Trends in community radio broadcasting in Nairobi slums
The purpose of this study is to identify the trends in community radio broadcasting in Nairobi slums. Since 2007 a number of radio stations have been licensed to broadcast in Nairobi slums with Koch FM broadcasting in Korogocho, Ghetto FM in Majengo Pumwani and Pamoja FM in Kibera slums. For a broadcaster to qualify as a community radio, the community must own, manage, and participate in program production and presentation. However this is not the case in community radio in Nairobi slums. This study therefore had three objectives namely to analyze the trends in the community radio broadcasting in Nairobi slums, the factors that have led to the proliferation of the stations in these areas, the challenges and how they affect programmmg. The study was conducted through focus group discussions with three respondent groups per radio station. The first group was the youth age 18-25 years, male over 25 years and female over 25 years. The community leader, station managers and community media specialist were interviewed using a questionnaire. A total of 84 respondents were interviewed in focus group discussions in the three community radio stations. The study established that community radio stations in the Nairobi slums are not owned by the community but by individuals who run them like private broadcasting stations and that the community was not involved m program production or management of the stations. The study established that availabliity of a frequency and low license fees were some of the factors that had led to the proliferation of community radio stations in the slums. Challenges that face the stations included lack of finances to hire professional staff or purchase modem broadcasting equipment. In view of these findings the study recommended that is important for community radio stations in the slums to abide by the license regulations..to ensure that they are owned, financed and managed by the community.