Media & Business

Troubled Community Radio Station Relocates to Home

A vital Kratie-based community radio station faces closure as the owner is forced to relocate his studio to his home due to a lack of funds and failed public appeal for donations
A new studio of Women’s Community Voices (WCV). Kiripost via Samritth Tona
A new studio of Women’s Community Voices (WCV). Kiripost via Samritth Tona

The head of a Kratie-based community radio station has been forced to move out of his studio after failing to pay rent and nearly a week of campaigning for public donations only raised $103.

Samritth Tona, executive director of Women’s Community Voices (WCV), a nonprofit organization registered in 2014, made a public appeal for donations on August 12 after foreign funds dried up coupled with a lack of advertisements.

He added that even a one-dollar donation will contribute towards the station’s survival and continue broadcasting news to people in rural areas.

Tona said on Wednesday that he is building a new studio at his wooden home to save the use of electricity and that the station can only rebroadcast old educational programmes.

Because his house is made of wood, there is an echo when recording, he said, adding that building the new studio will cost about $400.

A reporter Van Dany works at the new studio. Kiripost via Samritth Tona
A reporter Van Dany works at the new studio. Kiripost via Samritth Tona

“I am now removing some materials from the office to work from home,” Tona told Kiripost, adding that the station still has some small works of filming in nearby Stung Treng province.

“I just want to build a new studio but I can’t afford it,” he said, He added he still owes five months’ rent for his office at a cost of $300 per month.

“I’ve asked the landlord to drop the rent to $150 because we also stop working there and will use it to only store our machines,” he added.

Heng Ravy, a citizen journalist based in Kratie, said on Wednesday she listens to WCV radio and the broadcaster is important in the community, especially on issues about gender.

“I am really sorry if this radio shuts down, the voice of the community won’t be heard anymore,” she said. “I think people in rural areas only listen to WCV radio and if it is shut down, the voice of the community will be lost.”