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Vista On-Line

December 24, 2002 edition

Vol.1, Issue 4

Dearest RFPI Supporters and Listeners,

2002 has been a year full of challenges and difficulties for RFPI, perhaps the hardest year it has experienced in its existence. However, due to the commitment of our listeners and supporters, RFPI has made it through the year and is now able to enter 2003 in better shape than we would have thought possible.

13 years ago, RFPI was visited by Doctor Harry Bury (a long time peace activist) who helped us plan our vision for our young radio project. He asked us to map out our vision for the first year, the first five years and the first ten years. This we did; by the end of the 10 year plan we wanted to have our own offices and studios (we were based in an area little bigger than a closet at the time) and a high powered shortwave transmitter capable of providing a quality signal with 24 hour programming to our listeners. As we sit today in our offices up on the mountain, with the volcano in the far distance, listening to our 24 hour a day programming, we realize that we are living and operating the vision proposed a decade ago.

2003 promises to be a milestone year and the beginning of the next 10 year vision, some of which has already started and we will build on from 2003.

The new Peace Journalism and Progressive Media Through Radio course will be starting on January 27th and running throughout the year. RFPI has trained over three hundred peace journalists in the last 15 years and is becoming a center of excellence for the training of independent international journalists in the areas of human rights, social justice and environmental reporting. Besides supporting the station through funds raised, it creates a trained network of independent journalists who contribute to the station and other independent outlets in the rest of the world on an ongoing basis after completing their training.

RFPI has been asked in the past to train indigenous people here in Costa Rica to enable them to make use of the frequencies set aside for their use by the Costa Rican government and is hoping to gain funding to allow us to do this in 2003. RFPI will also run courses for Costa Ricans as part of the push towards facilitating the setting up of other community radio stations here and world-wide. We have long-term expertise in setting up radio stations and managing them on little money, as well as technical knowledge regarding production, transmitter-building, etc which we want to share with independent organizations who want to set up their own radio stations. We recognize that we are living through times where the battle of information, and access to it, information output and control is a critical tool of contemporary political struggle with independent media at its core and we want to play a very active part in dealing with that reality.

Within the next two years, RFPI will bring back its Progressive News Network, which was a popular Monday-Friday RFPI-produced world news program, unhindered by corporate involvement.

RFPI will work towards the establishment of a Latin America-based independent news agency, (as called for by the McBride report many years ago now, commissioned by UNESCO, identifying the coming "New World Information and Communication Order" as a cause for grave concern and advocating amongst other things, greater support for independent media and the establishment of such news agencies in continents other than North America and Europe.)

Directly connected to this, in 2003 RFPI plans to launch a campaign directed at UNESCO which will assess and criticize its failure to fully implement the McBride Report .One World, Many Voices, culminating in an open letter and report to be signed by independent media all over the world and submitted to UNESCO with proposals for their future role in supporting democratic communications for the new century. Stay tuned for more information on this.

RFPI will be adding to our current line up of programming with more independent programs sourced from a wider variety of countries and independent producers from all over the world. We will also be increasing our in-house productions and beginning our Spanish language programming again.

Amongst planned RFPI in-house productions will be a history and personal stories from indigenous people in Costa Rica and recordings of the indigenous language local to the area where the radio station is based which is currently dying out, to be shared in projects with local schools, a regular Migration report, as well as a regular report on events in Colombia and the activities of peace movements there. We also plan some innovative programming made by children for children all over the world.

RFPI will be on the cutting edge of radio production by bringing you internet interactive radio, thus bringing listeners into the radio show en masse for the live exchange of ideas from one side of the world to the other.

We hope to have our 24 hour web-casting service fixed again early in 2003 and are struggling through red tape and bureaucracy in order to make this happen once again.

We ask all our members to help support this vision by contributing your own ideas as well as financial assistance. None of these great projects can be achieved without you, and we would not be here today if you had not given us such strong support over the years. This year we ask you to support us as much as ever in this new stage of RFPI's history and to stay with us and watch the unfolding of our collective dream.

Please contact us here at RFPI if they have any questions or comments about Vista Online, our programming, or the station in general. If any of you have comments or ideas on how we can improve our service to you, or you want to send us a donation, enquire about the Peace Journalism course or volunteering with us, please send us a note via e-mail or traditional mail.

info@rfpi.org or rfpiradio@yahoo.com 

Radio For Peace International
PO Box 75
Cuidad Colon, San Jose, Costa Rica
Central America 

Tel. +506 - 249 1821
Fax. +506 - 249 1095

For information on how to make a donation via Pay Pal, click on the Pay Pal icon found here.

We wish you a peaceful holiday on behalf of all the RFPI staff.

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