Across the African continent, there has been a growing acknowledgement of the role and impact brought about by community broadcasters. With this in mind, Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) and its programme partner, 2Gwana Media, commissioned a survey to “Scope How Community Broadcasters are Organising in The Digital Spaces And Ecosystem” in the continent.
The survey, which is set to close on Friday, 18 June, has revealed that more than 50% of the surveyed broadcasters served rural areas, with 31% serving peri-urban and 15% setting up their broadcasting services in urban areas.
Close to 40% of the community radio stations serve 150 000 – 500 000 listeners. 22% of the stations cater to more than 500 000 listeners, with 88% of the stations dedicating their resources to bringing local news and information.
In casing the value of digitisation, BMA weighed on the broadcaster’s views on the importance of digital and internet-enabled platforms to community broadcasting. More than 90% of the survey participants highlighted this factor as highly critical, agreeing that spending resources on online/ internet-based campaigns and initiatives are an excellent investment.
This survey has revealed that community broadcasters are open to the use of digital spaces and ecosystem to enhance broadcasting services; however, as noted in various discussions, there seems to be a hindrance to expanding this platform. Numerous feedback has pointed to a lack of support in the forms of revenue, halting the platform’s growth. The responses to the survey further highlight that with the correct amount of resources that get distributed sustainably, community broadcasting can expand broadcast reach through internet-based services by creating better interaction with listeners dedicated to the stations.
The #CommunityBroadcastingAfrica survey forms part of Broadcast Media Africa’s and partners’ quest to determine the extent to which the deployment of resources are allocated to the use of the internet and internet-enable applications to expand their coverage and reach, as well as to engage with a broader audience.