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Public Accoutability: Community Radios Role. Taking Out The Trash The media cannot address the issue of public accountability without putting its house.

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Presentation on theme: "Public Accoutability: Community Radios Role. Taking Out The Trash The media cannot address the issue of public accountability without putting its house."— Presentation transcript:

1 Public Accoutability: Community Radios Role

2 Taking Out The Trash The media cannot address the issue of public accountability without putting its house in order and removing a major problem that is taking up space.

3 Churnalism: a form of journalism that relies heavily on press statements, wire copy and pre-packaged material without researching or verifying content before publication… --from Nick Davies, Flat Earth News The epidemic of churnalism has infected community radio stationsstations that are closer to ordinary people than mainstream media are. The Trash

4 Back to Square One Research: to gather facts for the purpose of informing others accurately. Google is NOT a synonym for research!!! Bringing Sexy Back: rediscovering legwork: hitting the road to find the story, to smell it and taste it.

5 Back to Square One Circa October 1996: Club Makokola, Mangochi

6 Back to Square One Radio by the community for the community

7 Back to Square One To give people who do not have access to mainstream media a channel to be heard and take their rightful place in the democratic space.

8 Legwork Illustrated On assignment on Lake Malawi,Mangochiwith Weekend Nation editor, George Kasakula. October 2010

9 Legwork Illustrated A trawler called Flora, part of Lake Fisheries fleet. Five years ago, each boat brought in 3 tonnes of fish. Today, four boats bring in half a tonne.

10 Legwork Illustrated There are over 300,000 fishermen who earn their living on Lake Malawi. Most of them are artisanal fishermen, using dugout canoes and banana boats. The pride of Lake Malawi, chambo, had gone done by 85 per cent in 14 years due to overfishing, according to African Business Report.

11 Legwork Illustrated UNESCO declared Lake Malawi a World Heritage Site in This was because the 1,000 species of fish in the lake cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In 2004, the Malawi government got a loan of US$10.56 million and a grant of US$9.42 million from the Africa Development Fund for the Lake Malawi Artisanal Fisheries Project.

12 Legwork Illustrated The money was meant to restock the lake and to support over 300, 000 who depend on it for their livelihood. By the end of the project in December 2010, 400 fishermens groups should have received fishing units on a loan basis. By October 2010, only 20 had.

13 Moral of the Story You cannot report what you have NOT seen.

14 ICTs & Journalistic Research One of the benefits of ICT is CARR Computer-Assisted Research & Reporting. The fact that a myriad of public, private and have websites and links to databases means access to information is a lot easier that it was before the advent of ICT.

15 ICTs & Integrative Research The most effective research is integrative, blending different methods: desk/online research, legwork & ethnography. In my view, this is the most practical way to deal with public accountability.

16 Integrative Research & Public Accountability: A Case Study How desk, field and online research can be combined to investigate and address a public concern

17 Integrative Research Illustrated Consider the following facts: The health budget went up by 45 per cent in 2012from K1,772.9 billion to K2579.9billion K301. 7billion for drugs and medicines K77.9 billion to employ 2,500 frontline personnal across the country K389.3 billion towards infrastructure

18 Integrative Research Illustrated In 2013 budget, allocation to health is K3.6 trilliona one trillion increase from 2012 and 11.3 % of total budget. (see Abuja Declaration & 15 % target) K594.1 billion for drugs K110.8 billion for equipment. Funds to recruit 2,000 frontline medical staff

19 Integrative Research Illustrated What difference has 45 per cent increase in funding made to the public health sector in rural areas? To find out, we did some formative research which led us to Mawawa.

20 Integrative Research Illustrated The only trained health personnel at Mawawa RHC is an Environmental Health Technician who is assisted by cleaners. The health centre cannot admit and referrals to Lewanika General Hospital are problematic because it is 22 kms away Mawawa Clinic has NO water and NO power

21 Conclusion From the foregoing, it is clear what community radio needs to do to serve the interests of its listeners, most of whom are rural and poor.


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