IPDC project priority: Community Media Development

The Malian media sector has undergone significant liberalization and development following the advent of democracy in 1991, with the country boasting some 241 private radio stations in 2010, according to a survey conducted by the media union, URTEL. However in spite of this apparently vibrant media environment, radio coverage is unevenly distributed across the country, with some communities continuing to be deprived of their right to access media and information sources. One such example is the rural commune of Sirakoro, which currently has no local radio, and only sporadic reception of...

The public's perception of the role of television and radio in Saint Lucia is that they exist primarily for entertainment purposes as opposed to being an avenue to voice concerns and express views on issues that impact directly on daily lives in the community. Although 'call-in programmes' and 'talk shows' do exist, the subjects are almost always chosen by the producers and tend to be tailored to an urban audience. This project will develop a community radio station, entitled Harmony FM, to develop human and technical capacity within the community in order to allow the sharing of...

Ghana's media landscape has witnessed a proliferation of media houses in the past twenty years, with the country now boasting over 130 FM radio stations, 16 TV channels and over 300 newspapers. Unfortunately however, many of these media houses are dominated by commercialism and political agendas, and tend to lack plurality in terms of content and orientation. Community radios by contrast, are not driven by profit and propaganda, and therefore have the potential to change lives through better and increased access to information of social significance. This project aims to provide the...

The community radio sector in West, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa suffers from sustainability and capacity shortcomings to actually implement the community radio mission of public service to provide communities with self-help for social, economic and cultural development. Furthermore, national community radio networks organised with the goal of strengthening the organisational development of their members have so far been effective only in a few countries: Ghana, Mali and South Africa. While some national networks have been highly successful in mobilising the community radio...

The Chama district is far away (more than 330 km) from Lusaka, Zambia's capital city where the media industries and institutions are located. The national radio signal barely reaches this province and newspapers: monthlies, weeklies and dailies are a rarity. Most of the citizens of this area end up listening to Malawian radio, even reading newspapers from the same country, which is not ideal for the building of a national identity. The illiteracy rate is very high because of the long distances to schools and the natural barriers like hills and rivers, which lead pupils to drop out of...

In Malawi, severe floods occur regularly in six river basin systems. The highest flood frequency has been recorded in the Lower Shire Valley, covering Nsanje and Chikwawa Districts. For the communities living in these areas, better information could considerably lessen human suffering: improved meteorological services giving accurate and timely information about the weather patterns can alert the population to be better prepared for the coming of rains, and hence enable them to move to higher grounds with their livestock to carry educational and medical equipment to safer areas. The...

A three tiered media structure comprising public, private and community is now in place. However, there are critical issues of concern. First, the guidelines subsume campus radio, community radio and agricultural universities under the same umbrella. This is unrealistic, particularly in the context of management and ownership. Community radio stations in most parts of the world are managed and owned by communities, in contrast to campus and agricultural university radio stations. Other issues of concern are that the guidelines do not permit community radio stations to broadcast news. This...

In Namibia rural dwellers in the remote areas do not have a platform to present their voices of concerns in a language they understand to those delegated with the responsibility to govern them. However, only few indigenous language newspapers currently exist in Namibia, such as the Caprivi Vision newspaper, which is published in English and Silozi and mainly distributed in the Caprivi region. The lack of training skills in news reporting, graphic design, marketing management and the lack of equipment such as printing facilities and computers still hinder the publication from improving its...

Media pluralism is a recent phenomenon in Chad, so much so that, as is often the case in countries in which pluralism of expression is embraced against a backdrop of poverty, the professional challenges are multiple. Today, however, the Chadian media can be viewed as a vanguard in pluralism of expression. Nevertheless, Chadian journalists are threatened and arrested in the exercise of their profession, and the media landscape is characterized by a lack of training among journalists, in writing for radio for production techniques, and among first-level maintenance technicians, as well as a...

There are hundreds of CLCs around Nepal, but only a handful of operative and self-sufficient CMCs. A proper network among these centres, starting from fewer districts, could become a fundamental awareness and information channel for communities. Although the quality and diversity of media are increasing in more populated areas, this is not true in remote areas. There, the often illiterate population has to receive information largely from local radio, and not enough quality information is available. CMCs practitioners have not received professional training, some are not well informed...

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