Investigating beneficiary communities' participation in HIV/AIDS communication through community radio stations : a case study of X-K FM.
Tyali, Siyasanga Mhlangabezi.
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The thrust of this dissertation is concerned with investigating beneficiary communities‟ participation in HIV/AIDS communication through community radio stations. The aim is to understand the presence and access of targeted community voices in the dialogue against HIV/AIDS. The research focused on a single case study of a community radio station that is based in Platfontein, Kimberley in the Republic of South Africa. X-K FM is a community radio station under the auspices of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and its primary target audiences are !Xun and Khwe communities of Platfontein. It is the only formal communication channel that targets these San community members in their respective mother tongues. The study approaches communication at a nuance level in that it evaluates participation possibilities between communicators and the communicated. In its third decade, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus is one of many challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa and the Republic of South Africa is no exception. This dissertation attempts to understand participation and access of civil voices in the strategies of prevention, care, support and treatment of HIV/AIDS. On a broader level, the dissertation seeks to understand the possibilities of bottom-up approaches in communicating about HIV/AIDS. In analysing the beneficiary community participation at X-K FM, the research was underpinned by the theory of Jurgen Habermas: The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere – An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. The data was gathered using semi-structured interviews, as well as simple and partial participant observation. The study concludes that the radio station has provided some avenues to facilitate the process of beneficiary community participation in HIV/AIDS communication content.