Community Radio broadcasting is not an entirely new form of broadcasting, it is a form of broadcasting that is at the front burner of broadcasting development in the world today. It is an intergrated part of what Prof. Lai Oso former deputy rector of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic calls community media.
According to Prof. Lai Oso, community broadcasting is a unique form of broadcasting that is targeted at giving a voice to the voiceless section of the society, especially in the rural communities.
Source (Broadcasting Redifined)
The Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) recognizes campus broadcasting as a major form of broadcasting in Nigeria and it stipulates conditions for the insurance of campus broadcasting license to any higher institution of learning in the country.
This explains why we have the first campus radio, Unilag 103.1 Fm owned by the University of Lagos and other campus radio stations in Nigeria
Taking Unilag Fm as a case study, it was officially commissioned December 14 2004 by former vice president of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and headed by a co-ordinator according to their following rank, Head of news, Head of programms, producers and reporters. Unlilag fm is therefore the first campus radio station to go on air in 2004 in which there first audience are the students on campus and secondly citizens all over the country.
Based on Unilag Radio credible performance, a standard stage was set for other campuses to receive their licenses, in which as at the last count 27 higher institution in Nigeria have received their licenses so far.
In an exclusive interview with Tayo Takuro the Head of News Unilag Radio, he explained there organisation structure, response of advertisers, challenges community radios are facing, amongst others.
Taking a brief back to the history of unilag Fm, it took the institution over 20years to get the license and another 2 years to put equipment and other necessary things in place.
The law that establishes the station does not allow us to advertise thereby restricting us in some specific areas. The organisation is not a profit making organisation, it is meant to train the students, therefore our focus is not on advert but to train students, although we do a little advert but our focus is not to make money but to impact knowledge.
He further said that as a community radio Unilag fm has achieved it primary aim, being the first campus radio to be granted license by NBC in Nigeria and also with the good examples layed by the institution other higher institutions in Nigeria have also been granted license.
In his words he said “To confirm that the station has achieved its primary purpose we have students who have been trained and employed by other stations such as, Channels, Choice fm, etc. If they are not good, they wouldn’t have been employed by these stations”.
Speaking on the challenges facing community operations, he explained that they have a target audience thereby restricting them from so many areas and since it is not an organisation setup to make profit. Only national issues that affect the people of a state or a local government are allowed. Other areas such as politics or political advert are not allowed since it is more or less a place for training students.
For every community radio there is limited scope of operation because the NBC will tell you the kind of programmes and transmitter you must buy.
Every community radio has to be limited to a set of people, taking a look at a particular community radio he visited in Ghana he shared his experience with us. The radio station was set up within the village premises and deals with issues of the village and every thing that is going on in the community. The community runs the radio station, in which a box is place at the center of the village where every body drops money, letter or opinions on some of their programmes. The language the villagers speak is what they will use to broadcast at the radio station since it is a community radio and is meant for the communuity
The programmes aired on community radio are determine by the community itself. Unilag fm programmes are mostly educational or instructional programmes since it is an higher institution radio where by students learn on daily basis. Examples of programmes include:
- General interest programmes
- Educational programmes
- News and current affairs programmes
- Quiz programmes
- Health programmes
- Sport programmes
- Youth programmes
- Music programmes
- Religious programmes