Free Radio In Berlin and Brandenburg
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This is not a full English version of the German website,
but it is a good general description of what it's about.
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Some questions answered!

What are the main goals of the radio campaign?
The target of this campaign is to convince the senate of the necessity of a free radio and to make it possible to applly for a free radio by changing the local media law.
What is "free" at a free radio?
The radio does not have to justify itself to the advertising industry or represent any political broadcasting council. Thus the radio remains free of commercial and political influence. It must not arrange its transmissions to a ratio or sales-strategic criteria. Instead representatives of the different goups involved decide whats going on.
How does the program look?
We don`t want to specify as yet. After all its an open project. But we collect suggestions and are happy to receive concrete proposals. Here are some offers already made and heres what we were doing for radioriff auf reisen in December/January 2003/4.
Who makes the transmissions?
In principle all listeners who have an interest in doing so. Practically in such a way that one follows a thematically fitting listening model or creates a new one. The structure and time plan would then be coordinated at collective meetings.
Who listens to this radio?
Everyone, who is sick of the standard crap, silly money games and boring reports and would instead like to hear more experimental radio, behind the scene reports and a voice from the many mini-subcultures that turn this capital city into a collection of little villages. Generally the free radio should be one made for and by the listners. Compared to the sea of crap polluting our frequencies our "Free Radio" will have a strong experimental character.
Why is there not already a "free radio" in Berlin?
The senate answers: "Because there is already an open channel (OKB). In the Berlin-Brandenburg medium convention, we have committed ourselves to the open channel. Beyond that no non-commercial local radio is desired." frequency application (in German)
What differentiates a free radio from the open channel (OKB)?
The question has to be asked, since at the OKB everyone can reserve time for their broadcast. It sounds a little like Free Radio, but its not. How? OKB is hierarchically organized and is an arm of the media body that controls the licenses for radio frequencies (MABB). Furthermore, broadcasts run unconnected one after the other in a queueing process, where as in the Free Radio program schedules are arranged thematically and are the result of a social and aesthetic process. This is assuming that those involved have a common interest in the radio station itself. There is a path. It may run in curves, but it is nevertheless the result of the connection - Free Radio. In this way each individual broadcast is part of a common, open project. While at the OKB, its users dont identify with the main project in any way. A mutual, solidary discussion on the quality of the program does not take place, common learning and testing just as little.
Is it so easy to get a frequency?
It´s not easy. The local government need to be convinced that Berlin cannot function properly without a "Free Radio".
The concept of a Free Radio does not exist in the local media treaty for Berlin Brandenburg. Thats why we're calling for a change and/or extention of the local law (Section 6, § 43 FF). To achieve this we are working in two fields: lobbying and public actions. The greater our numbers, the more the political pressure we can create.
What does it cost to maintain a free radio?
To produce radio is unbelievably cheap. Therefore the radio itself is outstanding as a democratic medium. Unlike a Pirate radio, a legal free radio must pay the frequency rental of Telekom and the lisence fees (GEMA, VG word). Therefore a base amount of 10.000€ monthly is necessary. Depending on rent a free radio can be therefore be implemented with 150 - 300,000 Euro per year. In addition is the once off allocation of 30 - 70,000€ for equipment, studios and office.
In comparison: the OKB (open channel Berlin) has an annual budget of 1.000.000€.
How will the free radio be financed?
Free radio is (by definition) a non-commercial local radio and takes over an important public role. Therefore it is only logical that it receives public funding, i.e. a proportion of the broadcasting fees of GEZ (only 2%). The national broadcasting law designates this explicitly. The local Berlin government, as stated above, have so far refused transferring this national law to federal state law. Apart from this public financing the radio, after it has gathered a sufficient audience, can be partly financed through membership fees, parties, donations and sales of CD`s, T-shirts etc.
Who gets paid at a free radio?
The Telekom, the GEMA, the Federal Department of Finance, VG word and perhaps the two to four people needed to run the technical and beaurocratic side of things.
Otherwise, actual transmission contents are produced by the pure enthusiasm of those making it.
Where can I learn more about free radios?
Either with pi radio e.V. (there is also a link list there to free radios nation-wide, such as or BFR - Bundesverband Freie Radios the Germanwide association for free radio:
Or in book form: " free radios as place of the active youth medium work " of Harald Cock, as paperback 19.90 euro, ISBN 3-89821-158-4 [ to the publishing house ] .

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Send your questions, criticism and/or suggestions to the kontakt address below.

Postfach 02 99 19 - 10132 Berlin