LRT RADIO’s multilingual radio shows

Over 10% of the Lithuanian population are minorities, with Russian and Polish people making up the largest groups. Over the past year, LRT RADIO has experimented with new ways to provide minority groups with trustworthy and reliable news and information.

8 February 2022

Broadcasting “COVID-19 Vaccination: Myths and Facts” inside the LRT RADIO studio. Credit: Edvard Blaževič

LRT RADIO’s innovative response to confusion around the COVID-19 vaccine among ethnic minority groups materialised last April with a one-off multilingual programme. It featured listeners pitching in with their questions, and the answers from two medical experts were then simultaneously broadcast in Russian, Polish and Lithuanian. While some may have thought it chaotic, it gave LRT RADIO the “opportunity to better reach ethnic minorities by broadcasting in a new way”, Dovilė Javinskaitė, Head of LRT RADIO Newsroom, explained.

Read more: LRT RADIO: Reducing the COVID confusion

Following this initial, successful experiment, LRT held another multilingual discussion about migration last year in light of the Belarus-EU border crisis and plans to host at least four more this year.

Ms Javinskaitė has noticed that radio shows in Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian have helped ethnic minorities feel more included in Lithuanian society.

The public radio station has other plans to involve ethnic minorities, including “radio hosts [making] trips around Lithuania in order to hear stories from people living on the smaller cities and on the outskirts”; involving them in more attractive formats such as visual radio; and creating more podcasts in languages other than Lithuanian.

“We are noticing that radio shows in Polish, Russian, Ukrainian or Belarusian are making stronger ties with Lithuania – ethnic minorities feel like they have community here and at the same time become more and more involved in Lithuania society.” – Dovilė Javinskaitė, Head of LRT RADIO Newsroom

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Header Image: Broadcasting “COVID-19 Vaccination: Myths and Facts”. Credit: Edvard Blaževič