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PROJECT "RADIO PIRATA"
1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION:
1.1 Name: Comunicaciones Pirata, S.A., Radio Pirata 99.9 FM.
1.2 Location: Managua, Nicaragua, Colonia Centroamérica, de la Iglesia Fátima, 4 andenes al sur, 150 metros al sudeste.
1.3 Mailing address: Apartado Postal 2277, Telcor Central, Managua, Nicaragua.
1.4 Telephone: (+505) 278 4861 or 270 2819; Fax: (+505) 278 4861.
1.5 E-mail: pirata(a)ibw.com.ni; Web: http://pirata.biz/
2.1 Radio Pirata is an FM radio station owned by COPSA (Comunicaciones Pirata, S.A.), a private firm registered in the Commercial Registry of Nicaragua in which the workers and programme directors own shares. It is a member of UNIR (Unión Nicaragüense de Radiodifusoras) and of AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters).
2.2 Radio Pirata is a low power station (250 watt), broadcasting 24 hours daily. It covers metropolitan Managua and a radius of approximately 40 km. The signal is also transmitted on the Internet in the form of streaming mp3.
2.3 The programming is primarily music, mixing different styles of music, including rock, reggae, soul, blues, country, and regional music from all over the world, from the 20's until the 00's, with more representation from the last 5 decades. Artists from a wide variety of countries are featured (more than 50). The purpose is to play music you hear nowhere else in Nicaragua, thereby making a national contribution to the idea of culture as international property.
2.4 Also featured are presentations of Nicaraguan poetry, one of the most salient contributions of this country to the world of culture.
2.5 Plans for the future include: the production of programs that present music from a variety of country and regions in the world; the production of programs concerning the children's rights; and the production of programs which deal with environmental affairs and other social issues, always in the context of a musical-cultural format.
2.6 National artists have recorded in COPSA's studios and their songs are given air play. As well, the radio re-broadcasts Nicaraguan musical performances.
2.7 Draft legislation recently submitted to the Nicaraguan National Assembly aims to promote local musical artists by requiring radio stations to dedicate a certain percentage of their prime-time hours to national artists. In order to be able to meet this minimum quota (10 to 30% are mentioned), it is necessary to record and promote local music performers.
3.1 The current panorama of radio in Nicaragua is broad in terms of the absolute number of stations, but very narrow in terms of programming. Most play mostly the same popular songs, utilizing the same broadcast format. There has long been a need for more variety on the Nicaraguan airwaves, and in November 1991, Radio Pirata began to fill that void.
3.2 The Nicaraguan listening audience has few possibilities for hearing the wide variety of excellent music from around the world, and from artists not promoted by the music industry. The general policy of the vast majority of the radio stations is to play only what is considered the most "popular". This leads each station to compete by playing the same songs more than the others. There is a demand and receptivity to a change in listening fare as seen by the limited but significant success of Radio Pirata in its first years on the air, despite its weak signal power.
3.3 As well, there is a demand by national recording artists for low-cost quality productions so that Nicaragua can make its contribution to the international spectrum of musical entertainment.
3.4 Music is a vehicle which can transmit, besides listening pleasure, the ideas lying behind the songs and the music itself. By developing alternative musical programming, Radio Pirata can help broaden the horizons of the Nicaraguan audience at this time in the world when many nations are turning in on themselves in a phenomenon of nationalistic introspection.
4. DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES:
4.1 Expand and extend international and national musical culture.
4.2 Promote production of recordings by local artists.
4.3 Increase other forms of cultural content (poetry, etc.) on radio.
4.4 Develop a wider variety of communitary programming (environmental affairs, social issues, etc.).
4.5 Develop the national small-scale music industry.
5. IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVES:
5.1 Extend the broadcast range and signal quality of the radio.
5.2 Expand the range of musical programming.
5.3 Introduce programs dealing with environmental affairs, social issues and children's rights.
5.4 Promote local musical artists and poets.
5.5 Record national artists.
5.6 Train national staff in radio broadcast and production facility operation.
6.1 The present listening audience and the expanded potential of this once the signal is strengthened.
6.2 Local musical artists and poets who have the possibility of airing their art.
6.3 Musical groups from around the world who have their art aired to the Nicaraguan audience.
6.4 National staff trained in the use of radio broadcast and production facilities.
7.1 Boost the signal power to 1000 Watts in order to reach a greater area and a larger population.
7.2 Broadcast music from more countries, and more artists from the countries already on the air.
7.3 Broadcast poetry and/or narrative passages from Nicaraguan literature.
7.4 Transmit programs directed to children, e.g. bed-time stories and programs concerning the children's rights.
7.4 Produce and broadcast national musical artists.
7.5 Increase the number of special or thematic programs featuring artists, describing their music and its contents (e.g. music country by country).
8.1 Equipment for improving signal
8.2 The necessary staff
8.3 Upgrading of recording production equipment
8.4 Miscellaneous broadcasting material
8.5 Music from around the world (courtesy of the cultural departments of foreign governments, donated as promotional material by international recording companies wishing to promote the artists signed to their label, and/or from other radio stations).
9. SUSTAINABILITY OF THE PROJECT:
9.1 The small advertising income that the radio has, does not cover basic costs such as maintenance and equipment replacement costs, buying records and recording material, office rental, electricity, telephone, office supplies, etc. The major part of the costs are covered by voluntary contributions from people close to the radio. With a strengthened signal and upgraded programming, it is foreseen that more advertising income will be generated within a period of one year, thereby allowing the project to sustain itself.
10.1 Radio Pirata has an electrical-technical engineer (Swedish) working as the sound engineer and general technical director. This person transfers his knowledge to the other staff. In the first years of operation, this arrangement has already resulted in the training of some 40 people (salaried staff and volunteers) working with the station, several of whom have obtained employment with other radio stations. With expanded facilities, training will develop further.