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< prev - next > Information communication learning Community Radio_KnO 100041 (Printable PDF)
Community radio stations are usually set up 'by the community, for the community'. They
differ from national or international radio broadcasters because they feature local news and
issues and often include local people in the programmes. They are also able to broadcast in
the local language. Rural community radio stations often operate on a not-for-profit basis
although they may raise money through advertising.
Most community radio stations broadcast on the FM (VHF) waveband and their coverage
varies depending upon the equipment being used. Some small stations cover areas of a few
square kilometres whilst others broadcast within a radius of hundreds of kilometres and have
very large audience numbers. The regulations concerning the licensing of radio broadcasters
vary from country to country, and should be understood before undertaking radio initiatives.
Advantages of Community Radio / Amateur Radio
Community radio is often greatly appreciated by its
audience because of the localised nature of the
The community feels involved and can
contribute directly to the programme
content through letters, phone-ins or by
visiting the station.
Listeners do not require literacy.
A large audience can be reached.
For isolated communities without electricity
or telephone it may be the only
communication medium that they receive.
How to use Community Radio / Amateur Radio
Faraja Community Radio Station,
Shinyanga, Tanzania.
Setting up and running a community radio stations is a significant undertaking and
requires careful planning.
A license must be secured before broadcasting can start.
Determine the funds required for equipment, premises and all running costs.
Ensure that the necessary technical and broadcasting know-how will be available.
Decide on the number of broadcasting hours per day and ensure that interesting
programme content is collected to fill time ‘on air’. Consider making your own local
programmes or sourcing material from other stations. Build up a library of recordings
and music, and share with others.
Consider live programming including interviews, group discussions and phone-ins.
Encourage feedback and involvement from the listening audience.
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