Following my December 2019 post on London-based Nigerian radio Djs my attention turns to an overlooked force majeure – community or campus radios.
Community radio stations (CRS) are by nature, resource-constrained entities, but nonetheless still trending and especially so within university campuses worldwide. However, there seems to be limited knowledge on how different social media applications are appropriated by CRS to support their sustainability (both financially and socially).
Don Williams – Listen to the Radio 1982
In our working paper, my co-author, Professor Patient Rambe, at the Central University of Technology South Africa and I propose that CRS are an under researched players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and especially so in the context of university campuses. We posit that they present a veritable tool for not just public relations activities, but also for community wellbeing and entertainment.
However, the reality remains that these radio stations are vulnerable due to financial constraints. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with management and staff across two campus-based CRS in the Free State Province in South Africa, we seek to highlight what social media broadcasting tools are frequently employed, how these tools are appropriated, and the implications of such appropriation and deployment for the financial and social sustainability of the multiple stakeholders (staff, students and society) within this ecosystem.
Our South Africa study also resonates with other institutions we are linked to, such as Bloomsbury Institute London and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Nigeria.
Indeed, Bloomsbury Institute in London has recognised the importance of the Campus radio especially in these Covid19 crisis times.
Likewise, UNIZIK FM 94.1 campus community radio owned by Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka but housed in the Department of Mass Communication with the workforce drawn from all sectors of the University Community. Licensed by the National Broadcasting Commission in February 2007 it commenced test transmission in April the following year as a nonprofit organization.
What better time than this for Universities and education providers to leverage their community via radio across all digital platforms. This is irrespective of whether it is for information, entertainment or other forms of engagement.
The radio is back – listen to the (campus) radio!