Broadcast Media Africa (BMA), in partnership with 2Gwana Media, brings you the third edition of their free-to-attend online forum under the ‘Strengthening Community Radio Broadcasting in Africa’ programme.
Ahead of the online forum, BMA interviewed Farida Idris, the Group Commercial Director at Capital FM in Kenya. In the interview, Idris stressed the importance of community radio and Podcasting in shaping the consciousness of society and bringing fore issues that have previously been regarded as taboo.
During the engagement, Idris highlighted the state at which Podcasting stands in Africa, noting that “podcasting in our communities is in its infancy”. According to Idris, at this infancy stage, broadcasting media in Africa should acknowledge and take guidance from the fact that traditional media was built off ad revenue. Therefore, community radio and Podcasting need to focus on finding an avenue to incorporate advertisers better.
Below is an excerpt of the conversation Farida Idris had with the BMA on the forthcoming forum where she is a featured speaker and panellist:
BMA: What influenced your decision to agree to participate in the Online Forum on “Community Broadcasting – Use Podcasting To Maximum Leverage”?
Farida Idris: I have seen the power of Podcasting in building communities and allowing less mainstream voices to build a following. I think this is important in shaping the consciousness of society and bringing to the fore issues of mental wellness, social inequality, gender roles and others that were previously taboo.
BMA: What aspects of Podcasting within the community media space are you passionate about?
Farida Idris: What is fascinating is the process by which communities are formed around Podcasting and, secondly, the storytelling formats that resonate most with our audiences. I think African audiences will come up with their structures of Podcasting. Just like we have our music, dance and art, we shall have podcasting stories that resonate most with our people. I want to be at the fore of discovering these formats.
BMA: What is the biggest industry challenge faced currently in relation to community radio and Podcasting?
Farida Idris: Podcasting in our communities is in its infancy. The following and consumption are steadily growing, but I’m not sure it has hit its critical mass. Additionally, acceptance by advertisers is needed. Traditional media was built off ad revenue; therefore, we need to either incorporate advertisers better or find alternate revenue streams. I am quite interested in the tip jar model.
BMA: In your opinion, what do you think can be done to improve community media spaces and how owners/managers of these spaces successfully deploy and leverage Podcasting as a tool to help foster their mandate across the African continent?
Farida Idris: First, partnerships with traditional media. Podcasts do not replace traditional media but complement it. Second, opening the space to more and more players. That way, we shall have more case studies and use cases to find the correct formulas and formats that work across different audiences.
BMA: Could you please tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry event?
Farida Idris: There is a need to crack and craft storytelling formats for each sub-culture or community, and podcasts will be a great equalizer; with a good podcast, the bedroom content creator can compete with the media house with large studios and production budgets.