Star Radio was created in 1997 by Fondation Hirondelle in Liberia. It established itself as the country’s benchmark radio station after the civil war, during the dark period under Charles Taylor and then during the years of democratic transition until 2008.
Star Radio launched its programs in 1997. Created by Fondation Hirondelle, it quickly became the benchmark radio station of Liberia, renowned for its professionalism, ethics, and quality of its programs. It was closed in 2000 by President Charles Taylor when Liberia was still struggling to emerge from the civil war. Fondation Hirondelle relaunched Star Radio in 2005 to continue our mission: to serve the population, peace, good governance, and development. Liberia was holding presidential and parliamentary elections that year, marking the end of a two year transition after Charles Taylor's exile.
Star Radio was the only Liberian media that had national coverage and was truly independent. It was Liberia's most popular radio station. A symbol for the Liberian people, the rebirth of Star Radio had a particularly important significance, marking the reconciliation and reconstruction of a country battered by 14 years of war. Liberians had a strong connection with the radio, they recognized it as an independent and reliable source of information. Every day, it allowed them to discover the reality of their country, to learn, to be entertained, and also to make their voices heard. It talked about all the subjects that concern them in everyday life: development, health, education, good governance, the status of women, and the protection of children. Programs such as "We too have a voice", which gave a voice to people with disabilities and war-disabled persons, or "Star Contact", which allowed families separated by war to find each other, are particularly symbolic of the radio’s impact in the lives of Liberians.
With an estimated audience of 1 million listeners, Star Radio reached 1 out of 4 Liberians. Its programs were broadcast 14 hours a day in FM in the 14 languages of the country, Liberian-English and English. Star Radio was also broadcast on shortwave 7 hours a day, covering an important part of the sub-region (Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone). The Liberian diaspora also followed Star Radio on its website, which received an average of 40,000 visits per month.
Its programs played an essential role in the daily exercise of democracy. Its work was hailed in 2006 by the Liberia Press Union, which gave it the "Radio station of the year" award. In 2008, Fondation Hirondelle transferred the management of the radio to a Liberian law organization that it helped create.