Norway isn’t the only country where criminals rule the airwaves.
The Vác Penitentiary is host for Hungary´s very own prison radio project: Radio B. The project is funded by Norwegian resources. So it was no coincidence that Editor in Chief, Mina, together with Editor Martine, found themselves on a plane heading down to the small Hungarian town of Vác, to share and discuss experiences surrounding the making of radio from inside prison.
Three inmates represented Radio B, and they had a lot on their minds. An interpreter helped the inmates at Vác convey their questions to the Norwegian delegation. Given that inmates are a vastly stigmatized group in society, both in Norway and in Hungary, it was no surprise when one of their first questions was about the public and it’s reaction to the publication of a radioshow from inside of a prison.
– No one has been negative about the project, Mina explains, who also points out that people are mostly curious about how RøverRadion works. She stresses that the inmates have to be creative when they produce content. The microphone is not there for them to complain about their sentences. This way they create something that has value for themselves as well as for their audience.
Radio B makes four or more hours of radio a week, compared to RøverRadions one hour. It´s not necessarily a question of quality over quantity, says Mina. – As you know this is not only about making radio, there is also a social aspect. We talk, discuss news and essentially become friends in order to make great content.
It dosen´t matter if you´re in Norway or in Hungary. Imprisoned or free, having a voice is important. – The biggest personalities are in prison. You either become a star, or you go to jail, says Mina with a smile on her face. Something everyone in the room seems to agree on.
Listen to some of the questions Radio B had for Mina and Martine: