Radyo Bakdaw - on the air!
In November of 2013, after Typhoon Haiyan hit, Guiuan and the other municipalities in Eastern Samar experienced a complete information black out, with no phone network, TV, newspapers or radio being available. Radyo Bakdaw was the only radio station on the FM-band and the only media-house permanently based in the region.
Since then, Internews has been able to achieve so much, all because of your support. Donors like you made it possible to respond to the immediate needs of the population – including getting urgent news and information to those in search of food, water, shelter, safety, and loved ones. Later, your donations helped us to rebuild and recover, well after the Typhoon had disappeared from the headlines.
On November 26 Internews launched Radio Bakdaw (“Rise”) in Guiuan (92.9FM) broadcasting live and pre-recorded content 14 hours a day. The signal reached all of the municipalities in the most affected area and the coastal area up to Marabut, 85 kms own the road towards Tacloban.
Radio Bakdaw was run by local radio makers with a focus on ‘News-You- Can-Use’ for the people of Eastern Samar. The station broadcasted liveinterviews with government and aid officials, but also with local people who expressed their needs and shared their expertise on the recovery. It distributed messages and announcements from aid organisations, produced news packages and quality humanitarian content on shelter, health and livelihood. To nurture the relationship with its listeners, it played songs requests that came via SMS into the station.
Equally important was the feedback Radyo Bakdaw received from the community, with over a 1000 texts a day at the height of the emergency, all of which was documented, processed and fed back into the humanitarian system to improve the quality of the service delivery.
At the same time the radio station also functioned as an information center for the community, with people coming inside to ask the latest information about jobs, relief distribution or the weather. Internews also continuously conducted research in the region to measure impact and gauge the information needs among people in the region.
- 1,255 hours of radio programmes were produced and broadcast every day from 6AM till 9PM, including during the two first major storms of 2014: Agathon and Basyang.
- More than 140 organisations and government departments were able to provide information to communities through Radyo Bakdaw.
- More than 272 people were interviewed both in the station and out in their communities.
- 40,286 text messages were received from listeners through Radyo Bakdaw hotline.
- 44 cases of family reunification were broadcast, of which at least 4 were solved as a direct result of the announcement on Radyo Bakdaw.
- 249 radios were fixed by Radyo Bakdaw technicians during the weekly Radyo Repair Days.
- 5 weekly thematic programmes were produced on livelihoods, health, shelter, mental health and youth.
- Every week Radyo Bakdaw organised a karaoke contest effectively functioning as a psycho-social relief activity.
Internews developed the capacity and technical skill set of local broadcasters and helped them
to become “humanitarian reporters”. About 20 local enthusiasts from various backgrounds were invited to workshops and provided with on-the-job training on the production of useful information in attractive formats for listeners, with a strong sense of journalism ethics, including the importance of reliable, unbiased information.
Besides radio training, the team also received extensive training in print-journalism to allow for a more diverse output online and in local print media. In parralell, Internews also organised training for local journalists from the emergency radio stations in Tacloban, the local commercial radio station in Guiuan, the Philippine Information Service, local government and university students.
All of these activities are made possible because of your support. As we wind down our project, we are proud of the work we have been able to accomplish, and at the same time, realize that there will be many more challenges ahead. Recently, our team from Radyo Bakdaw participated in a Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities review where they were able to share their successes and challenges – and from ground zero, in Tacloban. The attached photo depicts some of the suggestions that were made by the journalists who were reporting on the ground, including those from Radyo Bakdaw.
We know that the Philippines will continue to face new threats and challenges, particularly as the rainy season begins. We are grateful that with your help, we were able to train and prepare media professionals and communities members to be their own first responders, building more resilient communities across the country.
Thank you again for your support!
Radyo Bakdaw responds to CDAC review