Created in 1981 by Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Radio Notre Dame is a Catholic and generalist radio station from the Ile-de-France region. It broadcasts on FM, cable, satellite and online with programs that focus on the heart of spirituality and major human issues. The station is funded through donations from its listeners.
The station has taken on a new initiative to develop programs for French-speaking Christian radio stations throughout the world. Under the impetus of the new archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, Radio Notre Dame created a new department to support producing specific programs available to all Christian radio stations.
“Our mission is to accompany these radio stations, which are mainly in Africa and which did not have the means to broadcast programs all day long,” explained Bruno Courtois, general manager of Radio Notre Dame.
This new project reflects the desire of the Parisian radio station to develop links with other Christian media, well beyond France.
In Africa, radio remains “the reference medium,” explained Courtois. ”The challenge is to defend Christian culture on this continent, especially in countries like Burkina Faso, where Catholics are regularly victims of attacks. Faced with radical Islam and this intolerable violence, there is a real expectation on the part of local churches as well as public authorities. Helping these radio stations means becoming a player in social peace in Africa.”
Radio Notre Dame has set up a team to develop and publicize its programs internationally. Project Manager Mathilde Montovert is working with the African radio stations and directors to understand their expectations. A programmer on the team builds the schedule and ensures the packaging.
Because many regions lack internet coverage or do not have enough speed to allow a good listening experience, Radio Notre Dame has chosen to lease the services of the Eutelsat 8 satellite to transmit the programs.
With the project 18 months old, 55 radio stations have joined the grid, mainly in Gabon, Benin, Togo, DRC, Mali, Burkina, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Haiti, the French overseas departments and territories and the Marquesas Islands, reported Radio Notre Dame.
“We must have an international vision of our profession, and pursue our development where there is a very strong demand,” added Courtois.
This story first appeared in RedTech’s sister publication La Lettre Pro.