UNMIL radio is considered the flagship of UNMIL public information products and the most trusted news source of any media outlet in Liberia. UNMIL Radio offers nationwide coverage reaching approximately 75% of Liberian territories and 80% of the population of nearly 4.1 million people.
Established at the inception of the Mission, it first hit the airwaves on 1 October 2003 from a make-shift studio – an OB van stationed in Spriggs Payne, Monrovia. Progressively, the station moved to the Mission’s Logistic Base (Star Base), before relocating to the present site adjacent Pan African Plaza, Headquarters of the UN Mission in Liberia.
UNMIL Radio is on-air 24/7, broadcasting 60+ programmes weekly in various formats and languages. Topics covered the work of the Mission and of the UN family at large, the Liberian Peace Process, national reconciliation, humanitarian interventions, current affairs, human rights, Rule of Law, security, gender, civic education and human interest stories amongst others.
The station broadcasts in English and Special Liberian English, as well as three local languages of Lorma, Bassa and Kpelleh. It also partners with some Community Radio stations that relay a selection of UNMIL Radio programmes, including major news bulletins.
Since its inception, the station has created more than a thousand jingles, public service announcements and drama addressing issues such as mob justice, peace and reconciliation, child rights, human rights, education, corruption, sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, along with civic and voter education during elections.
UNMIL Radio also works in close collaboration with the various sections of the Mission, the UN Country Team, Liberian government agencies, NGOs and civil society organisations.
Transmitter sites are located in Monrovia, Gbarnga, Voinjama, Zwedru, Harper, Tubmanburg and Buchanan. Transmission will soon be restored in Greenville and Saniquellie. Audio is delivered to these field transmitters through the Mission’s satellite network and microwave links, as well as a contracted commercial data network.
Our premium programmes include prime time news cast at 1 pm, the morning interview hub Coffee Break, the news and current affairs magazine Dateline Liberia, and a newsreel that rounds up key developments of the week.
The station focusses on delivering topical issues beneficial to the public service of Liberians of all ages, music, community engagement programming and selective human interest stories. It regularly reviews content and programming, with the aim of adapting these to evolving trends and ensuring a fresh and energetic approach.
UNMIL is currently in consultation with stakeholders on a transition strategy to transfer the station to an independent entity when the Mission closes in March 2018.