Radio Vatan, a very popular news and entertainment station based in Dushanbe, brings world-class radio programmes to around 2.5 million listeners in around half of Tajikistan’s land area. Launched in 2003 and broadcasting four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon on 106 FM in Dushanbe and 102.4 FM in Khatlon, the station broadcasts news every hour and also offers music and other programmes.
Financed through its advertising revenues, Radio Vatan is regarded as a benchmark in Tajikistan’s communications industry and in 2011 was named Tajikistan’s best example of a local company’s success in freemarket conditions. Around 70% of the station’s programmes are in Tajik and 30% in Russian. General Director Vera Kulakova-Brannerud says, “Radio Vatan lives up to its slogan, ‘Radio Vatan: your native radio’.”
Radio Vatan has a very international outlook and aims to open Tajikistan to the world. Deutsche Welle and Deutsche Welle Academies chose Radio Vatan as their partner in Tajikistan, and the station has been translating Deutsche Welle’s programmes into Russian for the past five years. Radio Vatan also organises concert events and has brought performers from all over the world to perform in Tajikistan.
Committed to providing extra services to the Tajik people, Radio Vatan also broadcasts public-information and social-services programmes, including ‘Legal Clinic’, financed by the Norwegian embassy in Tajikistan, which provides free legal advice to female listeners on an anonymous basis. The station also operates a 24-hour hotline for women and organises an annual public-awareness campaign titled ‘16 Days Without Violence Against Women’.
Commitment to corporate social responsibility
Radio Vatan is a strong believer in corporate social responsibility. Vera Kulakova-Brannerud points out, “Our programmes are very popular among residents of Dushanbe and Kurgan-Tube. Each month we participate in different charity events which provide all kinds of support, including for homes and activities for orphans. We also support other non-government organisations and their projects. In addition, every year we organise the ‘Top 50 Most Fashionable People in Dushanbe’ award.”
Radio Vatan is committed to promoting volunteer services and has created the Radio Club of Volunteers. Vera Kulakova-Brannerud explains, “We try to deliver a profound message to the audience about the important role of volunteer activities in Dushanbe and Kurgan-Tube. We are mainly addressing the younger generation.” Radio Vatan will continue to serve as a voice of the people of Tajikistan and as an influential driver of the country’s economic and social development.