Abyei Information and Radio Service (AIRS) is a local South Sudanese, not-for-profit media organization that was founded in October 2012 to provide critical news and information to the communities of the Abyei territory.
Established in October 2012 to support the proposed African Union referendum on Abyei, AIRS has been broadcasting radio programs since May 2013 in collaboration with The Radio Community’s Mayardit 90.7FM and Akol Yam 91FM stations in Twic and Aweil states. The live and pre-recorded programs reach communities across Twic, Gogrial, Ruweng (Abyiemnhom) and Aweil states in South Sudan to the northern part of the Abyei administrative area known as Kec/Diffra.
Programming: AIRS is the “Voice of Abyei,” and through a team of journalists provides a platform for communities to share experiences, engage with the government in a collaborative dialogue, express the needs and issues affecting the community in Abyei, and have balanced discussion that allows listeners to form their own opinions and thoughts. It is the only live radio program in the Abyei region produced and broadcast by local journalists.
AIRS is now comprised of two flagship radio programs, Abyei Today and Abyei This Weekend, which broadcast humanitarian news, informative features, music and entertaining stories to inspire listeners in Abyei and beyond. In South Sudan, the programs are heard through Internews supported stations Mayardit FM and Akol Yam FM in Twic and Aweil States, and Radio Tamazuj on shortwave reaching bordering countries and the rest of the world.
Target audience: AIRS programs broadcast in local languages (Arabic and Ngok Dinka) to a range of audiences. The programs are geared toward adults and children, as well as IDPs and host communities, with a particular focus on community development efforts to improve relations between the nomadic Misseriya herders and Ngok Dinka pastoralists and farmers. In early 2016, Misseriya and Ngok Dinka chiefs came together requesting AIRS to broadcast a historic peace meeting and bear witness for the people of Abyei.
Before the end of 2019, AIRS will launch its FM radio known as “Abyei FM” which will cover Abyei Box and neighboring states in South Sudan.
Aims and objectives of the organization:
• To maintain editorial independence, not controlled by any one individual or organization, the station strives to produce and broadcast programming that is fair, accurate and independent.
• To ensure that the station receives management, financial, technical, editorial, programming, sales and marketing support.
Executive Team: AIRS is governed by a Board of Directors that provide the strategic direction that informs the experienced team of journalists serving the information needs of Abyei.
AIRS Office: Agok, Juoljok between football playground and the Catholic Church, /Abyei South Sudan.