Euranet Set To Launch in March

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EU Flag

Sixteen radio stations in thirteen countries will make up the initial launch on Euranet. It’s a radio consortium officially launched in Brussels, Belgium, by Margot Wallström, who is Vice-President of the European Commission and in charge of the European Union’s (EU’s) communication strategy. International, regional and local broadcasters make up the ranks, including, among others, the following:

But wait, theres more! In addition to the broadcast FM stations across the European Union, there are plans to create an innovative website presence as well. According to Radio Netherlands, a partner in the project, the Internet face of Euranet will also be geared towards the submission of user generated audio.

The website that is part of the project will be of great importance, and it will be innovative, says Peter Veenendaal who is involved with the project on behalf of Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

“This will be a genuine audio website. Throughout the day you can listen to programmes and interviews. What is unique is that listeners themselves can also post sound files online. This will create a kind of database with sounds from all over Europe. And it is not just news, this is also about culture. We want to bring the real sound of Europe.”

While podcasts and audio streams have become pretty standard on radio station websites, this embrace of Web 2.0 style, user-generated content is a significant leap forward. The website, (euranet.eu) is slated to go online on June 1, 2008

The EU is primed to spend €6 million per year (approximately US $8.6 million) on Euranet, funding that the International Herald Tribune reports will run for the next five years. How will a reliance on government funding affect the content produced? Peter Veenendaal of RNW addresses that issue in this brief interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide’s Newsline.

Photo Courtesy of OpenDemocracy, used under this Creative Commons license.

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