This article documents the ideals of the free autonomous radio stations in the Netherlands: how they started as vehicles of the squat and activist movements in the cities and were gradually transformed into independent organizations that communicated the 'voices' of sound-artists underground musicians and community based groups who were not represented in mainstream media. Although they were broadcasting illegally many free radio stations were tolerated by the government as long as they did not interfere with the frequencies of regular radio stations and radio communication devices. Since 2003 however free autonomous radio broadcasting through the ether has almost completely disappeared. In that year the government started the 'Etherflits' (Ether flash) action which resulted in the abolition of approximately sixty per cent of the illegal radio broadcasters. This action created space on the fm band for commercial and public stations which were granted new fm frequencies through an auction in the summer of 2003. However the development of internet radio and the Indymedia radio network gives rise to new opportunities for the seven remaining free radio stations. Radio programmes are being exchanged with other free radio stations abroad and new ways of bilateral participation of people as producers and recipients of information are being developed.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-SA 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
TMG Journal for Media History; Vol 11, No 1 (2008); 66-90

Lelieveldt, Philomeen, & van Leeuwen, Jitse. (2008). Prick up your ears! De idealen van Vrije Autonome Radio in Nederland, 1969-2006. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 11(1), 66–90. doi:10.18146/tmg.558