Since the 1990s, Zambia has experienced drastic political, social and economic changes, these changes have proliferated in the media industry more especially radio broadcasting. The need for community radio stations in Zambia has risen over the past few years this is because radio is still the dominant mass-medium in Zambia and Globally. It has the widest geographical reach and the highest audiences as compared to television, newspapers and other information and communication technologies. Radio seems to have proven itself as a developmental tool, particularly with the rise of community and local radios. Therefore, its from this background that this article….
A community radio station is a ...view middle of the document...
These programs are targeted at a varied audience ranging from children to mature adults. The format of the station’s programming include talk shows, interviews, current affairs, drama, religious and live coverage of events within the community it operates in.
Community radio station began some 50 years ago in Latin America, the main causes were poverty and social injustice. One radio station began in Bolivia in 1947, it was known as Miner’s radio and another Colombia and was known as Radio Stutenza (Action Cultural Popular) it also started in 1947, (Fraser and Restrepo, 2001). In Zambia, community radio stations started emerging after the country moved from one-party state to multi-party democracy in 1991. The Zambian government liberalized the airwaves, allowing new players to enter the media industry and this led to the opening of many community radio stations. The first ever community broadcasting began in 1994, Radio Christian Voice was the first community radio station. Today community radio stations have emerged in many parts of the country. Following the liberalization of the media industry in the country, community radio stations have increased steadily.
The management of community radio stations in Zambia, is regulated by The Radio Communications Act Cap 169 No. 25 of the Laws of Zambia. This is the law that regulates the provision of radio communication services and provides for the functions of the Communications Authority, which has now changed its name to the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA). The Act empowers the Communications Authority to have general control and supervision of radio communication and radio communication services (www.postnewspaperzambia.com).
Community radio stations respond to the needs of the communities they serve, contributing to their development within progressive perspectives in favor of social change. Community radio stations strive to democratize communication through community participation in various forms. Community radio stations are used to inform people of what is happening in the communities, in the country and outside the country, so that better informed Zambians can make rational decisions affecting their lives. Alumuku (2006, 35) notes that “ Community radio can bring people together with relative ease, almost effortlessly and thus spare them the hazards of being weighed down by the feeling of separation and isolation from what is happening in their neighborhood and the wider world”. In an ideal world community radio allows members of a community to gain access to information, education and entertainment. In its purest sense, it is a media in which the communities participate as planners, producers and performers.
Community radio stations are characterized by their access, public participation in production and decision making, management by listeners and their operations rely mainly on the community’s very own resources. Community radios incorporate new...