Community radio and participation : the case of Siyaya FM.
Dalene, Maria Bjerke.
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Community radio and participation - the case ofSiyaya FM illustrates that radio is a powerful tool when it comes to communication and empowerment for active listeners. However, it also shows that community members are not empowered to the same extent if they are not engaged. Participation is essential for development and empowerment as described by, among others, Chambers (1983). At the same time the thesis demonstrates that it is difficult to involve all parts of a community because of power structures and therefore the radio station might end up empowering people already in power. Siyaya FM has, however, a role to play in Cato Manor with its high unemployment rate by training people the tool of radio and also educating listeners and informing them of important issues that can improve their knowledge. In addition, the radio station can take part in building social cohesion among the different groups of community members. By strengthening community radio stations the national authorities have a potential to meet the goals of their development strategies, while at the same time fulfilling the constitutional promise of freedom of speech for all by creating access to the airwaves for everybody. However, funding shortages create obstacles for many South African community radio stations to fulfil their task as community developers.