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Radio Zid

Dayton ensured that Sarajevo is clearly divided administratively. Recent elections, won by the parties that perpetuated the war, have furthered that division. The situation is the same on the municipality level, with radical parties strongly in favor. Thus, by the will of the newly elected parties, the administrative divisions are spurning new cultural and intellectual divisions as well. Yet although such parties hope to foster and maintain these walls indefinately, life's needs drive people to break them. In Sarajevo, there are many examples of people from the "Serbian" or "Croatian" parts of the city trading with the largely Bosniac center, even engaging in small business operations on the border of these neighborhoods. Life in Sarajevo cannot develop economically, culturally or intellectually if such a reality is not accepted.

One of the natural consequences of our divided city is a lack of local electronic media fully dedicated to the whole of Sarajevo. ZID's programming makes it one of the few, if not the only, radio station desirable to WHOLE Sarajevo, proved time and again by our support and feedback. Threatened by the interest ZID generated in Serbian Sarajevo, an alternative station began in August of 1996 to use ZID's frequency in an attempt to dominate that part of the city.

Welcomed new circumstances arrived in August of this year when the International Media Commission, responsible for both programming and frequency licences, began to study local radio stations and regulate emission radiuses throughout the country. For the first time since Dayton, ZID will be able to fairly compete with other stations in Sarajevo for an equal audience. Now is the time to focus on the development of an urban radio for WHOLE Sarajevo.


Once again operating within a clear and fair emission radius, Radio ZID will no doubt grow in popularity and outreach. With this new situation, ZID can reach approximately 700,000 people in whole Sarajevo, including areas of Republica Srpska and Croatian neighborhoods.

Our first objective is to reach our audience with a cultural and musical programming which balances the creative output from all territories of ex-Yugoslavia. ZID's reputation stems from its success in doing just that: creating a well-balanced meeting ground of cultural activity from throughout the entire region. In October, ZID held a rock-n-roll festival in Sarajevo's railway station which brought together rock bands from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia for the first time since the war began. Busloads of young people arrived from Serbia and Republica Srpska for the rare opportunity to see popular groups from Croatia, and vice versa. The event's success proved what ZID has always known: there is an enthusiastic audience for such gatherings because, in the common arena of rock-n-roll, youth are not divided. After the concert, students from a radio station in Republica Srpska arrived at ZID to request the taped performance of a local Sarajevan band. Such examples are plentiful, powerful indicators of the connection between youth culture and integration.

As with its cultural programming, ZID hopes to broaden its sources and outreach in news. The situation today is one in which media ignore events taking place across those mental or physical borders erected by politicians. There exists no local, independent, electronic media to cover events in whole Sarajevo and surrounding areas. To understand what is happening in Serbian and Croatian neighborhoods, one must listen to Serbian or Croatian television and their corresponding radio stations. ZID's news must match its musical programming, serving the city as a necessary equalizing force by covering events in whole Sarajevo. To ensure that this is done efficiently, ZID will employ journalists from all areas of Sarajevo.

Additional improvement must be made in the quality of ZID's talkshows. Currently, weekend shows are run by a host of students representing different high schools throughout the city. These and other weekly programs generate diverse responses in letters, varying from strongly hostile to encouraging, submitted to ZID's Internet site (Cyberzid). Such response are usually unaccompanied by call-ins during the show, an indication that people of varying backgrounds listen to the program but do not contribute through the radio. Improved talk shows would not define the boundaries of accepted and unaccepted opinion, thus encouraging people of different backgrounds to exchange their experience and ideas.

Finally, ZID has always been appreciated for its international flavor which has in part been achieved by its international staff. We have thus far engaged native English speaking foreigners in marketing and fundraising departments. We would like to continue to employ foreigners at the radio, involving them this time in radio programming. These individuals can bring a new spirit, an outside perspective, and a different world view to the radio. The exchange is a mutually educational one which helps ZID to broaden its own awareness and as well as those within our worldwide network of friends.


Our primary target groups are educated listeners in WHOLE Sarajevo, a whole which we can now reach under the regulations passed by the International Media Commission. Particularly important to ZID are returnees and youth. When we think of returnees, we focus on that population returning from cities where urban radio is desired and available. In Sarajevo, these groups of individuals are often minorities in their area of living. They will be drawn to the diversity and cosmopolitan flavor of ZID, recognizing ZID's important contribution to city life. Finally, youth is of primary importance to ZID. It is the audience most readily available to share thoughts through the radio, to benefit from the energized diversity our rock-n-roll programming and outside events offer, and to help us engage in the longterm improvement of our city life.


Sarajevo's development is indefinitely hindered until communication between all parts of the city is a natural way of life. Necessary to this development is a common means of communication: a local electronic media that thrives in all areas of the city, bringing them together as a whole. Radio ZID Sarajevo has the potential to fully and creatively serve that purpose. With the necessary support, we are sure to succeed.
Husrefa Redzica 8, 71 000 Sarajevo
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