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|Purpose||Anti-Gaddafi Broadcast Media|
Tribute FM is an English-language radio station targeting a Libyan audience both inside and outside the country. It was launched in May 2011 during the country's civil war. It is opposed to the government of Muammar al-Gaddafi.
Tribute FM describes itself as "Libya's first free, independent and urban English radio station". It says it is run by young Libyans who decided that the once banned English language should now have a presence on the airwaves of "the New Free Libya".
Tribute FM started test transmissions on 8 May 2011. On the morning of 11 May it was still in test mode, announcing: "You’re listening to Tribute FM, broadcasting from Benghazi. We will be back live at 6 p.m. GMT (UTC) till approximately 1 a.m. GMT. For more information about how you can listen to us, please go to http://www.tributefm.com."
Tribute FM was launched by four people, at least two of whom have dual Libyan and British nationality. Because of fears of reprisals by Gaddafi loyalists, they do not disclose their full names. Similarly, the exact location of the station's studio is a secret, though it is said to be in Benghazi.
In late May 2011, Tribute FM was broadcasting daily at 8 p.m. to about 4 a.m. local time (1800-0200 GMT/UTC).
Also in late May 2011, it was reported that the station's studio had suffered minor damage in a bomb attack. This followed an accusation by pro-Gaddafi television that Tribute FM was a foreign-financed attempt to spread Christianity.
Other opposition radio stations
A number of other opposition radio stations, calling themselves Voice of Free Libya or Radio Free Libya, including one station in Benghazi, began broadcasting in Arabic earlier in the civil war. It is unclear whether Tribute FM has any connection with them.
- Tribute FM Station website
- Dave Kernick Radio Netherlands Worldwide Media Network blog comment 12 May 2011
- Radio free Benghazi – the war of words Article by Zoe Williams on guardian.co.uk May 15, 2011
- Libyan rebels air radio with a cause Article by Sara Snider, CNN, May 27, 2011
- Libyan English-language radio station carries on in the face of attacks Article by Zoe Williams on guardian.co.uk May 29, 2011