There is a dearth of information on community radio in South Africa; although much attention has been given to the role of community radio in development, education and community representation, there has been very little focus on community radio’s functioning within South Africa’s current broadcast system. The researcher explored the viability of the current conception of community radio by means of a literature review, as well as an examination of the South African Advertising Research Foundation’s listener figures for community radio stations across South Africa. The researcher then investigated how conducive the present broadcasting climate is to the growth of this medium through the use of a campus radio station as case-study. Semi-structured interviews were held with the management staff of a campus radio station; a thematic analysis was then conducted on the completed interviews so as to extract the meanings inherent in the participant’s experience. As such, the question of whether community radio can continue to survive within South Africa’s three-tier system of broadcasting without a radical re-conceptualization of the broadcasting system itself, was addressed. The researcher explored what community radio gives to the world of broadcasting that commercial and public radio does not, and how these contributions can be compounded to ensure the long term sustainability of this medium. These arguments were then put forth in the creation of a hypothetical re-conceptualization of a new broadcasting system.
Dissertation (M (Research Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.