Community radio as dialogic and participatory : a critical analysis of governance, control and community participation, a case study of XK FM radio.
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This study is based on an assessment of XK FM as a community radio station for the !XQ and Khwe ethnic communities. Various political under-currents and factors are examined: the refusal to accept the two groups as separate ethnic communities, the anomalous creation of XK FM as a community radio station under the auspices of SABC. This anomaly has created an ambiguity of what a community is within a community radio station, what are the historical and present complexities encompassed in considering the !XO and the Khwe as a single 'minority ethnic media community' and awarding them a radio licence, what is the nature and governance of community radio in general? The study followed a qualitative research paradigm whose epistemology IS phenomenological, using case study method, theories of the public sphere and ethnicity. According to this frame of reference XK FM radio station is seen as a case study of ethnic minority media. Community radio is therefore described as the expression of a small population, and a third voice between the state and private commercial radio. It also has the ability to correct the distortions inherent in the majority-controlled media by acting as the alternative media. The alternative element is associated with its potential to challenge the establishment, and in giving people an independent voice which is often perceived as alternative and free speech. Us major characteristics are; independence, equality, community participation, and representation. XK FM as a community radio is likely to consolidate the sustenance of beliefs in collective will, participatory approach to communication and citizen input. This enhances language as both a means of communication and expression of cultural identity for the local communities. This study concludes that the lXQ and Khwe are two different ethnic communities, with varied worldviews and aspirations. This assertions surmises that the issuing of the licence by ICASA merely focused on their cultural distinctiveness, and allowed for a localised form of public broadcasting, thereby entrenching ethnic cleavages most probably with the aim of manipulating the two communities. By implication, XK FM is not a community radio station in the strict sense, but an extension of SABC in a decentralised version.