat, Dir, Buner, Waziristan, Kuram, Orakzai, Mohmand, Khyber districts and devastating floods of 2010 and 2022. After going through the profile of the listeners, feedback received from different strata of society, and influential factors of the listenership of Suno FM Radio Network, the psycho-social impact created includes issue mediation, countering of militants’ propaganda, knowledge empowerment, awareness, and role in community development. 
Suno FM, a community radio broadcasting station, promotes indigenous native languages, traditions, local talent, issues, and cultures in different parts of Pakistan. Using and availing of the latest trends in broadcast journalism, the recent expansion of Suno FM radio stations, centered on local community development, has created an opportunity for highlighting our diversity, issues, and strengths in our native villages, towns, and cities surrounding the radio stations.


Today, Suno FM is airing its transmission in regional and local dialects of Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi, Sindhi, Brahvi, Saraiki, Pahari, Gujari, Kashmiri, Yousafzai, Waziri, Shina, Balti, Burushaski and Khuwar dialects—most of the tongues that typically find little or no space on television or other mainstream media.


Farm Radio International, a charitable organization that supports rural radio broadcasters in 39 African countries, describes radio as one of the best communication tools for the rural people. It is ideal for low income populations and sparsely populated areas since radios are affordable and broadcasts can reach a wide audience. In countries where access to the internet is limited, and illiteracy rates are high, radio stations play a major role in sharing news and educational information.
Today, Suno FM is airing its transmission in regional and local dialects of Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi, Sindhi, Brahvi, Saraiki, Pahari, Gujari, Kashmiri, Yousafzai, Waziri, Shina, Balti, Burushaski and Khuwar dialects—most of the tongues that typically find little or no space on television or other mainstream media.
One of the Pashto program formats is titled “Zarghoon Watan” (Green Country). Local farmers can communicate with peers, local authorities, and institutions and have access to relevant knowledge and information on new methods of farming and seeds, including technical and scientific advancement in agriculture and economic, social, and cultural information pertaining to their respective areas. However, all the information is available to the local users in native languages and formats. 
Through their daily programs, Suno FM radio jockeys (RJs), current affairs hosts, local station managers, and program coordinators always call for greater participation of audiences and communities by suggesting better and constructive radio broadcasting. 
A listener from North Waziristan shared, "The Suno FM radio staff is in regular contact and has become like friends. I actively take part in live call programs. The hosts consistently highlight the importance of girls' education, inspiring me to enroll my daughter in a local boys' school due to the absence of nearby girls' schools. We allocate a significant part of our time to the radio outside our schedule, finding it beneficial and educational in various ways."
In the case of Pakistan, radio can play a massive role in empowering our youth and lifting the downtrodden strata of our society. It can be used to spread the message of tolerance, peace, and the elimination of prejudice and stereotypes, providing an opportunity to gain more knowledge about the world. Moreover, with radio as a platform for exchange, young people may find their place and express themselves more openly and logically. There is still a lot of space for young broadcasters, program hosts, producers, and station managers to design and execute programs devoted especially to youth, uneducated, less skilled, and marginalized communities of the country. In an era that prioritizes customized content, messages that provide the perfect summation of the immense flexibility and the continued relevance of the medium will ultimately be successful in getting across to audiences.
By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, Suno FM is providing the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we face as a nation. At the same time, it is a challenge and an opportunity for all of us who are involved in radio to celebrate a dynamic, real-time medium and how this helps shape our lives. Today, Suno FM reaches a staggering 80-90 percent of Pakistan’s population. Rural parts of Pakistan, including far-flung areas of Balochistan, Southern Punjab, interior Sindh, Azad Kashmir, GB, and newly merged tribal districts of KP, overwhelmingly covered for information, entertainment, and education of the local population. More recently, Suno Digital has kept up with technological advances and is now fully computerized, meaning that all material is recorded and edited digitally. Suno Digital moved to digital broadcasting and is available online and via dedicated mobile apps. 
The Station Manager of Suno FM Turbat commented, "All our listeners are from rural communities in the southern part of Balochistan, Makran Division, creating a sense of unity among them. They value our local radio programs and actively participate through calls and text messages. Even those we haven't met in person appreciate good radio content and invite us for meetings. They openly share issues from their respective areas and inquire about any progress from the authorities. Additionally, they show great affection towards the radio staff, fostering friendships. In this way, we have built a sense of community."
Community radio offers these communities a platform to intervene in public debate, irrespective of their educational level and gender. It allows local communities to participate in policy and decision-making processes and protect and promote the diversity of our cultural manifestations. It also remains the cheapest and most portable medium. A radio set can be purchased at a nominal amount of PKR 300, which makes it more inexpensive than a mobile phone or a television.
RJs Shahnaz and Shireen Adam from Suno FM Turbat expressed, "Women-themed radio shows broadcast by Suno FM aim to inform women of their rights and empower them as civil society actors. Our Balochi language program, 'May giadaan’, from Turbat studio, engages in debates on Balochi women’s voices, their role in society, and Balochi culture. This program illustrates the significant role of radio in women's lives, contributing to addressing rural women-related issues in Balochistan. Women play a vital role as both broadcasters and listeners, influencing radio's overall development and broadcasting practices. Our show covers topics such as legal rights, female education, skills, and health practices for women. Local women actively participate through calls and text messages, sharing their experiences. Suno FM in South Balochistan is making a positive impact on women's lives, empowering them to take an active role in the area's development. We strive to provide a platform for women's empowerment in the Makran Division." 
The impact of radio is at different levels: it is an essential tool in times of disaster management as an effective medium to reach the affected people when other means of communication are disrupted; it is a way of promoting gender equality by providing women both in rural and urban areas access to knowledge, skill, and support; finally, it is inclusive, engaging youth in the media as catalysts of change. Radio has also been the last man standing in times of all types of calamities and disasters. During difficult situations like the 2010 and 2022 floods, polio campaigns, and military operations against terrorists in Swat and erstwhile FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), Suno FM effectively conveyed information on relief work, aid, and recovery efforts when other mediums became inaccessible.
Certainly, Suno FM's native language programs for the local communities in remote parts of Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, GB, Azad Kashmir, and KP, including newly merged districts, represent perhaps the finest example of community radio service that listeners engage with because it closely resonates with their lives.