Radio Bajina Bašta

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Radio Bajina Bašta is a radio station in Bajina Bašta, Western Serbia. It started broadcasting on May 15, 1992, during a time when, only a few hundred meters west of the radio station, a civil war was raging in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Even though the war never reached Serbian soil, the country was troubled about what was happening on the left bank of the Drina River. The bordering region was besieged with refugees from both sides in conflict. Bajina Bašta was flooded with both Muslims and Serbs from Bosnia that were expelled from their homes.

Employees of the radio station knew that the war was senselessly provoked by multiethnic misunderstanding and intolerance. They knew the important role of the media during war and therefore started collecting and broadcasting information that was different from the propaganda that was coming from Serbian and Bosnian National Television. The radio station used language of understanding, good will and tolerance, ignoring the hatred and violence being spewed by a majority of others. The program that promoted democratic values by disseminating factual information and ideas gained popularity fairly quickly among the Bajina Bašta citizens.

Consequently, the concept of free radio did not go in everyone’s favor and very soon Radio Bajina Bašta created its opponents. Political extremists started criticizing, jeopardizing and threatening the radio station. Nobody believed that the truth would continue to be spoken due to the mounting pressure the station employees faced from radical nationalists who could not tolerate independent thinking.

Radio Bajina Bašta struggled for its survival. The first independent radio station from Belgrade, B92, offered to help, and shortly after many others followed: the Soros Foundation, Studio B, UNESCO, IFJ/FIEJ and many others. Thanks to them, Radio Bajina Bašta survived through troubled times.

Bajina Bašta radio is part of a privately owned information enterprise which consists of TV Bajina Bašta and Bajinobaštanska Baština.

Bajina Bašta’s radio signal reaches the whole of western Serbia and the eastern part of Bosnia. The station broadcasts 24 hours of news, music and other entertainment programs. It has received a number of international awards including the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reward for the best war coverage during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and the prestigious Jug Grizelj Award for "the highest achievements in investigative journalism in the service of eliminating borders and developing friendship among nations", as well as several local awards.

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