Launch of indigenous radio station is 'promise kept': President Tsai

2017/08/09 21:20:43
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, center)

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, center)

Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) Taiwan's first nationwide indigenous radio station began broadcasting on Wednesday, with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) saying that its launch was a "promise kept."

"Today is the United Nation's International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples," Tsai said at the launch ceremony. "I am glad to announce the beginning of broadcasting at Alian 96.3 radio station on this meaningful day."

She said the radio station was named "Alian," which means "good friends" in the language of the Paiwan tribe, in an effort to highlight its role as the indigenous peoples' media.

In addition to promoting Taiwan's diverse culture, Tsai said, the radio station will also play the important role of bridging the information gap between urban and rural areas.

"Beginning today, residents of indigenous villages will find it easier to receive information about disaster prevention and relief, news reports on major current events, and information about international indigenous peoples," said Tsai, who has promised to protect and preserve the country's indigenous culture.

"Protecting the indigenous peoples' right to media access has been one of our promises," she said. "Now, we have achieved that."

The president said the radio station will also help to promote indigenous languages and cultures, broadcasting in all 16 of Taiwan's indigenous languages.

The Alian 96.3 radio station, operated by the Indigenous Peoples Cultural Foundation, will feature 15 types of programs on a wide range of topics, including music and entertainment, gourmet cooking, social issues, sightseeing, parental education, arts, sports and healthcare, according to the foundation.

Yeh Yen-ni (葉燕妮), chairwoman of the foundation, said the radio station will not only focus on promoting indigenous language and cultures, but will also seek to enhance the indigenous peoples' sense of identity.

Liao Wei-fan (廖偉凡), a broadcast manager at the station, said recruiting talent was the most difficult part of launching the station.

He said indigenous people with professional experience in broadcasting were the top choices but others with non-indigenous backgrounds were also selected as radio hosts and for other jobs, in light of the station's bid to promote indigenous culture in the wider society.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Christie Chen)
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