Now more than ever, public media is essential. Give Now.

Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: February 26, 2011

With the upheaval in Libya, perhaps you missed this story about how several small radio stations have become the mouthpiece of the anti-government rebels at a time when the Internet and most cellphone service in the country has been shutdown…and the nationally controlled newspapers have stopped publishing. Isn’t it amazing that a medium around for nearly 100 years can still be the most effective source of information in a crisis?

“With very simple equipment, we are sending our voice out to the people of the city to explain what we are going to do in the future, because Gaddafi is finished,” said Abdul Bliheg, a 29-year-old former Libyan state television employee, who helps run the station. “Radio Free Tobruk is a young people’s project. We are all doing it on a voluntary basis.” The radio station is broadcasting independently for the first time in over four decades.

Photographer David Degner has some stunning photographs of the protests in Libya including images from Radio Free Libya station in Bengazi, Libya, where they sometimes run old protest songs on reel to reel machines.