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People's Radio: Communicating change across Africa

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ISBN-13: 978–983–9054–54–5
Published June 2012
376 pages. 215mm x 140mm


".... Linje Manyozo is laying down the gauntlet in the context of a theoretical framework and a body of empirical evidence from across the African continent. He has made navigating the waters of theory and practice around radio development in Africa somewhat easier for all of us...."

Gerry Power
Managing Director and Head of Innovation


This book is a critique of communication for development that examines radio-based methods and practices employed to engage people in the process of social change.

Community engagement is a participatory and deliberative process aimed at fostering good governance, improved livelihoods, safer communities and a sustainable environment. The author discusses the challenges of using radio as a tool for community engagement in development. It examines specific case studies from the African continent. The book also considers the different ways governments, organizations, broadcasters and communities can use radio networks as instruments of participatory knowledge production, exchange and utilization so as to bring about change and development.

Thus, this book is relevant to global discourses on communication and development. It demonstrates how elusive participation can become if implemented without adequate consideration of power relationships within indigenous and local knowledge systems. It proposes that more effective radio for development initiatives should be built on participatory action research, local communication needs, and indigenous knowledge systems. Effective radio should rely on relevant broadcasting technology and infrastructure, and designed to operate independently of donor funds.

Contents of the book

Foreword by Gerry Power
  1. Radio for Development as Community Engagement
  2. Radio and Development in Africa
  3. The Linear-External Approach: Farm and Rural Radio Reporting
  4. The Shared-Bottom-Up Approach: Rural Radio Forums
  5. The Self-Bottom-Up Approach: Local Rural and Community Radio
  6. Measuring Effectiveness of Radio for Development
  7. Engaging Communities with Radio: Rethinking Communication for Development Policy Manifesto for a Development Radio Broadcaster: Postscript by Felix Librero


Linje Manyozo is a Lecturer and Director of the MSc Programme in Media, Communication and Development, Department of Media and Communication, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Linje has taught in South Africa and Malawi, where he proposed and established Africa’s first ever undergraduate degree programme in Media for Development. Before joining the University, Linje has worked as a development journalist on projects funded by international development organizations. His research and publishing interests encompass debates on voice, representation and stakeholder engagement in development policy formulation and implementation.
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