Radio 786 has built up its credibility as an impartial media house, providing extensive coverage to local and international events:
- Shootings and gang related violence on the Cape Flats– Radio 786 was the first media house to break the story of a pregnant girl who was shot and killed when returning from the day hospital. She was caught in gang cross fire in Hanover Park. Proving Radio 786’s strong relationship with the community, Radio 786 was given a tip off of the shooting, and arrived soon after the incident.
- Farmworkers’ strike– in late 2012, farmworkers in the Western Cape embarked on strike action, to demand a living wage. As Radio 786 has covered other issues affecting the farming community, e.g. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, farm murders, and the abuse of farmworkers by their bosses, its coverage of the farmworker strike had extensive depth, and could draw on the above-mentioned instances to provide holistic coverage of the events in the farm region. Radio 786 also visited one of the affected areas (De Doorns), and saw that a girl had been shot in the face by a rubber bullet, allegedly fired by police on the scene.
…at a time when these farm workers needed to get their voices heard, Radio 786, was the only station that was willing to accommodate us and listen and simultaneously allow us an interaction with the audience.– Enoch W Hohlo, Local government strategies and steering committee member of the Mawubuye Land Rights Forum
o In the lead up to the elections, Radio 786 gave each political party equal airtime to discuss their respective manifestos. This gave the community access to political parties so that they could make informed decisions when voting.
o Radio 786 also held round-table discussions with political parties, asking critical questions, and allowing the community to engage with political parties.
o The ground breaking Radio 786 initiative, People’s Parliament, where Radio 786 held live broadcasts in the poorer areas, and invited political parties to engage with the community.
o On the day of the election, Radio 786 broadcasted live from the IEC headquarters in Cape Town. There it spent 16 hours, providing live coverage, interacting with electoral officials, and providing live updates on the progress of the elections.
o It also had reporters stationed in various parts of the country, and locally, giving updates on the events at voting stations.
- 2011 Municipal elections:
o A similar approach was taken in the lead up to, and on the day of the election.
o It also coincided with the occupation of land in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, where homeless backyarders and anti-land invasion officials clashed. Radio 786 was on the scene.
- 2008/2009 Gaza war “Operation Cast Lead”– Radio 786 provided breaking news on the day of the attack (December 27th, 2008). It also dedicated an entire day’s broadcast to the events during the 22 day war. This included civilian accounts of the attack, analysis, and interviews with officials at the forefront of the war. Radio 786 also provided on the hour updates to its listeners. Radio 786 collected more than R 350 000 for the people of Gaza, and handed it over to aid organisation, Muslim Hands.
- Mavi Marmara– 31st May 2010 - Radio 786 journalist Gadija Davids was one of 40 international journalists that covered the first ever aid flotilla to Gaza Strip, which intended to break a crippling siege by the Israeli regime. The flotilla consisted of several boats, which carried aid workers, human rights activists, journalists, medical, construction and food supplies. The boat was attacked and captured by Israeli terrorist forces in international waters; nine activists were killed in the attack. She and 700 others on the flotilla were held captive by the Israeli regime for three days. This made worldwide news as Gadija was the only South African providing media coverage.
- Somalia day–in 2011, Somalia and neighbouring Eritrea experienced debilitating drought, causing sickness and death of hundreds of people in the Horn of Africa. Radio 786 partnered with four major relief organisations doing relief work in the region, namely: Gift of the Givers, Muslim Hands, Islamic Relief and Al-Imdaad. Radio 786 dedicated a full day’s broadcast highlighting the plight of the Somalian community.
- The Arab Spring, which started in Tunisia, became the focus of international communities. Radio 786 covered the Egyptian uprising, speaking to reporters in the region, and provided breaking news after Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Radio 786 also interviewed the Muslim Brotherhood, and had on the hour updates informing its listenership about what happened. It continues to cover the lesser known uprisings in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Radio 786 also provides alternate views on the civil war in Syria, and continues its coverage of the Palestinian crisis.
Radio 786 has also built-up a rapport with some of the top local and international journalists and commentators, such as Prof Adam Habib , Prof Steven Friedman, Eusebius McKaiser, Prof. Franklin Lamb, Ramzy Baroud, Peter Lavelle, Roshan Mohamed Salih, Ayo Johnson and Alistair Crooke. These commentators provide Radio 786 listeners with a fresh and alternative perspective on current issues. It also gives Radio 786 listeners a first-hand account of the experiences of the foremost international journalists and commentators, which allows a previously disadvantaged community access to high quality information.
In my opinion…Radio 786 is dedicated to exposing the truth about global and local injustices as well as its dedication to freedom, emancipation, and participatory politics. While I am a regular commentator on numerous international media outlets such as Russia Today, Al Jazeera, Press TV, BBC, CNN, and Sky News, I have a special respect for Radio 786. Hence, I strongly support the renewal of Radio 786’s broadcasting licence.– Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Associate Professor at the University of Tehran
All Radio 786’s programming provides the community with the opportunity to engage with events and issues of interest, or which affect them most. Radio 786 programming is therefore in line with its developmental strategy i.e. need, access, community involvement and participation.