21 gennaio 2008

Voci FM dall'Irak, significati di libertà

Due flash di agenzia e una notizia di RWonline sulla situazione radiofonica interna all'Iraq. Le agenzie, Aswat al Iraq e AFP si occupano entrambe, con qualche piccola discrepanza, delle due stazioni FM aperte a Fallujah: Fallujah FM e Sawt al-Hur Fallujah. E' bello pensare che da quelle parti "la musica sia più forte delle pallottole". Anche se la musica non deve servire da alibi per le sofferenze inflitte, da tutte le parti, alla popolazione civile.
Invece RWonline propone un lungo reportage, con dovizia di dettagli tecnici, su Freedom Radio, il network FM di American Forces Network-Iraq. Tre piacevoli letture, con informazioni di frequenza che magari potrebbero tornare utili nella prossima stagione della propagazione E sporadica in caso di viaggi nel Mediterraneo orientale.
Quanto a Freedom Radio, Enduring Freedom e retoriche varie, mi permetto di consigliarvi una quarta lettura, assai più seria, sul Sole 24 Ore di oggi nel supplemento domenicale. La casa editrice Codice edizioni sta per pubblicare "La libertà di chi?", recente libro del linguista americano George Lakoff. Il Sole pubblica uno stralcio del saggio, che analizza una sottile problematico socio-linguistica: quella del significato del concetto di libertà imposto da otto anni di dominanza, negli USA, del pensiero "neo/teo-con". Il messaggio di Lakoff è che il conservatorismo è riuscito a imporre un significato profondo del termine "libertà", una sorta di "riprogrammazione" collettiva che riesce, sul piano elettorale, ad aggregare consenso su una politica costellata di errori e violazioni. Il pensiero di Lakoff è condensato in questo editoriale apparso sul Boston Globe nel 2006, data di uscita del libro. "Il linguaggio conta," sostiene lo scienziato, "perché può determinare il modo in cui pensiamo e agiamo." L'ultimo lavoro di George Lakoff è "Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision", una esposizione di principi progressisti che funge come manuale di conversazione nelle discussioni con la "controparte". I Thinking Points si possono prelevare gratuitamente dal sito del Rockridge Institute, un think tank progressista. "L'America è in pericolo," si legge nella prefazione. "Rischia di essere dominata da una destra radicale e autoritaria che dice di essere conservatrice, come se stesse salvaguardando e promuovendo i valori americani. In realtà, li sta calpestando da anni." Solo l'America è in pericolo?
Falluja radio: when music is louder than bullets
Anbar - Voices of Iraq Sunday , 20 /01 /2008 Time 5:11:30

Anbar, Jan 20, (VOI) – Iraq's once restless city of Falluja has recently witnessed a relative calm that helped much headway with the city's services to be made, most significantly the inauguration of Falluja FM Radio. Abdul Majid Dahham al-Kubeisi, the radio's director, told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq, (VOI) that Falluja FM Radio is affiliated with the Iraqi Media Network and broadcasts four hours a day on wave 99.5 FM from the network's local building.
"The fledgling radio station has well-equipped studios and staff," al-Kubeisi indicated, noting that transmission is now focusing on songs, public services, and the Holy Quran.
Badri Taama, a 52-year-old announcer in the station, said that Falluja's media men and residents have high expectations for the radio. "We seek to convey the residents' trouble and problems to officials and work out convenient solutions for them," Taama said.
"The only thing hindering the station from operating more effectively is the limited broadcasting hours (8:00 a.m.-noon), which causes us to lose a large portion of our audience due to frequent power cuts during this period of the day," Taama added. The radio has a staff of nine, including journalists and technicians, in addition to correspondents.
Muhammad Ahmed al-Samarraie, 33, outlined his ambitions for the station. "Despite the young age of the radio, I look forward to seeing it as everyone's favorite station," Samarraie said. "People here are working hard and overtime because they have a sense of responsibility," he added. "The programs broadcasted by the station only deal with educational, cultural, political, economic, and sports issues, in addition to the Holy Quran broadcast," he explained.
Jassim al-Duleimi, a 38-year-old sound technician in the radio, said that the station is taking its first steps in the media field. "The city has been torn by wars and we therefore need some time, as well as local authorities' assistance, in providing what the radio needs. We need solutions to the minor problems that we encounter, mainly the power cuts which cause us huge embarrassment," he said.
Falluja, the largest city in the Sunni Anbar province, lies 45 west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. During the past few years, the city was a scene of armed clashes between al-Qaeda fighters and security forces. Security conditions in the city have massively improved since the establishment of an Awakening Council led by Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, who was assassinated last year.


Broadcasts beam messages of hope to battered Iraq city
Wed Dec 26, 10:22 PM

FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) - Three years after the Iraqi city of Fallujah was practically destroyed by a US assault, residents of the notorious battleground have found a new voice through their own TV and radio programmes. The former rebel bastion 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad now boasts a broadcast centre where dozens of employees work frantically producing material for two radio stations and a television channel.
Despite a severe shortage of money and lack of expertise, the staff say they are determined to make programmes that express "the thoughts of freedom" and that will also help to counter what they call "Al-Qaeda ideology." Large parts of Fallujah remain in ruins after being pounded in 2004 during brutal fighting when US forces took on hardcore Sunni insurgents and Al-Qaeda fighters holed up in the city.
But like other parts of Al-Anbar province, Fallujah has in the past year seen its Sunni population turn against their former Al-Qaeda allies. And over the past six months residents have begun tuning in to independent radio and TV programmes made in the city with the support of the state-run and US-funded Iraqi Media Network. "Our programmes are prepared by the local people of Fallujah. They are diversified and deal with issues of the locals," said Abdul Majid Dahham, station manager of Fallujah FM, which broadcasts 16 hours a day.
Another station, Fallujah Sawt al-Hur or Free Voice of Fallujah broadcasts six hours a day, while the television channel has a slot of two hours every evening before 8:00 pm, when it links up with the state-run Al-Iraqiya channel.
An estimated 400,000 people live within the 20-kilometre radius covered by Fallujah TV, but no viewing figures for the station are available. Dahham is proud of all three stations' achievements but admits that the quality of the programming is often poor. "The educational programmes for children and cultural events for adults need to be improved," he said.
One Fallujah resident, Um Firas, said she would even volunteer to help out at the TV station if that would help to improve its output. "I am ready to work free of charge on these programmes in order to serve the students," she told AFP. "The educational programmes need to be made better."
Muna Abdul Salam, 20, an economics student in the University of Anbar, said he wanted "more programmes on art and sports" rather than too much politics. Amir Lateef, a police captain, said he was a great supporter of Fallujah TV, which he hoped would encourage young viewers away from the extremist Islamist influence of Al-Qaeda elements still at work in the city.
"The station must aim to positively influence the children who are affected by violence and Al-Qaeda ideology," he said. "The station shows good programmes but more can be done especially with regard to children's culture." He also said that the station needed to avoid showing violence and aggressive behaviour to the city's children who are already scarred mentally by what they have experienced.
Employees say that for Fallujah's fledgling TV and radio stations to survive and develop they must receive more funds from the government. "Despite the current modest output, the stations cover the whole of Fallujah and its suburbs," said Mohammed Sami, 26, a Fallujah TV correspondent. "I hope it gets government support so the station can serve people better. "We used to work in total secrecy in the first few weeks, avoiding risks and threats," he added. "The locals had no idea what we were doing, but now the situation is better than it was."
Free Voice of Fallujah radio has a team of 12 staff, including four women, who put together programmes for the city's residents. "We are working to provide information to locals that is especially aimed at discouraging violence," said station director Ali Hadi. "Our station is a local one because we understand Fallujah's problems and how they can be tackled."
The city's fledgling broadcasters still have to operate in a sensitive environment, however. "I enjoy working, but the surrounding situation is not trouble-free," said one female radio announcer from an orthodox Muslim family who wears a headscarf at work. And Fallujah FM's Dahham said the stations also faced political pressure from those who want to exploit them "for their own interests, and that affects our work."

‘Freedom Radio’ Plays Out in Iraq
From a ‘Make-Believe’ Compound, AFN-I Eases Real-War Stress by John Merli, 1.16.2008

While broadcasters around the world have focused on telling folks back home what’s happening on the ground in the war in Iraq, the uniformed reporters and on-air personalities of the Armed Forces Network-Iraq in Baghdad have a more urgent audience to serve: the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of the multinational force on or near the front lines.
Day and night, its military and diplomatic audiences tune into what is dubbed “Freedom Radio,” broadcasting from its make-believe “Ocean Cliffs Compound” in the real-world scorching desert of Iraq. At AFN-I’s studios in the International Zone (also known as the Green Zone), a small crew of public affairs specialists serving as radio/TV producers from the U.S. Air Force and Navy — which rotate with the U.S. Army for AFN duties — tackles an ambitious roster of news and entertainment programming for those in harm’s way.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason “J.D.” David, AFN-I’s news director, said the medium of radio is playing a unique role in the combat zone, as radio has for other wars over the past 70 years. “Radio is certainly the most immediate and effective means to get information out there as quickly as possible, and the music, all the entertainment, as well.”

FM network

David said his studios are fortunate to be located inside the International Zone with the presence of the multinational force, and not just for security reasons. “We can check with other forces almost immediately when something big happens. If a bomb goes off somewhere in Iraq and other media are saying it’s ‘insurgents,’ that may not always be the truth. It may be just some random guy out there. People back home depend on [the networks] for coverage, but we’re here and so we can see what’s happening for ourselves and report to the troops here,” said David, who hails from Laurel, Md.
Freedom Radio airs a round-the-clock schedule of news, unclassified troop information, feature stories, and of course music in many genres, much of it requested song-by-song by military personnel in the field.
Much like any other network, Freedom Radio is heard on an array of FM frequencies throughout the region:

Baghdad, 1Kw on 104.1 and 107.7 FM
Kirkuk, 200w on 100.1 and 107.3 FM
LSA Anaconda (Balad, Iraq) 250w on 107.3 FM
Mosul, 1Kw on 105.1 FM
Q-West, 250w on 93.3 FM
Sinjar, 250w on 107.9 FM
Tallil, 200w on 100.1 and 107.3 FM
Tikrit, 1Kw on 93.3 FM


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