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Dear all,

I want to share with you some thoughts on the WRF website now that I am intending to stand down from my self-appointed role as an advocate for the rights of young people to participate in radio-making activity of all kinds.

Much has been achieved since the WRF first took shape after 3WSMC in 2001. Huge advances in children’s radio, championed by WRF founder directors and others have established the principles of child participation and gained a new understanding and recognition of the way radio can include young voices in crucial communications development work in many different parts of the world.

At the same time, continuing developments in the design and operation of new, youth-oriented websites make opportunities for learning about media production much more widely accessible and enable youth producers to connect with media practitioners across the spectrum of analogue, digital and Internet broadcasting. In 2001, the WRF was the only website to focus solely on children’s & youth radio and offer a support network to those working in this field. Today in 2007 the information it provides can be found on these other, larger and more inclusive sites.

I am continually heartened by news of new youth radio broadcasts such as Radio Tine on Moldova National Radio and by stories of children’s involvement in radio productions to raise awareness about HIV/AIDs and promote peace and the resolution of armed conflict in Africa and elsewhere.  The recent breakthrough in India for the licensing of community radio stations has to be hailed as a triumph for years of energetic and sustained lobbying efforts. The meeting held in New Delhi in 2006, organised by UNESCO, Care India, One World South Asia and Plan India showcased the range of low cost, simple to use, radio production and transmission technology now available, and at that event, children from Plan India took centre-stage to demonstrate the use of the Radio-station-in-a-box equipment which they are using to put their own show on air.

I suppose what I am saying is that what I had wanted to happen has happened. Ten years ago I never thought it would! The children’s and youth Radio Manifesto was a major signpost in the field of children’s rights and development communication and the WRF group was central to its articulation and completion. In this, the WRF was a real focus for many of the changemakers. The WRF website which has hosted the Radio Manifesto could not have been done without the professional skills of Lou Giansante who has managed and coordinated content and visual impact, and the complementary skills of his young technical wizard, Michael Edens. But I think what it set out to achieve has been achieved.

The decision to discontinue the website means a new home must be found for the Radio Manifesto. None would be more appropriate than the website of Bush Radio, the Cape Town station that has nurtured and trained its own new generation of child and youth broadcasters in the past decade under the auspices of its Children’s Radio Education Workshop (CREW). It was the CREW group that originated the first draft for a Radio Manifesto at their Kidocracy Konfrence in 2001. In order to protect its integrity and ensure that it continues to be available, I am proposing to transfer all the Radio Manifesto pages from the WRF website to the Bush Radio website.  The children’s & youth Radio Manifesto was first presented to the world of children’s Media at 4WSMCA, the Rio Summit, in 2004. The 5WSMCA in South Africa in 2007 welcomed young media producers from countries all over the world. It saw the participation of youth delegates who represent the African continent’s many important new radio production initiatives. It is an appropriate time for the Radio Manifesto to be transferred to the website of Cape Town’s Bush Radio.

Though the WRF site is no longer active, I will continue to be available to hear your thoughts, observations or comments at

Many warm good wishes,

Sarah McNeill/Director
World Radio Forum


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