Local Radio Stations in Africa: Sustainability or Pragmatic Viability?

How are local and community radio stations—those with a public interest remit that are set up to serve a particular area or group of people—sustaining their operations without losing their editorial independence? The authors of this report answer this questions through eight case studies of local, public service radio stations in Uganda and Zambia.

The key findings are:

– Station managers must continually balance editorial independence, financial sustainability, and their mission to serve the public. Addressing these three challenges is not always compatible, and trade-offs are often inevitable.
– Successful stations are able to harness viable funding modalities without selling out and capitalize on management and operations techniques to expand reach
without compromising quality content.
– Marginal improvements in the flexibility of media donors and the media assistance community can foster greater viability and independence for small outlets in challenging context.

This report was also discussed in a webinar which was live on June 25, 2020. The full recording can be found here.

Authors: Mary Meyers and Nicola Harford

Year Country Organisation Author Type
2020 Uganda, Zambia Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) Meyers, M. & Harford, N. case study/ies, report
Theory of Change Keywords Download/link
Intermediate Outcome 3 community radio Download/link