By Sanna camara
Mr. Yusupha Bojang, the national coordinator for the Network of Community Radio Stations in The Gambia has urged for the improvement in the current status of community radio stations in the country.
Mr. Bojang made a presentation on “What sort of help does community radios need to enable them effectively and efficiently produce good programs for the farmers in The Gambia?” to participants at a training seminar last week.
The event brings together members of the Network of Agricultural Communicators of The Gambia, and supported by the Danish Food and Agricultural Journalists. The objective was to examine how effective agricultural journalism can help fight poverty and food insecurity in The Gambia.
First community radio established for agriculture
According to Mr. Bojang, the first community radio station in Gambia, Sapu Radio, established in the ‘90s was designed to disseminate information on agriculture.
“Most of the community radio stations that followed have a strong agricultural dimension to their founding. In the Gambia, therefore, community radios have been doing a lot in the promotion of agriculture,” said Mr. Bojang.
Mr. Bojang’s topic exposed the participants to what he called “the impoverished material, financial and human capital conditions under which all the community radio stations operate.”
Communities not proactive in financing radio stations
He revealed that the main source of income for the community radios is advertisements. “New regulations by the broadcasting regulator, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), restrict community radios’ access to advertisements. The communities are not proactive in financing their radio stations,” he lamented.
Yusupha, who is also programme manager fo Bwiam Community radio said majority of the staff of community radios are not trained in journalism: “Even the community radio station managers have no prior background knowledge in the media.”