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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The importance of participation in development through community radio: a case study of Nkhotakota community radio station in Malawi
Author:Mhagama, Peter
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 1992-6049)
Geographic term:Malawi
community development
community participation
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02560046.2016.1164384
Abstract:This article examines the role of participation in development through community radio. Ordinary people participate in community radio through programme production, financing, management and the daily operations of the station. This enables them to define the development problems faced by their communities, and to find solutions to those problems - they therefore participate in development through community radio. As such, the term 'participation' is presented as an empowering factor for ordinary people and as a potential solution to the many development problems faced by the community. Using Nkhotakota community radio station in Malawi as a case study, the article employs Sherry Arnstein's ladder of participation to evaluate various forms of participation in the media and in development. The article finds that ordinary people's participation in the media is low or reduced. The argument is made that while some development goals require the full involvement of the people (e.g., access to media technology, participation in programme production, management and daily operations of the station), others do not require full-blown engagement for development to be realised. Therefore, community radio can encourage development even when members of the community do not participate fully in the activities of the radio through other means such as promoting development initiatives started by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]