Community radio's impact on community building: case studies from Kwazulu-Natal
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The major objectives of community radio are to "encourage widespread community participation in broadcasting, provide an opportunity for horizontal communication between individuals and groups in the community, stimulate more free and open debate of community issues and reflect the cultural and social diversity of the community" (White 1990: 4). The article focuses on six community radio stations in the greater Durban and Pietermaritzburg metropolitan regions of KwaZulu-Natal: Highway Radio; Radio Khwezi; Durban Youth Radio; Radio Maritzburg; Radio Al-Ansaar and Radio Phoenix. The ultimate purpose of the project is to explore the radio stations' relation to, and representation of, the audiences they define as their communities. The article traces the history of community radio in South Africa by assessing each of the radio stations in the province. The schema developed here can be further developed, modified and applied to other radio stations elsewhere in the country in later research. The project tests the thesis that community radios which have stable and representative governing bodies; adopt their budgets on time; spend their money as planned; and fulfil the requirements set down by the IBA, are for the most part the same radio stations with strong community ties, effective "development programming", sustainable funding situations and high listenership levels.
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