About Cotton Tree News

Written by Administrator / Monday, 28 June 2010 10:48

Cotton Tree News (CTN) is an independent news and information service started in 2007 at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone as a partnership project between the University and Fondation Hirondelle (link this to the tab with details about FH?). It produces six hours of programming, most of it live, broadcast over three key listening periods throughout the day, from 0600-0800, 1200-1400 and 1900-2100. CTN’s programmes are broadcast in English and the four Sierra Leonean national languages of Krio, Limba, Mende and Temne via the University’s teaching radio station, Radio Mount Aureol, and a network of community radio stations located around the country. CTN news is also broadcast on short wave to the wider region for half-an-hour every morning, and many of CTN’s reports and programmes can be found on its website www.cottontreenews.org.

The CTN project is focussed equally on the production of high-quality programming, mainly news and feature programmes, and the capacity building of its staff and the students from Mass Communication Department at the University. This represents a unique approach to media enhancement in a post-conflict environment. It is the first time that a global non-profit organisation has partnered with a major university in West Africa to combine a campus radio and a national training centre. CTN’s team of 35 journalists, including stringers and student volunteers, work as apprentices in a state-of-the-art newsroom and studio built by Fondation Hirondelle in the Mass Communication Department at Fourah Bay College.

The CTN project was initially supported by the Governments of the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the European Union. After only one year CTN made the shortlist for the BBC’s “Special Award for Development Media”. Support from the Governments of Germany, Ireland and the European Union for a second phase of operations (2009-2010) has offered the opportunity to CTN to consolidate the gains made so far in strengthening journalism in Sierra Leone, build up the capacity of the community radio station partners and even begin to develop income-earning services to cover costs. With the closure of the UN Radio and the transition of the government-run Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service into the independent public broadcaster, SLBC, the CTN project has continued to pay a crucial role in bringing independent news to the people of Sierra Leone and seeks to cooperate with SLBC as much as possible in future.

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Community Radio Stations

CTN can also be heard at various times during the day on the following community radio stations:

  • Radio Wanjei (Pujehun) 101.1 FM
  • Radio Galaxy (Lungi) 106.1 FM
  • Radio Modcar (Moyamba) 94.8 FM
  • Voice of the Peninsular Mountain (Tombo) 96.0 FM
  • Radio Moa (Kailahun) 105.5 FM
  • Radio Kolenten (Kambia) 92.4 FM
  • Radio Numbara (Bumbuna) 102.5 FM
  • Eastern Radio (Kenema) 101.9 FM
  • Eastern Radio (Kono) 96.5 FM
  • Radio Mankeneh (Makeni) 95.1 FM
  • Radio Bontico (Bonthe) 96.9 FM
  • Radio Bintumani (Kabala) 93.7 FM
  • Radio Gbafth (Mile 91) 91.0 FM
  • Radio New Song (Bo) 97.5 FM

and from 0730 – 0800 GMT on 11875 kHz short wave