News release from Northeast Indiana Public Radio:
WBOI to Carry First Burmese Language Radio Program in U.S.
(July 1, 2012) – Fort Wayne public radio station WBOI (89.1 FM) will begin broadcasting what organizers say is the first Burmese language radio program in the United States.
The 30-minute FM Myanmar debuted Sunday, July 1st, at 3 p.m. One of the program producers, Thiha Kyi, says the show will feature discussion and debate of issues important to the local and international Burmese communities, as well as music, education, and lifestyle features. Kyi – a dentist by training– was among the Burmese refugees who located in Fort Wayne in the mid-1990s.
FM Myanmar is modeled after Golden Moon a cable TV program that began on Fort Wayne’s cable access channel almost exactly two years ago. Kyi says he hopes the radio program will broaden the exposure to information among members of the Burmese community who don’t have access to cable television service. “As Burma is in transition to become a democratic society, people inside and outside the country need to increase communication,” he said.
“I think some of our English-speaking listeners may be a bit baffled by the program at first,” said WBOI General Manager Will Murphy. “But certainly the Burmese-speaking community is a significant part of Fort Wayne, and we think this program is a natural part of our public service mission. And I hope the show helps expand conversation across communities in Allen County.”
Kyi says because the program will be streamed on the Internet, it will be available to large Burmese populations in New York, North Carolina, California, and even outside the U.S. He says expatriate Burmese in those states are already aware that they will finally have a radio program in their native language, and are eager to listen.
Northeast Indiana Public Radio (NIPR) is a non-profit organization that operates WBOI (89.1 FM) and WBNI (94.1). NIPR provides news as well as classical, jazz and other musical genres to a 16-county service area across northeastern Indiana, northwestern Ohio, and southern Michigan. More information is available at.