Community Access and Participation in Community Radio Broadcast: Case of Radio Gaakii, Ghana
This paper draws on the theory of participatory development communication to understand the nature and philosophy of community participation in development processes. It explored the symbiotic relationship between Carpentier (2011) and Arnstein’s (1969) theses on participation to propose four major indicators in evaluating the levels of community participation in Radio Gaakii’s broadcast. The paper also investigates the frequency of community members’ participation in the stations broadcast and ascertained the levels of satisfaction (or otherwise) of their participation in the radio broadcast. The study was based on cross sectional survey design. Multistage sampling was used in the sampling processes and 150 respondents across five listening communities were recruited for the purposes of data collection and analysis. The study found out that community participation in Radio Gaakii’s broadcast is limited to the radio programme listening stage and community members mostly participate through the use of mobile phones during specific programme phone-in segments of the broadcast. The study recommends establishing Radio Gaakii Listening Clubs to facilitate community’s participation in management, governance, programming and financing decisions to give true meaning to participation, create a sense of community ownership and ultimately, ensure sustainability of the Station.
Key Words: Radio Gaakii, community radio, access, community participation, rural development, participatory development