Publication type: Conference paper
Type of review: Not specified
Title: The need and the opportunities for sustainability : the case of local radio stations in Tanzania
Authors: Spurk, Christoph
Dingerkus, Filip
Conference details: News Media Development and Sustainability in Africa, International Conference, Neuchatel, 22 October 2015
Issue Date: 2015
Language: English
Subjects: Economic sustainability; Radio; Africa; Journalism
Subject (DDC): 070: News media, journalism and publishing
Abstract: In the last ten years local radio stations have mushroomed in many regions in Africa, as well in Tanzania. Many refer to them as community radio stations. They receive support from international donors,  due to their potential to inform the local population about local issues, to broadcast their voices thus to create a democratic space to publicly debate relevant issues of local people.   The paper is based on two empirical research projects on  rural radio stations in Tanzania in 2014 and 2015; an exploratory case study on the status of rural radio and a structured content analysis of radio news and programmes of 14 stations. The empirical results will be assessed against a model of economic sustainability of radio stations tested earlier in Uganda. The paper shows that the lack of economic viability is  major constraint for local radio stations. They cannot generate sufficient revenues from advertisers to sustain the station.  This leads to high turn-over of staff due to low pay, results in low quality of content and lack of capacity to do serious programming, which in the end hinders the achievement of the radio stations’ objectives. It needs to be acknowledged that the challenges of local radio are interrelated, and so are the solutions. The paper will argue that the donor community has largely overlooked the need to invest in media sustainability of rural radio stations, as it has invested mainly in journalism capacity but hardly in media management capacity. The paper concludes that a viable economic model in Africa requires to simultaneously support three different fields, (a) the development of content jointly with (b) the development of media management capacities and (c) local media research covering the extent and satisfaction of the local audience in order to develop local advertising markets that serve local media.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Applied Linguistics
Organisational Unit: Institute of Applied Media Studies (IAM)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

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