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Radio journalism and Africa's democratic process

Radio journalism and Africa's democratic p
Radio journalism and Africa's democratic p

We live in challenging times. Just as newspapers in Europe and North America are looking for new business models, broadcasters and publishers in developing countries need to re-examine the way they operate, especially as funding from non-government organisations is either reduced or drying up altogether.

Some radio stations have focused on reaching as many people as possible, but not done much to make worthwhile content. But new alliances with mobile operators, as well as offering useful services to the community, may be a way forward. The exact mix varies per country.

I have recently attended media conferences in Germany, where the discussion about the value of media development assistance is in full swing. I personally believe that we need to look at more relevant platforms, and that's where the mix of local radio and mobile comes in.

I am also currently working in West Africa to help community radio stations migrate to become community media centres. I collected the views of Dr Mary Myers, a brilliant researcher who's spent many years studying and consulting to radio stations, Prof Harry Dugmore who is looking into mobile and media alliances, and Eric Chinje, a former journalist now with the Worldbank. The videos are intended to start a conversation on what needs to change so that journalists can build at least part of their career in radio.

Jonathan Marks will appear as part of Test Signals, Sourcefabric’s project exploring new forms for radio and software, at transmediale.11 in Berlin on 02 February 2011.