How Community Radio Contributes To Building Peace: A Kenya Case Study

How Community RadioContributes To Building Peace: A Kenya Case Study

From the 2007/2008 article election violence, the media were partially blamed for dividing the nation along cultural lines.

The mainstream press, specifically, were accused of biased coverage and also for framing problems using implicit or explicit cultural overtones. Some vernacular radio channels have been also accused of committing the violence by broadcasting hatred speech.

But there has been little attention on an alternate function that community radio has performed at the post-conflict period. An integral point in my study was to learn whether it might be employed to ease calm social dialogue and build confidence and resilience involving and one of different communities in Kenya.

Kenya includes a lively radio industry composed of community, public, faith-based, global, pan-regional and personal radio stations.

Having a population of roughly 47 million accessibility to radio is quite high for both rural and urban populations, with 95 percent of rural and 94 percent of urban respondents using your radio in the house. More than 50 percent of Kenyans receive their information in the radio, particularly in rural locations.

The initial community-based radio station in Kenya was created in Homa Bay in 1982 as an initiative from the Kenyan authorities and UNESCO. The nation now has 11 community-based radio channels.

In my analysis, I discovered a number of ways whereby neighborhood and faith-based media acted as programs for building confidence and endurance.

Additionally, I found several instances where community-based radio channels were utilized to promote calmness. Their capability to cultivate diversity, intercultural dialogue, and endurance makes them significant partners in peacebuilding.

Favorable Messages Via The Airwaves

Within my study I identified numerous neighborhood and faith-based radio channels that used their programs to cool tensions and reception for peace during the post-election violence of 2007/2008.

Examples comprised Pamoja FM in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, Koch FM at Korogocho slum, also Radio Waumini (a national Catholic radio channel).

Civil society organisations like the global Rescue Committee, together with assistance from American donor agency, USAID, also successfully utilized radio to spread messages of peace.

The worldwide Rescue Committee did so via a popular radio play dubbed Gutuka (a Kiswahili word meaning wake) that was broadcast during Kenya before and after the 2013 elections.

There has been likewise Amani FM, that was launched in Tana River County, Eastern Kenya, in the weeks before the 2017 general elections. The channel frequently broadcast passing serenity messages. Amani is a Swahili term for peace.

The crucial objective of setting the channel was supposed to promote peace and tolerance during the elections in a region historically known to possess profoundly divided political competition.

Destructive Power

Many people in the grassroots in Kenya, particularly during conflicts, nevertheless feel that when the receiver said it, then it’s true. This is the situation throughout the Rwanda genocide in 1994, along with also the 2007/8 post-election violence in Kenya.

In Kenya, KASS FM, which broadcasts at the Kalenjin speech, was singled out among the vernacular radio stations that aired explicit hatred messages throughout the 2007 election cycle. It had been accused of distributing violence and a few of its presenters, Joshua Sang, was one of the suspects charged in the International Criminal Court.

However, the exact same destructive power that radio wields as a favorite medium in the grassroots could be tapped to reestablish peace.

And because neighborhood radio stations are nearer to people in the grassroots compared to mainstream broadcast and print media, they supply an perfect route to make areas where dialogue between people in conflict may safely occur.

Next Actions

My study proves that community radio stations can encourage dialogue and improved understanding among communities that are contradictory. This is vital since it is apparent that the character of post-election calmness in Kenya remains brittle.

The political area remains highly contested with very little if any trust between and among politicians across the political divide and Kenyans from varied cultural and political circles.

Community media may be utilized as a bridge builder to help diffuse the tensions and mistrust which characterises Kenya today.