LIMA – Peru launched its first Quechua language national news show on state-run television and radio on Monday, an event that the government called “historic.”
The first broadcast of “Ñuqanchik” (“Us” in Quechua) began at 5:30 am on Monday amid great anticipation and under the leadership of journalist and anthropologist Clodomiro Landeo and journalist Marisol Mena.
Appearing on the show’s first broadcast was Council of Ministers president Fernando Zavala, who emphasized that this was “an historic event in terms of bringing the state closer to the public.”
“It’s a news show not only translated into Quechua, but it’s designed, conceived and produced by Quechua-speakers,” Zavala said.
In later remarks to reporters, he added that the government hopes “that this is not only an initiative, but that it continues and is a program that perhaps will get the highest” viewership rating.
He also called upon private television channels to “follow in these footsteps.”
Also included during the first program was a message taped in Quecha from Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczinsky, who greeted his Quechua-speaking countrymen and called on them for unity and hope.
“My countrymen, from today, this radio and television (station) ... will broadcast information daily to us, this medium is going to be the center for better understanding,” he added.
The initiative was pushed by the executive president of the National Radio and Television Institute of Peru, Hugo Coya, who told EFE that it encompasses “the spirit” of the message sent by Kuczinsky when he took office on July 28.
“He said that we must teach and educate in Quechua,” said Coya before emphasizing that “it’s the first time in the republic’s history that there is a news show fully in Quechua and which is also broadcasts on the national level.”
He said that the members of the Quechua-speaking journalistic team selected to run the show had been selected from all across the nation with the aim of placing the show on the “same level” as similar Spanish-language shows.
“The message is clear: this is the first step toward the acknowledgement of all those Peruvians who in any way have been excluded from the big television channels because they speak a specific language,” Coya said.
Quechua is one of Peru’s 46 original languages and estimates are that more than four million people speak it.
Coya also announced that in February and March 2017 a similar news show will be launched in Aymara, a language that he said “is spoken by one million Peruvians.”