Kenyan Community Radio: Players, Production Processes and Participation


Dr. Rose Kimani

Research Area:


Community media – small scale media run by local communities – have been started as tools to develop and empower communities, give ‘voiceless’ groups a voice, and provide an alternative to the available mainstream media. In Kenya, community radio is the most ubiquitous form of community media, and is the newest entrant in the broadcast landscape.  It grapples with issues related to the regulatory framework, financial constraints, station ownership and management issues, competition from other media, and unclear parameters for community participation.  There are also questions about community radio’s identity and integration into the communities it serves.  This research project seeks to explore the various perceptions and practices by the people involved in community radio, including its target audiences, and how these contribute to community radio as it currently exists in Kenya. Three radio stations in diverse settings are the focus of the study. Genres of content offered, content production and consumption processes, and stakeholder participation in these stations are assessed to gain a clearer picture of what role community radio is playing.