Sound of Hope
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|Sound of Hope|
Sound of Hope (SOH) is a provider of radio news, lifestyle and cultural programming, talk shows and commentaries. SOH was established in June 2003, and along with New Tang Dynasty Television and The Epoch Times, are part of a network of media organizations established by Falun Gong practitioners, in an effort to create media that is an independent of the pressure or influence by Chinese government. It now has operating teams spread across North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
SOH Network radio programmes are primarily in Chinese varieties (Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien), but also offers a multilingual service that includes English, Spanish, French, Vietnamese and Korean programming.
SOH has two main operational arms. There is the Chinese side, known as The Sound of Hope Radio Network, and the Western side which is led by the English-language SOH Network, headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
The Chinese version of SOH is a non-profit radio network based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the United States. In San Francisco Bay Area, SOH broadcasts through KSQQ FM 96.1 and KVTO AM 1400 during afternoon and evening hours and has grown to be the largest Chinese radio in the region, providing news, music and information that is pertaining to daily life of local expatriate Chinese. It covers a range of major issues that are of particular concern to local Chinese listeners, such as SCA-5 debate, California drought, Cupertino city redevelopment, election participation and civic engagement, etc.
The two sides of SOH are currently broadcasting in about 10 cities worldwide through local AM/FM radio, as well as to mainland China through shortwave radio and to a worldwide Internet audience via online streaming. It reaches a worldwide audience which includes millions of expatriate Chinese and tens of millions of listeners in mainland China.
Sound of Hope, along with The Epoch Times and NTDTV, was founded by Falun Gong practitioners who had emigrated to the West. Many of its staff are Falun Gong adherents who volunteer their time and services. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, NTDTV president Zhong Lee stated that the company's original purpose was to speak out against the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong, but that it "can also play a big role pushing democracy in China." It was the last of the three media to be established, beginning operations in June 2003, supported by a network of volunteers that continue to maintain the station's programming. In 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the boards, including Allen Zeng and its reporting staffs of 20 are composed of Falun Gong practitioners.
Their programs in English include a weekly segment entitled "Speaking of Asia," concentrating on Asian news and culture. English programs also cover traditional Chinese stories and originally included a segment on learning to speak Chinese. The French version includes weekly recipes. Programs can be heard on the internet and is broadcast in a number of major cities, including Sydney, Chicago, and New York. Sound of Hope also provides several podcasts with an Asian focus, as well as on more general interest topics.
The station is critical of the Chinese government and favorable of human rights, Falun Gong, and other suppressed beliefs in China. It has also come out with an audio version of the Nine Commentaries, a critical works on the Chinese Communist Party and its actions throughout history. The service broadcasts to mainland China for 15 hours a day and is regarded as the largest non-governmental short wave radio broadcast to China. As a result of this and regular attempts to broadcast into China, their China-directed airwaves have been interfered with, and radio reception of the station in China is not good. In depth reporting also focuses heavily on reported human rights abuses by the Chinese government against dislocated residents, practitioners of Falun Gong, and on current efforts to withdraw support of CCP leadership following the publication of the Nine Commentaries by the Epoch Times.
- Chen, Kathy Chinese Dissidents Take On Beijing Via Media Empire Wall Street Journal November 15, 2007
- Hua, Vanessa (18 December 2005). "Dissident media linked to Falun Gong / Chinese-language print, broadcast outlets in U.S. are making waves". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 9 December 2006.