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UBUNTU Radio is the latest addition to the media landscape.
Unlike the other stations, Ubuntu is owned and run by a government department, that of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation.
At the launch of the station, which is run from the department’s headquarters in Pretoria, spokesman Clayson Monyela said the aim was to tell the South African story and inform the public about the country’s foreign policy.
“We did an analysis on foreign policy in the public discourse and realised that there is little going on. We started this space to operate because it is too important to ignore. We will not only have discussions with South Africans, but with Africa and the rest of the world.
“We want to change the narrative on how Africa is covered. South Africa has a good story to tell, and if we are compared with countries that started with us 19 years ago, we have done very well. That story is not being told.”
Monyela said although the station would be focused on foreign policy and government updates, it would not be propaganda.
“The media do a decent job in telling stories. This will be an additional platform that gives us the opportunity as government to highlight stories that are not getting attention. Other countries have done this successfully, albeit differently. We don’t believe we have competition, but hope other stations will listen to us to find out what South Africa is thinking.”
The 24-hour talk radio station is an addition to the two magazines that the department runs. The quarterly Ubuntu magazine was launched last August and is distributed to government departments, airport lounges and is also available on the department’s website. The other magazine, Diplomat, is also available on the website.
Monyela said Ubuntu Radio would be working closely with SABC international radio station Channel Africa.
“We have signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange programmes with them. We are hoping that digital migration will clear the airwaves and we can be available on FM. We are finalising an application that you can download and listen to on your phone or tablet.”
The station is mostly talk-based and Monyela said the department would avoid featuring only diplomats and government employees. Some of the presenters are brand specialist Thebe Ikalafeng; Metro FM presenter Kgopedi oa Namane; actress Florence Masebe; and SAfm presenter Richard Nwamba.
The station can be streamed from www.ubunturadio.com. - Pretoria News