22 Apr Radio Civic: tackling the pandemic with reliable information and positive attitude
The community radios supported by the Grassroots Radio project are keeping on arranging initiatives to help local populations coping with these uncertain times in a variety of ways. Radio Civic – the Romanian radio operating in the communities of Sfantu Gheorghe and Vârvoru de Jos – has put several COVID-19-related initiatives in place.
Among the ongoing activities arranged, there is an information campaign to keep two local communities of Sfantu Gheorghe and Vârvoru de Jos informed with reliable and official sources. The local radio has also devoted efforts to provide the communities with reliable medical advices shared by doctors and nurses in the “Health Pills” (“masuri de preventie”) programs.
Moreover, ss the level of negative news was raising, Radio Civic attempted to also communicate positive information as much as possible. They therefore created a new program, called “Vesti Bune (Good News)”, where an actor volunteered to read these news. The local radio also kept on bringing the voices of the locals in the programs, so that they could tell their stories of coping with the isolation and the pandemic restrictions.
The daily news cover local, regional and national information relating to COVID-19 topics, for both stations, as well as interviews with the local authorities (mayors) regarding the measures taken, new local developments, advices for citizens.
These programs also include interviews with the directors of the schools in the two communities to find out how the education process is taking place during this period, along with interviews with people from the communities to find out how to deal with the restrictions imposed by the authorities.
Last but not least, Radio Civic’s outputs comprise regularly updated information on the prevention of infection, COVID-19-related advertisements every hour; updated announcements of local interest regarding the schedule of food stores, the supply options for the elderly; broadcasting of the notifications and campaigns of public interest transmitted by the audiovisual regulator.
The technology developed in the project is playing an important role in supporting these activities. For example, Text-To-Speech (TTS) technologies recently implemented in Romanian community radios are being deployed to deliver announcements about COVID-19 through the synthetic voice of Daria.