Radio Free Sarawak has kicked up a veritable storm among the netizens so far-whether they are from Sarawak or not. Along with the glare come the close scrutiny on this new media kid on the bloc, as well as bold suggestions to improve it. Among these `bold’ suggestions are:
1. Longer hours of transmission per day; doubling of the daily transmission hours seems to be on the card; The desire for longer hours of transmission is a welcoming sign of people asserting their right for information-from all sides and of greater depth;
2. 3-5min of news reading at the beginning; Look like we may get more than what we asked for-may be a veteran broadcaster may offer her service! The advance of technology allow people from different parts of the world to chip in; they just need to do a part of the broadcast and forward the sound file to where the radio transmit world wide;
3. More attack on corruption, nepotism, environmental destruction and oppression; This reflect the fatally weak representation of issues in this regard in the mainstream media. The policy so far try to get the attacks directly from the people’s mouth-and most of the folks interviewed have been the ordinary people-not so much the YBs or professional politicians; In this spirit the radio organiser has been calling for the listeners’ feedback and sending complaints to them; A local number and email address will soon come out to collect the people’s complaints;
More have been proposed -we hope that RFS will proceed step by step to move ahead and deliver its job steadily. Steps which need to be done:
1. publicise the radio frequency and broadcast times to the target audiences in the interior-who largely remain blissfully unaware of RFS’ existence; Not just mouth to mouth propagation-but also practical demonstration to receive the RFS transmission. Folks in some areas eg Simunjan apparently can’t receive the transmission-though the radio is audible all round the world! The reason need to be ascertained; it is great some folks offer to donate SW radios to interior Sarawakians-they are pretty cheapy-going from RM20.00/unit! Anyone who want to donate please contact us for pick-up!
2. educate the interior folks about the need for making choices from among different options; Without this awareness the radio which they use to receive RTM transmission will never tune in to RFS; This requires, often, more persuasion than you imagine; We hope that the youths who return to their long house in the coming x-mas will tune in the radio to introduce the radio to their parents; May be the RFS should play more x-mas songs to make it more able to blend in the festive mood! Another way is to play recorded RFS broadcast in tamu where the ulu folks do their weekly/daily sales of jungle/farm produce. They may be pleasantly surprised…In this sense recording the download from the broadcast to CDs will be needed.
Your ideas are most welcome to help promote the RFS-which we think will be more than welcome by the organiser!