Using a mix of music styles—contemporary Christian, gospel, Indian and Fijian music—and striving for excellence in broadcast news, a new Seventh-day Adventist radio station in Suva, Fiji, is attracting listeners and interest.
The new radio station, 97.6 Hope FM, broadcasts from a studio at the church’s Fiji Mission office in Suva. Its signal reaches as far as the towns of Navua and Nausori.
The station’s transmitter is temporarily located on the same tower—in Tamavua, a Suva suburb—as those of Trinity Fiji Television and its sister radio station, FM 97. The church plans to build its own tower on land subleased from one of its members.
The station plays only Christian music, but the style of the music varies. “The [musical] mix is different,” says Aisake Tiko Kabu, the station manager.
Kabu says the station will broadcast more morning news bulletins—22 from midnight to midday each weekday, with bulletins scheduled every half hour until 9 a.m.—than any other radio station in Suva.
“By having one of the best news services, we expect to attract a large number of listeners to our Christian messages,” says Kabu.
A news team of 20, including Melba Lala, a former newsreader on Fiji TV’s FIJI 1, are producing the bulletins. Another former FIJI 1 newsreader, Joe Talemaitoga, hosts “Good Morning Suva” from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on weekdays.
The station’s staff members, all Adventists, have committed to serve a day a week for three months. “But I’m also receiving calls from other Christians who [want] to volunteer,” says Kabu.