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Thursday, April 25, 2024
HomeNewsCommunity Radio Stations Urged To Find Innovative Ways To Remain Sustainable

Community Radio Stations Urged To Find Innovative Ways To Remain Sustainable

Community Radio Stations

Community radio stations in Zimbabwe have been urged to find innovative ways to sustain their operations, in the wake of dwindling financial support for the media.

These sentiments were shared at the ZACRAS Community Radio Sustainability Conference
held in Harare on Thursday.

The conference, hosted by the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) was a convergence of community media, Parliament, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and other media stakeholders.

Community radio stations are prohibited by law from advertising, unlike commercial radio stations, and they cannot receive foreign funding, for instance from donors.

This, as a results, poses viability challenges for community radios.

Internews Country Director Tawedzengwa Musitini encouraged Zimbabwean community radios to look beyond broadcasting if they are to have more revenue streams that will sustain their existence.

He added that in Liberia, for instance, one community radio station located in the remotest parts of the country established a photocopying business within its premises.

Through this, he reiterated, the station is able to remain afloat and operational. Another community radio station in Tanzania has a generator supplying power to over 500 houses within its community, and residents in turn pay the station.

Vimbai Chinembiri,  a Media Business expert said YaFM in Zvishavane also had a restaurant it ran in the mining town, which added to its coffers.

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The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services said it will be pushing for a reform of media laws, to allow for media organisations to be able to acquire external funding, provided it does not have an impact on editorial policies and content.

Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe Technical Director Matthias Chakanyuka said despite being a regulatory authority, they welcome community radios consulting for technical assistance relating to broadcasting.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) licensed six community radios in 2020 and eight in 2021.

To date, a total of 14 community radio stations have been licensed across the country.

BAZ has also issued broadcasting licenses to tertiary institutions.

You may want to read:

‘Code Of Ethics’ For Community Radio Stations Reviewed

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