Assessment of community radio in Tanzania: case study of Orkonerei Radio Service FM
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The dissertation 'Assessment of Community Radio in Tanzania: Case Study of Orkonerei Radio Service FM' constitutes an assessment of community radio in Tanzania with a specific focus on ORS FM. Central to this study was the assessment of the extent to which ORS FM is a community radio using five variables namely: access, participation, programming, ownership and control as well as sustainability. The study was guided by five fundamental questions: What is the degree of accessibility of ORS FM by community members? To what extent do community members participate in ORS FM? What is the level of community ownership and control in ORS FM? How relevant is ORS FM programming to community members? What is the degree of sustainability of ORS FM? A total of 101 respondents from Terrat Village in Simanjiro District, Manyara Region were involved in the study. Thirty six (36) (35.6%) respondents were focus group discussion participants, five (5) (4.9%) respondents were key informants while 60 (59.4%) respondents were subjected to a survey questionnaire. Through quantitative and qualitative methods, it was established that ORS FM meets the features of a community radio only on the three variables of access, participation and programming. The findings indicate that ORS FM is accessible by the community, its frequency is accessible by the community and that community members have access to radio receivers. The findings also demonstrate that the community was involved in the conceptualisation, planning, implementation and evaluation of radio programs. The findings further show that the radio programs are relevant to the community and cater for gender interests. With regard to ownership and control, the findings demonstrate that the radio is owned by the community and the decisions regarding the radio are made by the community. However, the findings equally indicate that the form of community representation and decision making is designed in such a way that only a few community members are involved. The findings also reveal that the community is not capable of financially sustaining the radio as its members are financially constrained. However, the findings equally show that community members are willing to contribute some small amount of money to finance the maintenance of the radio. It was also discovered that in order to ensure financial sustainability of the radio, IOPA – the owner of ORS FM – had established and registered a company – ORMAME – with the view to enabling the radio to engage itself in social business or a business with a human face. In order to fully involve the community in the operation of the radio, it is recommended that IOPA and ORMAME should establish a special management unit for the radio which shall be inclusive of community members.
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