Examining Community Radio as a Participatory Communication Medium in Kibera: A Case of Pamoja FM

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Daystar University, School of Communication


This study examined community radio as a participatory medium of communication with the case of Pamoja FM in Kibera. In exploring the station‘s commitment to community through participation, the study examined the participatory strategies employed and their gaps in meeting access and participation requirements as in theory. The study was theoretically guided by Freire‘s dialogic pedagogy and UNESCO debates of access, participation and self-management. The study used a descriptive design and a purposive sampling technique. The target population comprised community radio listeners, managers and presenters of Pamoja FM with a sample size of 60 participants. Focus Group Discussions and interviews were conducted and recorded. Recordings were transcribed into textual data and analysed through NVivo software following a thematic framework. Findings revealed a skeleton view of participation where activities described presented passive forms of participation such as contributing to discussions, song requests. Management included elements of programming and planning though found to be hardly practised. Elements of participatory theory were present but largely limited. Access in selection of communication content and interactions between the community and station management was lacking. Dialogue was restricted by limited interpersonal communication, lack of synchrony in problem definition and a lack of horizontal communication. Pamoja FM was seen to play its catalytic role in generating debate in some instances. Participation was primarily extended through content generation but hardly in production and policy. Recommendations underlined a need for increased interpersonal communication between community and station that would address several participatory deficits particularly in dialogue and access.


Master of Arts in Communication


Community Radio, Participatory Communication, Kibera, Pamoja FM


Muthuri, L. M., (2016). Examining Community Radio as a Participatory Communication Medium in Kibera: A Case of Pamoja FM. Daystar University, School of Communication, Nairobi.