By Patrick Jaramogi
ETOP radio station started broadcasting for eastern Uganda earlier this week. It is based in Soroti and operates on 99.4 FM.
Etop radio brings to five the number of radio stations launched by the Vision Group.
The other four are Vision Voice based in Kampala and operating on 94.8 FM, Luganda radio Bukedde Fa ma, also based in Kampala on 100.5 FM, Radio West in Mbarara on 100.2 FM and Radio Rupiny broadcasting from Gulu on 95.7 FM.
â€œThe first day was overwhelming and encouraging. We are getting callers from as far as Namalu, Kotido and Kamuli. The entire Teso region, as well as Tororo, Mbale and
Pallisa, are covered,â€ Joseph Akiiso, the programme manager, said yesterday.
Barbara Kaija, the New Vision deputy Editor-in-Chief, described Etop radio as a common manâ€™s radio. â€œWe are going to use the station to highlight the plight of the common man. It will act as a tool and platform for Ugandans to raise their views and voices,â€ she said.
Kaija described as baseless allegations that the radio would be used as a campaign tool for the NRM Government in 2011.
â€œEtop radio, just like the New Vision, is free from political interference. We got the best people in the market and the editors shall conduct their work professionally.â€
She noted that The New Vision is the only media organisation listed on the Ugandan stock market and owned by over 2,000 Ugandans who hold shares, representing 47%.
Kenneth Oluka, the New Vision regional editor, said Etop radio, just like Etop newspaper, will strive to inform, educate and entertain. â€œTo be able to do this, we have recruited highly trained and professional editors and journalists,â€ he said.
He added that the launch of Etop radio is in line with The New Visionâ€™s goal of becoming a dominant multimedia national company in Uganda, with media platforms in all regions and in some cases across the borders. He urged the locals to use the radio for development and constructive criticism.