23.05.2008 -

UNESCO supported JET FM 88.7 goes on-air

JET FM 88.7: The voice from the Hills of St. Mary, Jamaica's newest and first community radio to be owned and operated by a farming community, will officially launch its programming on Tuesday, 27 May 2008. JET FM is also the first community multimedia centre in the Caribbean to pilot the use of the radio-in-a-box, a compact, robust and low cost radio system that was designed and developed by the Asia Broadcasting Union with the support of UNESCO.

This community radio will be managed by Jeffrey Town Farmers Association Limited (JTFA). They are currently running test programming and will launch the morning show, "First Flight," on Monday, 26 May. "First Flight" will be a feature of JET FM's programming package and will be aired on week days from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m.


The official launching ceremony will be streamed live on the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mcclinks.com">Caribbean Internet Radio Portal (CIRP)</a>. JET FM community multimedia centre will also be streaming live on the Internet through CIRP at the beginning of June and plans to increase their programming content until they are able to support twenty-four hour service.


According to Ivy Gordon, Director of the JTFA, "the award of the radio equipment is of significant benefit to this rural community as it will provide and opportunity for its greater development. It will also give the residents of Jeffrey Town and its environs a voice to air matters that affect the daily lives of the people living in this agricultural belt. The radio will provide an opportunity for job creation, foster greater community spirit and offer an educational tool for agricultural and environmental matters in conjunction with social issues."


The official launch of JET FM is the culmination of extensive community effort and volunteerism over a number of years. This started with the Community Without Borders project supported by ICT4D Jamaica, IICD, the Government of Jamaica and UNESCO to establish a multimedia centre in the community. This initial work earned the group the Michael Manley Award for community self reliance. UNESCO has provided support for the community multimedia centre, the radio equipment and capacity development. The European Union Banana Support Programme has supported the launch process as part of a wider project.

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