Adventist World Radio Expands Reach, Frequency of Programs
In a first, Adventist program airs on FM radio in Hyderabad, India
(Posted December 12, 2012)
BY ADVENTIST NEWS NETWORK
dventist World Radio (AWR)
next year will increase the frequency or length of several programs in Asia and Africa, bringing the amount of content close to previous levels before cost-
cutting measures were implemented several years ago.
At a recent AWR board of directors meeting, leaders approved a nearly $600,000, or 20 percent, increase in airtime budget to fund local language programming. Last year’s budget for airtime was slightly less than $3.3 million.
That move will also increase broadcast hours by about 20 percent next year, to more than 32,000 hours; up from 27,000 hours.
ADVENTISTS ON AIR: A congested road near Hyderabad’s Charminar (“Four Towers”) monument, where pedestrians, auto-rickshaws, and street vendors jostle for room. Adventist World Radio has begun broadcasts in Telugu, one of the local languages, on an FM radio station there. [PHOTO: Erik Wilde/Wikimedia]
The action specifically increases programming for 21 languages that AWR regional directors have identified as underserved.
Those languages include Amharic, Somali, Panjabi, and Urdu.
“We are grateful to God that we are able to expand this ministry wider and wider so that more people can hear the gospel in these languages,” said AWR president Dowell Chow. “We are able to make this welcome change thanks to several years of solid financial stability.”
This latest step is part of a wider expansion of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s broadcasting in the Eastern Hemisphere. In July, Hope Channel, the church’s official television network, announced investment for more programming in Africa, especially in local languages.
AWR is also planning programming and developing infrastructure for broadcasts reaching Myanmar, Bhutan, and Pakistan. Officials are also expanding the capabilities of the network’s operations in Guam. There, several huge antennas broadcast programming in more than 30 languages into Asia.
Meanwhile, on November 12, 2012, a Seventh-day Adventist program was broadcast for the first time on FM radio in India. The program was produced by AWR in the Telugu language, and was aired on a station in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state. The name of the program is Avennel, which in Telugu means Moonlight.
AWR signed a contract with a broadcast agency for an initial series of 11 Telugu programs. Additional broadcasts in Hindi and English will follow in other large cities, such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi, and others, as resources permit.