Hungarian prison to set up own radio station

Budapest, Sep 9 (IANS): A Hungarian prison is preparing to set up its own radio station, called Bars FM, media reported Tuesday.

The broadcasts, initially to run for two hours a day, will go on air Oct 1 in the Vac Penitentiary and Prison, some 34 km north of Budapest, Xinhua reported citing news portal Nepszava online.

The Hungarian venture, supported by psychologist Judit Hajdu and former BBC staff member Zsolt Braun, is designed to offer inmates information on prison life and to help with readjustment with society following their release.

It is also a learning tool, teaching inmates about the broadcasting profession. It is modelled on a similar British initiative that has been on air for the past 20 years.

The studio is being set up in the prison library, where three weeks' worth of broadcast material is being recorded in advance.

The editor-in-chief of the broadcasts is an inmate with an information technology background, identified only as Tamas P. He explained that the broadcasts will be heard through the sound systems of the television sets located throughout the prison.

Prison inmates also make up the rest of the staff.

This is not the first such cultural initiative at the Vac prison, which has been operating a theatre of its own along with a drama group for a number of years.

If the radio station proves successful, there are plans to extend the broadcasts to other prisons in Hungary.

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