Challenges And Prospects Of Campus Radio Broadcast

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Challenges And Prospects Of Campus Radio Broadcast


Abstract


It is not just good enough to obtain license, establish and start running a community radio station. The success of any organization is hinged on the fulfillment of the objectives of that organization. It is based on this premise that this research work is carried out to examine the present operational nature of Kaduna state University Kaduna Community Radio Station 98.9 KASU FM in comparison with the Objectives of its establishment, trying to find out the challenges (if any) and prospects of the radio station in the process with the hope that it will be useful to the university management and the Department of Mass Communication on issues concerning the operation of the radio station, policy adjustments, funding and equipping.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The personal and unique character of radio makes it one of the most appealing and universal mass medium for participatory communication and development (Teer-Tomaselli& De Villiers, 1998). Various researches avers that radio has the capacity to reach large audiences, both young and old, including those in remote underdeveloped and impoverished areas of the developing world.

According to Bosch (2007), in the absence of other forms of media such as television and newspapers, radio has proven to be a powerful and vital means of entertainment and communication that guarantees community involvement in the communication process. Further researches show that radio is renowned for providing communities with up-to-date local and international information in their own languages accompanied by various music genres that are compatible with diverse cultural inclinations (Mmusi, 2002).

The development of digital radio and its capacity to integrate or network with various Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), through convergence, has arguably placed radio as the world’s most successful medium to date that reaches millions of listeners everyday (National Community Radio Forum, 1993). While the traditional functions of national radio, especially Public Broadcasting Service cannot be underestimated, community radio serves as a “niche” of the media landscape that serves as a primary source of reliable information for the entire population (Dunaway, 2002).

As such, the sector has continued to provide news and information relevant to the needs of community members in the form of a medium which empowers them politically, socially and economically, through locally produced and oriented media contents (Wigston, 2001; Fraser & Estrada, 2001). This is evident in the kind of programming that reflects people’s needs with regard to education, information, and entertainment to all language and cultural groups in the country (Mmusi, 2002 and Teer-Tomaselli, 1995).

The African Charter on Broadcasting recognises and advocates for a three tier radio regime in individual African countries: public service, commercial/private and community. According to Fraser and Estrada (2001):

Public service broadcasting is generally conducted by a statutory entity, usually but not necessarily state supported or state-owned corporation with broadcasting policies and programming often controlled by a public body, such as a council or a legally constituted authority… and community broadcasting is that non-profit service that is owned and managed by a particular community, usually through a trust, foundation, or association. Its aim is to serve and benefit that community; relying on the resources of the community.

The Nigeria Broadcasting Code (2012) defines a community as “a group of people residing in a particular geographical location or sharing a strong interest, which the community desires to develop through broadcasting. Such communities include: a local, non-profit organisation, an educational institution (campus), a cultural association, a co-operative society, and a partnership of associations.”

From a simplistic perspective, community radio is the radio station established and operated by the people of a specific community to advance, promote and protect the community’s common interest and objectives. In a broader sense, the African Charter on Broadcasting defines community radio as the “broadcasting which is for, by and about the community, whose ownership and management is representative of the community, which pursues a social development agenda, and which is non-profit” (Goggle.com/http: The struggle for community broadcasting).

The word community could be defined by a territorial space or social interest that may be cultural, political, economic, professional, etc. The important thing about a community is that it consists of people who share common interests, values, characteristics and goals. They may be physically domiciled in one geographical entity or physically separated but socially united in their goals. Also, Opubor (2006) defines community radio as:

When radio fosters the participation of citizens and defends their interests; when it reflects the tastes of the majority and makes good humour and hope its main purpose; when it truly informs; when it helps resolve the thousands of one problems of daily life; when all ideas are debated in its programmes and all opinions are respected; when cultural diversity is stimulated over commercial homogeneity; when women are main players in communication and not simply a petty voice or publicity gimmick; when no type of dictatorship is tolerated, not even the musical dictatorship of the big recording studios; when everyone ‘s words fly without discrimination or censorship, that is community radio.

The fundamental factor about community radio according to the Association Mondiale Des Radio diffuseurs Communautaires (AMARC), that is the World Association of Community Broadcasters, is that it responds to the “needs of the community it serves, contributing to its development within progressive perspectives in favour of social change; and striving to democratise communication through community participation in different forms in accordance with each specific social context” (Estrada, 2001).

Although, radio is not a new phenomenon, private ownership, control of programming, content and operation is relatively a recent phenomenon. It has been gaining strength throughout the world in recent years most especially in developing countries. As a result, private FM and community radio has attracted the attention of many international development organizations as an optimal resource to be developed in the struggle for democracy, the fight against diseases and the preservation of local language and culture (Blackson, 2005).

Furthermore, radio is scholarly proven to be the perfect medium for mass communication. If we compare radio to other mass media channels, it consistently rank as the most popular means of information dissemination, regardless of the continent. The interactive appeal of radio has distinguished it as an effective medium above other tools of mass media. What makes radio particularly appealing is its interactivity, its capacity to provoke dialogue and solicit the participation of local populations (Baran, 2003).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

This research work observes that Kaduna state university (KASU) is faced with the problem of providing training ground for students of Mass Communication in the area of practical radio journalism. The university management does not only realize the benefit of establishing a community radio for actualizing this objective, it also realizes the benefit of establishing other platforms for training students who have interest in both radio and television broadcasting.

It has also been observed that the university is willing to establish a community radio station, but faces the challenges of funds, staff, equipment, location of the radio station and obtaining license from the National Broadcasting Commission.

The university also faces some challenges in information dissemination to the members of the university community. There are other means of information dissemination to the members of the community who are either directly or indirectly affected by the messages,, but not all the members of the community get the information. This poses a threat to the management and a new way of information dissemination is required. Therefore, this study looks at the challenges and prospects of campus radio broadcast, taking Kaduna State University as a case study.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are:

  1. To find out the factors responsible for the establishment of Kaduna State University campus radio.
  2. To find out the operational nature of the radio station.
  3. To find out the administrative structure of the radio station.
  4. To find out if there are existing gaps between the aims of establishing the radio station and its current operational function.
  5. To find out the challenges affecting the effectiveness of the radio station (if any).

1.4 Significance of the Study

The data and information gathered in the course of this research would help the broadcast industry, media policy makers, the legislature, government regulatory agencies in charge of broadcasting and university management/authorities to foster a more proactive, competitive and productive ways of developing community radio broadcasting in Nigerian universities.

Wherever it was established that this work further provides information and additional literature on the nature, importance, challenges and the prospect of campus community radio broadcast.

The findings in this research work provide a platform for students of mass communication who aspire to achieve greatness and breakthrough in radio journalism and presentation.

It serves as a guide for researchers and others interested in the area of community radio broadcasting. This and other literature on the challenges of community radio broadcasting will guide the researchers on the possible solutions to the challenges.

It also provides information for students who wish to build from this research and to explore other dimensions to this study. Lastly, this research work would help scholars in the field of mass communication in identifying the relevant areas of research in the community.


1.5 Scope of the Study

The focus of this research is on the challenges and prospects of campus radio broadcast taking Kaduna State University (KASU) as a case study.


1.6 Limitations of the Study

One of the limitations of this study is that it shall only consider the process and procedure enabling the establishment of campus radio or community radio broadcast in Nigerian universities. It also considers the challenges limiting its effectiveness and efficient operations.

Another limitation is that it shall only understudy KASU 98.5 FM station out of about 27 licensed campus radio stations across the federation. This probably makes some findings from the research inapplicable to other campus radio stations. More so, the intention to use questionnaire as an instrument of survey would not erase the possibility of bias from the respondents’ responses to the questions in the study.

Another limitation is that, community radio broadcasting is a new area in Nigeria compared to other developed African countries; this makes it hard for the researcher to find available materials for the research.

Time or the duration of the research work is a limitation for the work to be completely and accurately executed. Also delay in respondents’ feedback is another factor which affects this research study.

Financial constraints hinder the smooth conduct of this work as materials are needed but the economic condition in the society is affecting everyone and respondents apathy are also limitations the study also encountered.


1.7 Research Questions

The study seeks to provide answers to the following Research Questions:

  1. What are the factors that influenced the establishment of a Campus Radio Station in Kaduna State University?
  2. What is the operational nature of the radio station?
  3. What is the funding mechanism of the radio station?
  4. What is the state of the current operational function of the radio station in relation to the aims of establishing it?
  5. What is the perception of students towards the radio station?

1.8 Definition of Terms

Campus:

An environment of learning in an academic institution, especially for tertiary education.

Radio station:

A broadcast house where mostly audio content and programming are produced and transmitted over broadcast spectrum or frequency

Campus Radio:

A radio station situated at the premises of an academic institution.

Community Broadcast:

The way of broadcasting within a close frequency or range to a section of the society.

Challenges:

The limitations and inhibition posed or that threatens the establishment, effectiveness and efficiency of the campus radio broadcast in Nigeria universities.

Prospect:

The possibilities and capacity to operate a successful campus radio broadcast in the universities.

NBC:

National Broadcasting Commission. The acronym for the sole broadcast regulatory agency in Nigeria.

KASU:

The acronym for Kaduna State University.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter is the concluding chapter of this research work. In it, chapter by chapter summary of the entire project is provided as well as the general conclusion of the study. Based on this conclusion, recommendations on the study and for further studies on this topic or related ones are proffered.

The effort to put community radio as a sector of the vibrant media landscape in Nigeria have gained not only the support of the government but the academic community, and the resilience which continue to propel the advocacy and accommodation for this globally acclaimed voice of the grassroots. Community radio issues have moved up to top priority on the agenda of media development in Nigeria necessitating a research of this nature, to investigate the prospect and challenges of operating community radio station in Nigeria with a special focus on the current operational nature of KASU FM as against the objectives of its establishment. This chapter is aimed at summarizing all the preceding chapters and brings out the conclusion based on the findings of the research work as well as the recommendations and suggestions for further research.


5.2 Summary

Chapter One of this study provided the background of the study into community radio broadcast in the world as well as in Nigeria, it further stated the statement of the problem which hinges on the challenges and prospects of a community campus radio: what it should be and what it is: a study of Kaduna state University Kaduna FM. More so, the chapter one presented the background of the study, the research questions as well as the objectives of the research, significance of the study, scope, a brief history of the case study as well as the operational term used in the study.

Chapter Two is a review of relevant literatures that were considered related to the topic of this research work, as well as the postulation of a theory within which the study was situated theoretically. In chapter two, available literatures were explored on community radio broadcast. These literatures were able to explain what is meant by community radio broadcasting; the brief world historical account of community radio; international approach of community radio funding, functions as well as the importance of community radio. Other variable reviewed were the role of community radio in educational development. Furthermore, the NBC code on community radio licensing was presented.

McQuail’s Development Media theory was chosen to serve as the theoretical framework because the theory helps this work to analyze the factor that influence the effectiveness of private radio broadcast in North West zone of Nigeria and a key justification provided for the choice of this theory was lies in the fact that Nigeria is a developing country that needs her media more for participation toward development and social change as already achieved in western countries. And this is bored out of one of the basic assumptions of the theory which stated that media should adopt and carry out development task, and part of the ways this can be achieved is through involvement in the process of development and through community radio broadcasting developmental issues can be brought closer to the people to propel national development.

Chapter Three focused primarily on the methods used in the collection of relevant data for this research work. It dealt with the methodology adopted for the research; the chapter discusses the research design used; justification for the choice of the research method and instrument; population of the study; as well as the limitations of the research method and the instrument used in gathering and analysing the data obtained from the population.

This study employed the quantitative and qualitative method in analysing the data collected through the research instrument which are questionnaire and interview as the most tenable means of securing constructive and valuable data for this study; and survey was selected as the research method for gathering relevant information for this study as it was considered the most appropriate method that can be used for the target population in view of the research topic.

Correspondingly, Chapter Four was based on presentation and analysis of data collected while trying to find out the challenges and prospects of a community campus radio with emphasis on what it should be and what it is in the case study of the research, which is KASU FM in Kaduna state University Kaduna. Also in the chapter, the findings to be discussed were brought out and then fully discussed in line with the objective sets for the research.

Chapter Five is the concluding chapter of this study and it provides a chapter by chapter summary of the four preceding chapters as well as the major findings of the research. This chapter also concludes the research work by making general and specific conclusions based on the findings of the study. From these conclusions, the researcher makes recommendations based on the study and recommendations for further research.


5.3 Major Findings

The investigation into the challenges and prospects of community campus radio: what it should be and what it is in Kaduna state University Kaduna (KASU FM) primarily found the following;

  1. Findings show that the station was established to serve it host community and also to serve as training centre for students of the university undertaking journalism courses.
  2. The establishment of the radio station is seen as a good development for the university community by the members of the community.
  3. The station allows for community participation.
  4. Source of funding of the radio station is mainly from the management of the university.
  5. The favorable rating of the station by its public is considerably good.
  6. The perception of its public towards its contents and programming quality is relatively good, however, with a need to augment on this.
  7. Also, there is the need to augment on the broadcast timing/duration for the sake of students of the university who make up majority of the audience of the radio station.
  8. The researcher discovered some loopholes in the present operational nature of the radio station compared the objectives of its establishment.

5.4 Conclusions

Good governance and genuine development can be achieved if all sections of society are integrated into appropriate communication processes. For the grassroots to be part of this lofty process, they must be provided empowerment and space to participate. The situation in Nigeria is that 70 percent of the population live in the rural areas, but are denied access to modern communication channels and thus shut away from credible information on issues which affect their lives and communities. Most of them live and die, never having an appreciation of development and the possibility that they could participate in a meaningful building of their country.

The grassroots is home to bulk of the country’s population and the source of her wealth and strength, remain largely, marginalized and voiceless. Painfully, mainstream media, including those in the broadcasting sector, have been unable to provide adequate coverage and engagement for grassroots governance and development.

The emergence of community radio in Nigeria will help to address the above mentioned and other challenges in various ways, including; fostering true broadcasting pluralism; providing access and voice for marginalized or underrepresented communities; empowering the grassroots to participate in search for solutions to issues affecting them and the country at large; building the capacities of communities to hold political office holders transparent and accountable; helping to preserve language and cultures across the country; and for those community radio stations in the academic environment, help academic debate; train future radio producer as well as journalists and radio education programme for the overall benefit of the community.

It is no longer gainsaying that community radio broadcast has come to stay in Nigeria mostly in our tertiary institution as there is a steady increase in the number of campus community radio stations in the Nigeria vigorously spearheaded by the tertiary institution. This novel intention, as bringing radio broadcast nearer to the people is however successful to some extent as well as facing several challenges in other areas.

The problem facing their establishment and effective operation is now what is posing serious challenges to the prospect of bringing broadcasting closer to its immediate community. This research has been able to uncover that the future of campus community radio stations is very bright even though a lot is still needed to make it serve the purpose for which they are established.

More so, the place of participatory developmental journalism or communication that forms the prima facie or tenets of community broadcast entirely must not be neglected but upheld in order to make the establishment of campus radio which is embedded on the premise of community broadcast principle a success. So far so good, the journey towards the establishment of this station has been good because the station has started full operation since its commissioning.


5.5 Recommendations

From the study as well as the primary findings, this research recommends that;

The society must understand the rules and regulations guiding the establishment and operation of a community station before seeking for license from relevant authorities to establish a station. The community must be ready to start, operate and manage as well as fund the community radio station adequately to avoid inefficient and ineffectiveness of the radio stations. The management of the community especially those within the university community should approach already established radio outfit either publicly or privately for the transfer of expertise in radio programming and broadcasting.

The community must seek for a significant proportion of its contents and programming input from the community in order for the station to start broadcasting to the community’s needs. For training purpose, the management of the station should liaise with the Departments of Mass Communication and Theatre Arts, and established radio stations as well as employ the services of professional hands or retired journalists in the profession for training of undergraduates in radio journalism and production. The Nigeria Broadcast Commission must be up and doing in order to ensure that the requirements for this nature of radio broadcast are met and they should monitor their programming frequency and content such that it meets the need and aspiration of the community.

Lastly, the study recommends that further study should be carried out on how campus community radio represents the community they operate, using another geopolitical zone as unit of study. Another methodological approach like qualitative content analysis should also be considered.


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