Communication approaches


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Communication approaches

  1. 1. Communication approaches MASS MEDIA Rural radio Radio remains the most powerful, and yet the cheapest, mass medium for reaching large numbers of people in isolated areas. Thanks to the revolution of the transistor, even the remotest villages have access to rural radio, which builds on the oral tradition of rural populations. Although men own the majority of radio receivers, women can listen to programmes at home in the evenings when the main chores of the day are finished. Radio is an important tool for the rapid diffusion of important messages on new agricultural production ideas and techniques as well as on health, nutrition, family planning and other social and cultural issues. Combined with other media, it can be used for training and the transfer of technologies. It can promote dialogue and debate on the major issues of rural development as well as providing a platform
  2. 2. for the expression of rural women's needs, opinions and aspirations. Radio enables women to voice their concerns and speak about their aspirations with external partners such as national policy-makers and development planners. Finally, radio is a tool that can be used to develop community cohesion and solidarity. Community involvement is fundamental for the successful use of radio with rural populations. Radio programmes are most effective when produced with audience participation, in local languages and with consideration for cultural traditions. Successful features include live public shows, quizzes and village debates. Community-based radio Democratization, pluralism and deregulation policies adopted in many developing countries, together with the decreasing cost of FM transmitters, have favoured the proliferation of local community radio stations. In Mali alone there are more than 75 radio stations, established by private individuals, associations, local communities and commercial, religious and political organizations. Community stations treat issues concerning the everyday life of their listeners and also promote local development. They are an important channel for the motivation and education of women and they raise consciousness of gender issues as well as informing women about their rights. They offer rural women the opportunity to use the microphone to talk about the issues that interest them and they play women's music that is seldom heard elsewhere. More and more women are receiving training in the programming and management of community-based radio stations so that the programmes can reflect their real needs.
  3. 3. RURAL LISTENERS TALK BACK According to one woman radio listener in Kodialanida, Mali: "The station has helped us understand the importance of literacy for our commercial activities. It has encouraged the women to devote more time to this. To begin with, we worked separately but, after listening to radio programmes, we had the idea of coming together in an association. Other women have done the same and have been successful. They have listened to the advice given by radio stations that have made themselves accessible and have been open to questions from the listeners." Another listener in
  4. 4. Kodialanida commented further: "The radio station has brought about a genuine change in the everyday lives of villagers. It has prompted a qualitative change in farming techniques (helping in the selection of the best seed varieties, cotton processing and following the farming calendar). It has also brought about a change in attitudes: individualism has given way to a community spirit and the popularity of home improvements has increased as a result of programmes broadcast on this subject. The radio station has also been a great help to people striving to master water purification and treatment methods. And, it has increased enthusiasm for literacy.
  5. 5. Generally speaking, it has helped greatly in raising awareness."