Cubans Call In to Radio Marti
Radio Marti opened its microphones to the Cuban public to join its newly formatted program Con Voz Propia (With Your Own Voice). It is part of a fresh 360-degree approach to news and information that encourages audience participation and interactive exchange of ideas across Marti’s radio, TV and online platforms.
“We want our audience to know that they are valued contributors to our programming and the exchange of ideas and information is central to our broadcasts,” said Carlos A. García-Pérez, Director of Radio and TV Marti. “At the same time, we recognize our audience takes considerable risk in calling the Martís given that it is illegal to listen or watch them inside Cuba.”
This daily radio show is a conversational program hosted by four women and centers on women’s issues. “The greatest satisfaction of the show was to hear from our listeners and hear from them how much what we do at Radio Marti means to them …,” said Vicky Ruiz, one of the co-hosts of the program and a former human rights activist in Cuba.
The first call-in segment focused on the International AIDS Day and the Rosa Parks Anniversary which generated calls from men and women across the island of Cuba. One woman from the province of Havana said, “I am very happy to be able to talk to you! I want you to know you are seated in my living room every day.”
Through uncensored, comprehensive and objective reporting, Radio and TV Marti strive to fill the information gap caused by long-standing Cuban government censorship. Cuba has one of the world’s most restrictive media environments – in the bottom ten of the Freedom of the Press rankings by Freedom House.
A mix of media and frequencies, including cross-border shortwave, AM, direct-to-home satellite and the Web help get Radio and TV Marti programming to its audience in Cuba. Programs are also available live and on demand at www.Martinoticias.com.
The Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which is funded by the U.S. government through the presidentially appointed Broadcasting Board of Governors, was established in 1990 to oversee the operations of Radio and TV Martí, which broadcast news and information to the people of Cuba.