What’s microwav.fm

microwav.fm  (photo: Zviad Kechakmadze)
microwav.fm / (photo: Zviad Kechakmadze)

microwav.fm is an independent, non-partisan, international youth-oriented online radio platform. The project helps groups and organisations communicate with younger audiences in an appealing and modern way to spur a dialogue about human rights, freedom and democracy; not to mention having fun DJ’ing their favourite music. Participants are encouraged to use the full scale of creative opportunities offered by audio, social networks and streaming radio software to create 24-hour Internet radio channels that mix entertainment and lifestyle content with content on human rights and conflict resolution in the main languages of the region – Georgian, Azeri, Armenian and Russian. Selected programming is also available in English.

Engaging a young generation of radio enthusiasts, the technology non-profit Sourcefabric has teamed up with journalists and media advocates in Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Nagorno Karabakh to develop a radio network called microwav.fm. This project aims to support democracy and human rights in the South Caucasus through a growing number of locally produced radio shows and channels, created and maintained by civil society organisations and groups of young people.

The microwav.fm project provides the participating groups and organisations with radio and media production software, training and tools. An important part of the project is training participants both in radio and website production and in the use of Airtime.pro.

Airtime Pro is a service provided by Sourcefabric based on the open source technology Airtime. An experienced radio professional also assists the microwav.fm participants in the development of schedules for their radio channels, and recording and editing of radio shows.

The radio channels include player widgets that can be embedded on the websites of all participating organisations. Content will also be available through SoundCloud and similar services for direct listening and download, for use over traditional broadcast media, and embedding onto third-party websites. Native apps also make it easier to listen to the services in areas served by mobile Internet, with special care taken to provide low-bandwidth streams. Original programming will be available to listeners on demand and will be licensed under Creative Commons licenses to enable sharing and rebroadcast.

The long-term project is jointly implemented by three non-governmental non-profit organisations: Sourcefabric in the Czech Republic, Open Society Georgia Foundation in Georgia and Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation in Armenia; in their in-country offices in Tbilisi and Yerevan three coordinators manage microwav.fm in close cooperation with the Sourcefabric team in Berlin and Prague.