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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 8) – A Papua New Guinea commercial radio station has hit the airwaves in Bougainville.

YumiFM, the Tok Pisin radio station owned by PNGFM and sister station to NauFM, is being heard around Tinputz, Buka Island and areas within the vicinity of the PNGFM transmitter for two weeks now.

Tok Pisin is a widely-used pidgin English which has many variations in Melanesia.

PNGFM general manager Peter Aitsi said YumiFM’s coming to Tinputz — where their transmitter is located — had been made possible through a group of people from Tinputz.

Mr Aitsi said the group, led by Bougainvillean and former YumiFM announcer Paul Max Haliken and Blaise Zena approached him and deputy manager Justin Kili asking if PNGFM could broadcast in Bougainville.

"They themselves initiated the idea and said that a lot of people in Bougainville especially Tinputz had expressed their interest for YumiFM to broadcast in their area," Mr Aitsi said.

He said the group itself provided funding worth K15,000 for the joint venture project and PNGFM supplied the transmitter and other equipment.

Asked whether PNGFM was thinking about expanding the service to other parts of Bougainville, Mr Aitsi said they would only concentrate in Tinputz and Buka until it was well established.

Mr Aitsi said hopefully they would set up a radio studio to supplement the YumiFM broadcast into the province.

Over the next three months, the joint-venture project will monitor the strength of the transmission and power consistency of the station.

He said at present power was being supplied only through a diesel generator, which means that when it is turned off, the transmission stops. Many people asked about receiving YumiFM said they were very happy with the service.

January 9, 2004

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