The Use of Radio to Reach Remote Audiences: The Case of The Janamora Radio Project

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Addis Ababa University


This paper embarked on finding out how radio is used to address listeners located in a rural setting. It involved a radio project that specifically aims at addressing listeners in the district of Janamora in Gondar. The study adopted qualitative methodology tools. Data was gathered from Four Focus Group Discussions involving listeners of the radio programs. Three facilitators and three other individuals representing different bodies involved in the radio project were also interviewed. An observation of the Sunday listening and discussion sessions was also conducted. A document, the radio programs’ manual, was also consulted as well. In a bid to find out how radio is used to reach remote audiences, related literature which includes the idea of development communication is discussed. As theoretical frameworks, the diffusion and participatory approaches to communication are also touched upon. The analysis is done under different themes that are hoped to assist in throwing light on the research questions under consideration. The study identified that the radio programs are regarded highly by listeners. The group listening sessions were found to be an integral part of the whole process as they are believed to be a forum to mutual learning. Discussants also made clear there are some gaps that need to be filled which includes the fact that a portion of the programs are poorly recorded. It was found out that a group of young people acted as facilitators whose task is to maintain the proper running of the listening and discussion stages. However, these were untrained individuals who consider themselves short of adequate know-how to deal with the demanding task they are provided-coordinating the group listening and discussions. The radio project allows some room for the participation of listeners but this is limited in many ways. As things stand, though, the way radio is used to reach remote audiences seems to be something to cherish.



Radio to Reach Remote Audiences