Free Press Unlimited Project: Freedom of Change A theoretical study of the intermediate outcomes of its Theory of Change Involve consultancy project 2018
Abstract The following research report consults the “Theory of Change” project, essentially validating the theoretical framework of the project to determine whether or not it carries over into empirical studies. The majority of pathways seems to reflect quite positively in reality with the exception of a few. Moreover, the consultancy report also takes a closer look into the sustainability, particularly financially, of community radio stations (CRS) throughout Nepal and Indonesia. Ultimately, both CRS’s in Nepal and Indonesia face similar challenges regarding financial stability mainly due to a lack on insight into their financial status. In effect, the key lies in understanding how to effectively keep accounting records in order to not only have a clearer oversight of their financial patterns, but also efficiently carry out transactions.
Keywords: Theory of Change, Pathways, Financial Sustainability, Community Radio Stations, Nepal, Indonesia
EFR Involve consultancy project Under the supervision of Carly Relou, researcher/PhD candidate Economic Faculty association Rotterdam Erasmus School of Economics September 2018
Contents Desk Research 1. Introduction 2. Pathways 3. Research 4. Pathway Findings 4.1. Theoretical Underpinnings 4.2. Finding from Empirical Studies Field Research 1. Introduction 2. Theoretical Framework 2.1. Definition of Sustainability 3. Methodology 3.1. Data Gathering 3.2. Data Analysis 3.3. Quality Assurances and Limitations 4. Empirical Case Studies 4.1 Nepal 4.1.1. General Overview 4.1.2. Findings 22.214.171.124. Radio Sagarmatha 126.96.36.199. Radio Namobuddha 188.8.131.52. Radio Gandaki 184.108.40.206. Radio Sarangkot 4.2 Indonesia 4.2.1. General Overview 4.2.2. Findings 220.127.116.11. Radio Swarakota 18.104.22.168. Radio Balai Budaya Minomartani (BBM) 22.214.171.124. Radio RKSB Maja Bandung 126.96.36.199. Radio Suara Cibangkong 5. Analysis 6. References 7. Appendix
Desk Research 1 Introduction Free Press Unlimited fights for independent news and unbiased information for everyone, everywhere. They are especially committed to countries in which there is limited to no freedom of press and strive to create and improve general expression by promoting diversity of media in developing countries. They use a variety of different projects to strive towards this goal, such as the protection of journalists, training media professionals and journalists, reporting on conflicts, providing media for children and adolescents and creating platforms for minority perspectives. The Involve consultancy project will participate in FPU’s project named “Freedom of Change” aimed at fostering the correct proliferation of information throughout the world. In 2016, Free Press Unlimited introduced their “Theory of Change”(ToC), essentially illustrating how we can achieve a righteous and peaceful society through the power of media tools. A ToC is a type of methodology that is used by non-profit or governmental organisations for planning, participation and evaluation of their projects. A ToC is created by starting with a long-term goal and then working ‘down’ the model to the necessary preconditions. This creates a set of connected outcomes that we call ‘pathways of change’. A pathway is a graphical representation of the process of change as the creators of the ToC see it. According to Free Press Unlimited three problems cause of obstruction of freedom of expression by media: (1) little to no support for media by governments, (2) media is biased and does not cover the whole society and (3) media-actors are not trained and not professional. They are addressing these problems through several programmes that they implement with partners. In the ToC, they defined a pathway of change from their activities to the solution of the problem. This pathway of change runs through short-term, intermediate to long term outcomes. This research will focus on the intermediate outcomes of the ToC, which are listed below: 1. An enabling environment for the media is established, conducive to freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity. 2. Media serve the interests of the public and act as a watchdog on their behalf. 3. Journalists and media-actors work professionally and are effective and sustainable. According to FPU, if one of these outcomes is not met, a society will not be able to reach the ultimate goal of “A just, inclusive and peaceful society”. Free Press Unlimited portrays that if media is not protected by legislation, no training of journalists will benefit society. Ultimately, Free Press Unlimited aims to achieve the following long-term outcome: “media and journalists, as independent players in civil society, constitute a diverse and professional media landscape and function as change catalysts”. By achieving this goal they wish to further the progression of freedom of information at a global scale. The Involve team will mainly focus on the relationships between the short-term and intermediate outcomes, called pathways of change. In doing so, it is also monitored whether these pathways are in line with external sources.
2 Pathways As mentioned above, our research will focus on the pathways between the short-term and intermediate outcomes in the Theory of Change. We will expand the evidence base that currently supports the pathways. This is because certain mediators are important for the relationship between multiple short-term or intermediate outcomes, some pathways are included multiple times in the Theory of Change. The pathways are as followed: Intermediate outcome 1: 1. Regulatory framework for media promotes diversity and protects media practitioners 2. Decision makers and power elites value the role of media 3. Civil society and marginalised communities participate in media and have increased media literacy Intermediate outcome 2: 1. Regulatory framework for media promotes diversity and protects media practitioners 2. Decision makers and power elites value the role of media 3. Civil society and marginalised communities participate in media and have increased media literacy 4. Media are networked with civil society and connected to best practices and innovation in the media industry 5. Media and journalists capacity increased in professional and organisational aspects Intermediate outcome 3: 1. Civil society and marginalised communities participate in media and have increased media literacy 2. Media are networked with civil society and connected to best practices and innovation in the media industry 3. Media and journalists capacity increased in professional and organisational aspects 3 Research In the following chapters, we will analyse each of the pathways, divided per intermediate outcome. First, we will conduct a literature review of the existing FPU database, which contains both external research as well as internal research and reports, behind the Theory of Change with regards to the pathways. Second, we will compare the conclusions we draw with respect to the above-listed outcomes based on documents in the existing FPU database to other relevant literature (both quantitative and qualitative research) on the subject that is available. We will conclude with a field research where we will compare both the existing and additional literature with the actual situation in both Nepal and Indonesia. During our desk research we identified community radioâ€™s as an important medium to reach impoverished communities in developing countries. The field research attempts to consult on how these radio community station can fulfill their purpose more effectively by becoming more sustainable This is done in consideration of independence, operations, sustainability, and particularly financial.
1A. Creating a regulatory framework that promotes diversity and protects media practitioners, contributes to establishing an enabling environment for media practitioners conducive to freedom of expression, pluralism, and diversity. In reviewing the evidence base for this hypothesis, we found nine academic publications, of which three theoretical and six empirical. The main conclusion that can be drawn from these nine publications is that the pathway is correct to a large extent. This is illustrated both in theory and by empirical evidence. 4.1 Theoretical underpinnings Coronel’s (2010) article Corruption and watchdog role of the news media shows the theory behind this pathway. The article explores the role of the media as a watchdog. Looking at different countries, their levels of democracy and their media markets, Coronel compares the level of investigative journalism between countries. One of the conclusions of the article is that in order for news media to bring about any significant change an enabling environment is to be established, “due to a combustible mix of social ferment, competitive media markets and political liberalisation”. Coronel suggests specific policy interventions for this, one of which being that a legal and regulatory environment is established. Another article is an 2015 external publication by DW Akademie, Development Agenda: considering the Dark side of the Media, highlights the symbiotic relationship of society and the media. It claims that without an independent media the ‘dark side of the media’ e.g. propaganda thrives more. This is shown by various examples. Environments that give rise to this include an authoritarian state and weak supporting institutions. Another external publication by the World Bank, the Media (2017), highlights the idea that the advertising market and the international donor community are essential in providing a financially independent and financially sustainable media environment, and the idea that this is essential in providing an enabling media environment. All of this is based on various studies that confirm this idea. These three publications show that there is a common understanding in the theory that this outcome has to be met to reach FPU’s goals. 4.2 Findings from empirical studies Besides theory there are numerous practical accounts where creating a regulatory framework contributes to an enabling environment for media practitioners. For example Drefs’s (2017) article Communication and conflict in transitional societies - Integrating media and communication in development cooperation presents key findings of the MeCoDEM project. This project investigates the role of media in conflicts that accompany and follow transitions from authoritarian rule to more democratic forms of government in Egypt, Kenya, Serbia and South Africa. These key findings are based on the events that transpired during the transition from authoritarian rule to more democratic forms of government in Egypt, Kenya, Serbia and South Africa. Based on these key findings Drefs lists various policy implications, one of which is that securing the independence of media from vested economic and political interest should be a guiding principle of government reform to ensure effective democratisation, confirming the theory mentioned before. Another article from Petrova, Newspapers and parties: How Advertising Revenues Created an Independent Press (2011), shows that places with high advertising revenues were likelier to have newspapers that were independent of political parties and more independent in general. The paper further emphasises on the need for financial independence and stability to allow independent media to flourish. Here financial independence and stability can be seen as a framework creating an enabling environment for journalism. Yousuf’s (2014) research paper Helping Syrians tell their story to the world investigates
connective journalism in Syria. Connective journalism’s goal is to establish control over the common purposes and goals of journalist networks. According to Yousuf, connective journalism consists of three concepts, engagement, negotiation and maintaining norms. Yousuf reasons that these three concepts are not in itself exhaustive and proposes a fourth concept, namely protection, i.e. a legal regulatory framework for media. Furthermore, In The Service of Power: Media Capture and the threat to Democracy (2017), a book by the Center for international Media Assistance, has various examples of media capture. One of the articles in the book by Joseph E. Stiglitz called ‘Toward a taxonomy of media capture’ has four broad definitions of media capture. The first is media capture by ownership, in which a set of wealthy individuals and/or corporations buy media. The second is media capture by financial incentives, in which media is led astray by financial incentives such as ad revenues. Another definition is media capture. Here government does not necessarily own media but media is restricted by freedom of press laws. The last definition is media capture by cognitive capture. This is when the media do not act as a fourth estate of democracy by positing new views, but merely reflect views that are commonly held by society. The Center for international Media Assistance proposes various ways to prevent media capture and reinforces the idea that creating a legal regulatory framework contributes to establishing an enabling media environment. Kilman’s article Successful initiatives to protect journalists and combat impunity (2017) highlights various cases concerning journalists safety. Each of these cases contribute to the idea that a regulatory framework that protects media practitioners contributes to establishing an enabling environment. A 2017 report by the ISM, Defending Journalism, investigates major threats against journalists in post-conflict countries. The report’s findings suggest that coordinated national structures, which include participation by the media and media support groups and relevant government agencies can improve conditions for journalists 4.3 Overall conclusion A regulatory framework for the media should include financial independence and stability, and prevent media capture. This is missing in the overall ToC. E.g. “business models” are not specifically included (in IO3). Research question: what does a regulatory framework for financial independence of the media look like? What type of framework would be most efficient?
1B. Decision makers and power elites value the role of media Considering the role of one of the most important stakeholders in establishing an enabling environment for the media, FPU hypotheses that a free flow of information will follow as a result of the acknowledgement of the role of the media by decision makers and power elites. In reviewing the evidence base for this hypothesis, we found three relevant academic publications and an external project evaluation. These articles address that while it is important for decision makers and power elites to value the role of the media, one should be aware of the risk of abuse/capture of the media by these parties. In order to prevent the decision makersâ€™ abuse of their dominant position, further research should be conducted to identify means of prevention. In an external evaluation of the EU-funded project Media, Conflict and Democratisation (MeCoDEM), Drefs and Thomass (2017) argue that the involvement of political actors, using a constructive approach, will enable the prioritisation of long term interventions over short term interventions. In their policy brief, Drefs and Thomass recommend that policymakers should adopt a relatively general strategy, aiming at the development of a mainstream media-andcommunication strategy. In a situation with political independence of the media as guiding principle, Drefs and Thomass suggest that involvement of policy makers in media development will be able provide substantial benefits to the citizens in terms of sustainable long-term development. In addition to following a constructive approach that ensures the establishment of political independence within the given framework, Vis (2018) highlights the importance of using a thematic approach. By zooming in and concentrating on specific themes such as gender and media, the author advocates, policy makers will be more likely to attribute greater value to the broader role of media, which in turn will exert a positive force on the establishment of an enabling environment. While both Vis (2018) and Drefs & Thomass (2017) thus attest to the assumed importance of the relationship between the value that decision makers and power elites attribute to the role of the media and the degree to which the environment is conducive to freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity. There are other authors that offer some critical nuance to the relationship hypothesised in the Theory of Change. For example, in an article on the two sides of the media, DW Akademie (2015), suggests that there are two opposing mechanisms at play; an upward and a downward spiral. On one hand, the media allows for better decision making and improved governance by providing the people with news and necessary information. However, the media has a dark side; it can be used for the spreading of rumours and propaganda and act as a â€œmouthpiece for the eliteâ€?. The upward spiral, illustrates how a good environment could enable a well-functioning media to generate benefits to society and strengthen the environment in which the media operates. While if the media is not able to operate in a good environment, this could weaken the media and even result in a negative contribution to society, which may in turn further deteriorate the environment; referred to as the downward spiral. Contrary to the pathway hypothesised in the Theory of Change, the article thus highlights the simultaneity of this relationship. The author emphasises that when strengthening the media environment one should not only address the upward spiral, but also devote enough attention to limiting the strength of the downward spiral. After highlighting the dichotomous nature of the media in this new model, the article proposes three strategies to strengthen this sector. Firstly, it suggests that media development should be incorporated into the overall national development agenda and development process strategies, in an explicit manner. Secondly, through learning, multi-stakeholder dialogue and improved data collection on the media sector, the reform programs should better address the needs of the media sector and build stronger country level leadership for media development. Lastly, multi-stakeholder groups should be
established for the thorough and independent assessment of the media sector, existing regulations and enabling conditions. Lastly, a collection of essays, including several case studies of various countries worldwide, on Media Capture, also highlight the risk of increased involvement of decision makers and power elites in media development (CIMA, 2017). Media capture can be defined as â€œa situation in which the media have not succeeded in becoming autonomous in manifesting a will of their own, nor able to exercise their main function, notably of informing peopleâ€? (CIMA, 2017). This phenomenon can exist for example in the form of ownership, financial incentives, censorship and cognitive capture. A case study of the Tunisian Media Environment, demonstrates that while the press may seem to be liberated from government control, it could still fall victim to the capture of self-serving business leaders. Media capture poses a substantial risk to sustainable and independent journalism. Therefore when increasing recognition among decision makers and power elites on the value of the role of the media, one should also establish public awareness on the risks of media capture and its detrimental effects on the overall governance environment. Conclusion Decision makers and power elites can abuse/capture the media. In order to prevent the decision makersâ€™ abuse of their dominant position, a suggestion for further research would be to identify possible means of prevention.
1C. Increasing participation of civil society and marginalised communities in media and increasing their media literacy, contributes to establishing an enabling environment for media practitioners conducive to freedom of expression, pluralism, and diversity Additionally to Free Press Unlimited, also other institutions like the World Bank (2017) state that the role of the media is to reach broad audiences with broad content. Therefore, it should be one of the highest priorities to include or provide every group in the society with the possibility to contribute or participate in the media. According to Deane (2013), opening up the media to the civil society in fragile states can result in also the extreme opinions being voiced and create the urge to stand up against the current conditions. This can lead to an even greater gap between the citizens of the country. In 2007, Kenya experienced numerous riots and violence due to a media serving small ethnic communities, which gave every group the possibility to voice their anger and find supporters of their own opinion (Deane, 2013). This has been enabled by a further law for Keyian media liberation, which has been released in 2004. As this case study shows, the integration of all members of the society has to be a slower process and awareness for these challenges has to be raised amongst non-profits. The way of liberating the media should furthermore depend on the country’s culture, politics, society and other factors. Additionally, clear plans of financing the media, as already mentioned in 1A, have to be established so it’s freedom is not vulnerable to warlords and other stakeholders (Deane, 2013). The author gives multiple examples of cases in which media has been owned by political activists. One of the mentioned examples is the media development in Afghanistan. In this country, media has only been on the rise after 2003. An environment of uncontrolled media in the country due to missing regulations has been the foundation for the problem. Additionally, these interests groups often misuse the media to attract political supporters, while they benefit from international funding and support which is intended for the development of media in Afghanistan. Also, the civil society itself is often able to claim their right to participation in the media. Oh (2017) gives examples of civil groups in seven different developing countries fighting for the freedom of the internet. The aims are to make online media more pluralistic, democratic and open to everyone. In Uganda, for example, social media is an important tool to voice an opinion, organise events or spread political awareness. This right has been threatened by the government which collects information from social media platforms and restricts access to them. The civil society responded with deepening their digital security and building coalitions with international organisations to inform about the abuses (Oh, 2017). While these rights are desirable, the DW Akademie (2015) also mentions the “dark side of the media”. If everyone has access, it is easy to spread rumors and propaganda. Furthermore, the media can serve as a mouthpiece for elite groups. This dark side is likely to occur in countries with an authoritarian state, a manipulative private sector, weak institutions and polarisation (DW Akademie, 2015). To counteract this dark side of the media, the internet contributes to increasing participation of civil society in protests and therefore in media in general (Ruijgrok, 2017). A growing accessibility to internet shows that people become more informed about their living situation and display an increase in the willingness to change their current situation by protests. This can be shown through four pathways. First, widespread internet accessibility decreases the risk that protesters face. The organisation of a protest becomes easier and the organisers are more aware of the turn up because the internet properly facilitates staying in touch. Besides that, the internet gives people the opportunity to absorb views that are distinct from the official government narrative. If these views propose a better living situation they can be seen as the underlying reason for protests. Also, the internet is a good way to measure the amount of people that agree or disagree with you concerning certain views. The more people that dislike the regime, the
more people that will eventually show up in the streets and the more successful your protest will be. Finally, the internet has a mobilising factor. If people have the opportunity to share pictures and videos of distressing circumstances, they will be more likely to join your protest. Another opportunity to diversify the media and therefore create an increasing participation of civil society is explored by WAN-INFRA (2016). The article shows that media organisations that prioritised gender equality within their organisations have seen a positive return in terms of financial outcomes, innovativity and social stability within their communities. The increase in revenue can be explained by the increase in audience. People in general like to read about people they can relate to, therefore women like to read about women and issues they face. This builds strength in local communities and the news becomes more diverse which leads to a more competitive media outlet. Based on this finding, financial stability of the media could work as a determinant of an enabling environment. A possible research question related to this topic could investigate how a business model has to be constructed to be protected from the use of warlords and how business models in comparison to how business models in the media of fragile states are currently set up. Furthermore, WANINFRA (2016) illustrated the positive impact of gender equality on the financial and social stability, as well as for the innovativity of communities. It could be researched if the business model can be replicated or if its largely context dependent.
2A. Creating a regulatory framework for media promotes diversity and protects media practitioners, which contributes to IO2. This section critically reviews Pathway A and examines the correlation with intermediate outcome 2. It therefore determines whether creating a regulatory framework for media, which promotes diversity and protects media practitioners, contributes to media serving the public and acting as a watchdog on their behalf. Broadcasting, in terms of television and radio, is a finite public resource that should be aimed at voicing different social groups. As far as frequencies are concerned, the electromagnetic spectrum needs to be regulated (Puddephatt, 2011). Media regulation therefore started its development hand in hand with guaranteeing, promoting and protecting freedom of expression, that is, each individual's right to freely seek, receive or impart information. According to Puddephatt (2011), the ultimate goal for regulating media should in fact be to protect and deepen this fundamental right. Media regulation of states should guarantee that freedom of expression is effectively ensured through a free, plural, independent and diversified media system. This matter is addressed in the most important international instruments on human rights (the United Nations Charter; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Conventions on the Protection and Promotion of Diversity and Cultural Expressions, among others). These international instruments underline not only the importance of diversity in media regulation, but also consider pluralism and equality as indispensable elements that should be incorporated in legal frameworks for media to protect the right of freedom of expression. This is reinforced by the Camden Principles on Freedom of Expression and Equality, which provide guidance on a desirable public policy framework for the media. Particularly, principle 5 stipulates that regulatory frameworks should promote pluralism and equality (Article 19, 2009). Besides diversity, pluralism and equality are stated to be critical in creating a regulatory framework that serves the interest of the public. However, both the terms pluralism and equality do not resonate in FPU’s Theory of Change. We therefore suggest to rephrase pathway A to “Creating a regulatory framework for media promotes diversity, pluralism and equality and protects media practitioners”, in order to create more comprehensive criteria for a regulatory framework. Ensuring pluralism in media ownership and points of view is also crucial for the media in fulfilling the role of being a watchdog, as stated in the policy recommendations in Chapter 5 of Coronel (2010). The author states that such pluralism safeguards the media’s ability to act as watchdog from the interests or points of view of media proprietors, and enhances the transparency and government accountability. A legal and regulatory environment should therefore ensure pluralism, as well as press independence and freedom, to allow the media to be an effective watchdog. In the light of being a watchdog, a study by Reinikka and Svensson (2005) shows how the media has effectively acted as a watchdog of the public in Uganda, due to a newspaper campaign which provided schools and parents with information to local official’s handling of a lare education program. This resulted in a substantial increase in both student enrollment and achievement in schools that managed to claim a higher share of their entitlements. However, striking a balance between the public’s right to freedom of expression and states’ obligation to protect their citizens from violence remains a serious challenge (Freedom House, 2011). Media regulations continuously pose a threat to media diversity and freedom in some
countries or regions in the world. A report of Freedom House (2011) explores issues of government insight, self-regulatory bodies, and licensing that continue to plague governments and free speech advocates, whose interests often seem diametrically opposed. Governments can use subtle tools of media regulation to restrict press freedom, using a veneer of legality and pluralism to avoid interference or criticism of international advocacy groups. Manipulation of the regulatory framework allows states to either tolerate or restrain news that could impact the political situation, and can permit democratically elected governments to fortify themselves against future electoral competition (Freedom House, 2011). An example of this type of manipulation of elections is given in a research by Boas and Hidalgo (2011), which demonstrates that media control helps entrench local political power in Brazil using community radio licences. Freedom House identifies primary types of media regulation that are used to restrict press freedom, which include (i) statutory controls on licensing and registration, (ii) the creation of nominally independent regulatory bodies with built-in avenues for political influence and (iii) legal imposition of vague or burdensome content requirements. The report offers several cautionary examples of a range of countries where media regulation pose a threat to diversity and press freedom, and gives specific guidelines for improvement and reform. Besides promoting diversity, pluralism and equality, regulatory frameworks should also serve and help media practitioners, i.e. journalists. In some countries and parts of the world, the threats to press freedom are explicit and often violent, resulting in the danger for journalists of being murdered or imprisoned. It is the stateâ€™s obligation to protect journalists from violence, and regulatory frameworks should help raise the social status of watchdog journalists, while making them less prone to corruption (Policy Recommendations in Chapter 5, Coronel (2010). Raising professional and ethical standards of journalists reinforces the diversity and plurality of media, while it also encourages the role of watchdogging of journalists. Regulatory frameworks should therefore focus on improving the working conditions of journalists and raising compensation to respectable levels, in order to achieve this (Coronel, 2010). Nevertheless, in some countries regulations on licensing systems are imposed on journalists themselves. This requires for example that journalists should have memberships in a particular professional body or have educational credentials (Buckley et al. 2008). The requirements exist in transitional or authoritarian media system to varying degrees. This is a widespread problem and cannot be ignored, which is proven by a report of Center for International Media Assistance that showed that states play a role in licensing journalists in over a quarter of 100 countries (Strasser, 2010). It is therefore important to examine the content of regulatory frameworks, as media practitioners are not always protected in states where regulatory frameworks for media are in place.
2B. Decision makers and power elites value the role of media, which contributes to IO2 Media can act as a watchdog on the behalf of the public. They can do this by providing reliable news and discussing topics relevant to society. With respect to the decision makers and power elites, media is of great importance. Especially in developing countries, often characterised by conflicts, corruption, oppression of the press and inequality, the press could act as a watchdog on the behalf of the public. By investigating the wrongdoings of governments and people in power and by addressing sensitive topics, media can make the people in power more responsive to societal demands and hold them accountable for their actions. Also, media can decrease the gap between the government and the public. However, decision makers and power elites do not seem to value an independent media. They control or intimidate an independent press and misuse media. Media’s influence on decision makers and power elites Media have the ability to make people in power more accountable for their actions and responsive to the public. Taylor (2017) investigated the accountability of media through the BBC Media Action. This is a six-year, multi-country program which supports improved accountability through public dialogue. The BBC Media Action audiences consistently felt that the programmes had helped to hold the government accountable. This evaluation showed that there were three ways that the project supported increases in accountability: empowering people, creating space and influencing power. The empowerment of the people means the increasing of the effective political participation. The creation of space for public debate supports people to have a voice, including under-presented people. The influencing of power of people improved the responsiveness and accountability of the government for decisions on key issues. 89% of the BBC Media Action audiences agreed or strongly agreed that the programming was playing a role in holding the government to account. Thus, media can make the government accountable. Besley and Burgess (2013) investigated the responsiveness of governments to citizens in India. They highlight the importance of information flows about policy actions in increasing government responsiveness, particularly the role of mass media in creating an incentive for governments to respond to citizens’ need. They found that mass media and open political institutions can affect government activism and responsiveness. Especially in the battle against corruption, which is often present in developing countries, media can play a great role. Deane (2016) investigated the role of independent media in curbing corruption in fragile countries. The author argues that the media is one of society’s most effective assets to curb corruption and to foster accountability. Deane (2016) stated that the media can investigate and report wrongdoing by governments and others. Thus, bringing changes in voting behaviour and helping to discipline corrupt governments or shape political and social norms in ways that discourage corruption. It can encourage (or discourage) greater political participation, increase (or decrease) political knowledge and transparency, and improve (or distort) the accuracy of information available to citizens. Media’s ability to influence these depends on the effectiveness of the media platform. Brunetti and Weber (2001) also found evidence of a significant relationship between more press freedom and less corruption in a large cross-section of countries. The World Development Report by the World bank (2017) gives some examples on how the media fulfills its role as watchdog on the government. For example, the report describes how in Peru a TV channel published independent analysis and investigations of the regime’s performance. The regime of Peru was characterised by the bribing of politicians, judges and news media companies. The broadcasts of the TV channel eventually led to a growing
opposition and disintegration of the regime in Peru. Another example in the report describes Uganda, where some local schools did not receive all government grants they were entitled to. After a media campaign about this wrongdoing by the government, the average funding increased, improving school enrolment and learning outcomes. Control of decision makers and power elites on the media For the media to serve the public by holding the government accountable and responsive, the media should be able to act independent. However, political actors often seem to misuse the media and hamper them from acting independent. Deane (2013) looked at the role of media in fragile states. Deane examined that fragile states are often fractured states and the media is also fractured along the same lines that divide society. In fragile states political actors have strong incentives to support and perhaps create media outlets to reach their support base. While it seems that the capacity of society to exercise freedom and control their own political and social destiny has grown immensely in fragile states, the capacity of factional interests to co-opt and manipulate the media and communication has also grown. Deane stated that in these states, where power is often exercised through patronage and loyalty, governments try to shape public opinion and attract attention through the media. How vulnerable the media is to co-option depends on the country’s history, culture, economics and politics. These factional actors include political parties, religious and ethnic actors. An example of politicians controlling the media is given in a research by Boas and Hidalgo (2011), where politicians try to enhance their future electoral prospect. The research compared candidates in Brazil who acquired radio licenses before an election to similar candidates who did not, showing that the radio station increased one’s probability of victory. The politicians have an incentive to gain control of the radio to advance their careers. Another example of the people in power controlling the media is given by Kuang (2017). This paper describes the situation of the media in China. Chinese politicians have the power to control dissemination of political information. Compared to Western journalists, journalists in China guard their relationship with the authorities to gain more access to political information and report more sensitive news. For example, they share information with media from other organisations to share the risk or leak information to colleagues without signing the report themselves. Thus, they apply special strategies to safely report news to not be sanctioned or denounced by the authorities. The people in power do not seem to value the role of media and try to control or intimidate independent media. Deane (2016) found that a combination of political, legal, and economic forces in fragile states seem to be increasingly undermining media’s capacity to remain its independence and play its accountability role. BBC Media Action has analysed the media landscapes in fragile states, such as in Afghanistan or countries that have experienced the Arab uprisings, and found that organisations that do not want to be held to account for their actions have invested heavily in ensuring that the media are not impartial and instead reflect and protect their own ideas. Examples of these political threats are economic investments of governments to their own media and providing independent media with less financial aid, introducing new laws that make it harder for media to act independently and drawing advertisement income away from independent media. An independent media should be enabled and sustained by more support in order for the media to be able to check on corrupt power. That people in power often do not value the role of media is verified by Kasoma (2017). The study investigated how members of Parliament in Zambia felt about press freedom. The study’s overall results indicate that there is an awareness of the importance of press freedom among the members of
Parliament, but there appears to be a reluctance â€“ rather than resilience â€“ to implement changes that would provide for a freer press system. Conclusion and recommendation In conclusion, media can serve the interests of the public by acting as a watchdog on decision makers and power elites. They can improve the accountability of people in power and make them more responsive to societal demands. Also, there is a significant relationship between more press freedom and less corruption. In order for the media to fulfill their role as watchdog, the media should be able to act independently. Unfortunately, decision makers and power elites too often do not value the role of media and try to control or intimidate independent media. Instead of valuing the media, people in power misuse the media to, for example reach their support base or get away with wrongdoings. Media should get more support in order for them to be able to serve the interests of the public. Further research of Free Press Unlimited on this outcome could focus on how the situations are in countries regarding the access to information by decision makers and power elites based on their right to information. If there is no access to information, Free Press Unlimited could investigate how this access could be established and how effective interventions could take place. Also, further research could be done regarding the view of decision makers and power elites on independent media, since there is not much literature on this. By being more aware of their view on media, Free Press Unlimited could investigate what is necessary for the power elites to support an independent media and stop misusing it. In order for a press to be free, it is necessary that the power elites value an independent media.
2C. Increasing participation of civil society and marginalised communities in media and increasing their media literacy Different generations and political philosophers have meant different things by the concept of civil society (Cohen and Arato, 1992). Civil society involves complex regulatory networks, which focuses on generating maximal insights and maximal democratic gains. Civil society according to Keane (2003) is one where people relate with each other on a basis of openness, tolerance, respect, trust and non-violence. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have a large impact on policy, supporting the government with new ideas in order to solve shared challenges. Here it is important to work together with the media to increase transparency and strengthen democratic accountability. In this section we will focus on the role of media in the process of participating in the civil society. Marginalised communities essentially label any group of people within a given population that are discriminated against, treated unequally, or neglected relative to the rest of the population. Reasons for such discrimination can vary from gender issues, to race or cultural differences. Lastly, media literacy defines the ability of any individual to access, or create media material in a given environment. Several common themes were identified among the sources provided and clustered together under these categories. The sources clustered together were then used as examples under how their specific theme they either supported or did not support the validity of the pathway. The common themes that were identified were gender inequality, training-based intervention programs, government and public awareness, and post-conflict resolutions.
Gender inequality The first common theme is the importance of gender equality in the media as a mean to increase participation of civil society in the media. While gender inequality is only an example of a marginalised group in many developing countries, it remains a common subject among the research explored. Firstly, Bednar & Verboom (2016) explore the development of professional skills among journalists and shrinking the disparity between institutions and media organisations in an evaluation report. Taking place in Zimbabwe, the results of the research reflected an improvement in giving marginalised communities a voice in their country. In particular, the paper focuses on the general negative perception of women in these communities and how media can act as tool to curb such negative mindsets. Bednar and Verboom outline the path to achieve such an outcome is to support the development of womenâ€™s professionalism, skills, resources, and confidence. A similar research approach by Doumaâ€™s evaluation report (2016) conveys the importance of gender equality in the media in order to achieve an increased participation of civil society in the media. A more balanced participation scale of both men and women is vital to the progression of societies in developing countries, and thus serves the interest of the public to do so. Douma, similarly to Bednar and Verboom, states that to reach such an outcome, the skills, pluralism and ethical standards of media participants need to be strengthened. These trainings should be provided by an expert with long-term management experience. In the process of training journalists it is important to have a standardised education curricula for the journalists. These following examples perhaps indicate that by working towards a balanced participation of both men and women in the media contributes to serving the public.
Skills programs In comparison, a frequently used intervention method among the research gathered are training programs for journalists or communities to develop their skills and professionalism. This may overlap slightly with the preceding paragraph, nonetheless has some important implications to the pathway suggesting a strong link. Skills program are important means for marginalised communities to be access medial or create media content, as well as overarchingly serve the interest of the public. Wilts’s story (2017) reflects the validity of the pathway through his research where they oversaw the establishment of the a radio station named “Dabanga” in Sudan. The research essentially reflected a significant impact on the communities where they were more empowered to express their opinions, and became more involved citizens. Additionally, Bednar’s evaluation report (2017) further portrays the effectiveness of trainingbased intervention programs through his research in Zambia. The research had an interesting take that by taking different journalists from different countries it allowed for an ample amount of knowledge spillovers. This effectively allowed journalists to be more efficient at their jobs in order to serve the interest of the public by reporting accurate news to everyone. Finally, Third et al (2017) demonstrate the effect of a UNICEF project that gathered 490 children aged 10– 18, from 26 different countries and speaking 24 official languages to take part in workshops designed to teach them the importance of digital technology. The research indicated that participants learned how to use digital technology and that it was an effective tool to serve in their communities as a tool to develop. Furthermore, Coronel (2010), in chapter 5 of her book, refers in his work that the media can be an effective and credible watchdog to the public. Independent investigative journalists is important in a democratic environment and the author states that trainings for journalists and awards for investigative reporting should help obtain this. For the media to serve as a credible watchdog is has to be independent. Coronel states that media independence is guaranteed if media institutions are financially viable, free from intervention of media owners and the state, and operate in a competitive environment. Active participation is required and media can help with this by informing, educating and mobilising the public.
Government awareness Another factor important in process that media serves in the interest of the public and not in interest of the government. Free Press Unlimited (2017) also found that when media ask a lot of questions and publish reports so that public awareness is raised, authorities will be accountable for their actions, when they do things not in the interest of the public. Carter (2016) states that information intermediaries can help to generate accountability in governance. For media to act in the interest of the public trust from society in media houses is important. Rodriguez et al. (2018) found that press freedom and level of trust are correlated. Evidence was found in Venezuela where 67% of people received very little press freedom and on the other hand, people of Uruguay, Argentina and Costa Rica perceive less than 20% of very little press freedom. The authors also looked at how citizens view media pluralism, which means how media represent different perspectives and interests in their societies. In Latin America and the Caribbean there is some of the highest levels of media concentration in the world, but it do not appear to undermine public perceptions of the media’s ability to represent the plurality of views. Their conclusion is that the more people focus on reliable news, the more they believe in media pluralism. People who are higher educated are more critical to the groups that own or control the media environment. Here it is important to invest in media literacy projects that can educate the public on the nature and consequences of media ownership concentration. Perceptions of
media pluralism and trust in media are strongly related with how likely people report being satisfied with how the governments institutions are functioning. Post-conflict resolution Moreover, media-based intervention programs in post-conflict areas have illustrated an important tool to increase media literacy and serve the interest of the public. This is also an important connection to the term civil society where communities must work towards rebuilding trust, and openness among their people as well as establish collective responsibility for the consequences of conflict periods. Communities that have been torn by periods of violence (civil wars, genocide, civil unrest etc.) require external intervention and aid to effectively rebuild themselves. These interventions are important to not only serve the public, so they can move past these horrific periods, but also serve as a watchdog to prevent repeated violence. Jacobâ€™s research report (2016) provides an interesting angle to fostering peace among ethnic groups that have a history of violence. Jacobs specifically looks at the conflict between the Rwandan Hutus and the Congolese autochthons in South Kivu, and attempted to nurture a more peaceful exchange between the parties through a radio broadcasting station. The effects of the research were positive and takes a look at cultural differences between different groups, who might be marginalised in certain cases, and how media can act as platform to bridge these differences. Paluck and Greenâ€™s report (2017) investigates the response to an experimental intervention. It is about a radio program in post-genocide Rwanda that tries to discourage blind obedience and reliance on direction from authorities and promote independent thought and collective action in problem solving. Essentially, the intervention program conveyed positive results, reflecting that participation in these media programs in post-conflict societies improved an acceptance of collective responsibility, resolution of communal problems, and expression of dissent. Moreover, Bilali (2014) takes a similar angle in regard to this pathway by highlighting the benefits and challenges of implementing social psychological interventions in a postconflict environment, specifically focusing towards the post-genocide population of Rwanda. The social psychological intervention took the form of an education entertainment media campaign. The intervention program demonstrated to be an effective tool to bring forth reconciliation and awareness towards communities. It not only provides affected individuals by these periods of violence a safe environment to bring forth sensitive topics, but also serves as an effective strategy to prevent repetition of such horrific events. These two studies both potentially illustrate that increased participation in the media following post-conflict periods serve the interest of the public.
2D. Media are networked with Civil Society and connected to best practices and innovation in the media industry, contributes to IO2 In this section, the link between the second intermediate outcome and pathway 2D will be explained. “Media are networked with civil society” means that the media is a reflection of the society and reports on all aspects of this society. The network helps to identify relevant topics to represent all of society. Not only the interests of influential people and parties are discussed in the media, but also the issues of average citizens and minorities are addressed. What is meant by “media are connected to best practices and innovation in the media industry” is that the media are not merely concerned with reporting on events, but also use best practices to do this, and that the media also contribute to innovation in its own industry. This can for example be achieved by investing in ‘new ways’ of delivering news, such as through social media platforms. If the media are networked with civil society, connected with best practices and are up to date about industry innovations, this will enable the media to serve the interest of the public better, and hence act as a watchdog on their behalf. To serve the interest of the public optimally, the media should represent the whole of society and also invest in itself through innovation, as to reach the largest possible audience.
Media capture Media capture, when media are swayed or controlled by powerful interests around the world, can be harmful for the media’s networking with civil society, best practices and innovation. In societies with high income inequality, the rich have disproportionately more media influence (Petrova, 2008). This is also found by the World Bank (2017), who state that media capture by narrow interest groups is more likely when media ownership is more concentrated and income inequalities are higher. According to them, more competition and entry in the media market are fundamental for independence and contestability of the media. Sullivan (2013) describes how press freedom has declined in many developing and developed countries in the last few years, as a result of increased capture of the media. For example, in the Czech Republic, a growing share of the media has become the property of local oligarchs, which creates concerns for media independence, transparency and media legislation. Reinikka and Svensson (2015) find that in Uganda, reduction in media capture has a positive effect on student enrolment and learning. To improve upon the issue and enhance accountability, they suggest to experiment with new tools in developing countries. In short, media capture is a danger for the media working in the public’s interest. It can be harmful for the best practices and limit the extent to which the media is networked with civil society. Reduction of media capture may lead to more connection with society and more innovations, and this can therefore be a possible point of attention for governments and NGOs. More connection with society through a network with CSO may also lead to more representation of minority issues.
The role of social media A widely shared belief is that the internet and social media contribute positively to the media landscape. It helps to connect people and forms an important source of information and news in countries where developed media stations are lacking. An example is the importance of ‘dark social’ media, which was researched by Musgrave and CIMA (2017). ‘Dark social’ media are private communication and information-sharing sources, such as Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. They are an important source of information and independent news, especially for citizens living under oppressive governments, because the dark social media are harder for the
government to control. This illustrates that the ordinary media does not serve the interest of the public, and that it is these innovative social platforms that enable the media to network with civil society. Petrova (2008) also finds that internet has a positive effect on media freedom, although notes that this effect is larger in democracies than in autocracies. In addition, Sullivan (2013) finds that digital media are simultaneously empowering citizens, self-interested actors and large technological companies. This can be seen as both a confirmation of the second pathway, as citizens can exercise more influence, as well as a weak spot, as self-interested actors (such as politicians and businessmen) and large technological companies are also becoming more dominant. This exemplifies essentially the problem with digital and social media. A feature of the dark social media (Musgrave and CIMA, 2017) is that there is no control of what people can post or will read, which may lead to selective information, violations of journalistic values, and also â€˜fake newsâ€™. Online, it is easier to put your own interest above that of independently informing the public, which makes that one should be careful when consulting digital media. Therefore, while digital media are an important, innovative source of information in many countries, it also has its downside which people should be (made) aware of. This downside also illustrates that the media does not always serve the interests of the public. Therefore, it is key for media to stick to best practices and keep innovating to be able to serve the interest of the public and act as a watchdog on their behalf.
Other ways to increase media connection with society Besides digital media, there are other ways to increase the media connection with society. Brandsma (2017) concludes that cooperation can be useful to create and maintain independent, fact based news sources. In Eastern Europe, Free Press Unlimited had set up a multimedia platform to share news stories, the Russian-Language Exchange. By connecting the work of different media outlets, a broader picture of the region can be given. This view is shared by Bednar (2017), who finds that combining journalists of different countries in a region as well as people with with various levels of experience enhances learning and thus has a positive impact on the media landscape. What also connects with cooperation, is the story of Wesselink (2017), who describes how a story in the media about measles resulted in a mass measles campaign in Pakistan. These examples show that cooperation increases the scope of the media, which creates more attention for minority groups, amongst others. So, cooperation can be an effective and innovative way for media to network with society and help to hold on to best practices. Radio broadcasting has been found to be another public information service that can help media to network with civil society. Wilts (2017) finds that next to the influence social media and smartphones, radio broadcasting is a good way of transmitting reliable news to Sudanese citizens. The shortwave radio station cannot be fully controlled by the government and can therefore remain independent more easily. ICASA (2017) addresses the problem of the longterm sustainability of radio stations. In South Africa, a lack of financial systems makes that stations must be funded by the government in order for them to sustain their long-run existence. As it is not always preferable for news outlets to depend on governments, a solution could be community participation and ownership and other various methods to encourage participation. This could be annual general meetings, board elections, selection and provision of programming, or volunteering. Also cooperation can be important to ensure independent radio broadcasting. This would help the media to network with civil society.
Conclusion In conclusion, this pathway is validated by evidence. Social media specifically needs to be included in the Theory of Change, and a distinction should be made between private social media platforms and online media by media outlets. One â€œbest practiceâ€? is short wave community radio, as it cannot be controlled by the government. A possible research question is: Is this true? What are other best practices to escape government control of media?
2E. Increasing the capacity of media and journalists in professional and organisational aspects, contributes to media serving the public and acting as a watchdog on their behalf. The capacity of media and journalists entails their ability to produce and distribute good quality news and their qualities as public news distributors. Increasing their capacity and thus improving their abilities, is thought to have a positive impact on their role as a watchdog. In this relationship the focus lies on increasing their capacities in professional and organisational aspects. This means that it is about both these aspects, for media organisations as a whole, but also applies to individual journalists. In the Theory of Change of Press Free Unlimited it is a given that media is an important player in the achievement of freedom for people. One of the roles the media has in this is that they serve the public, with regard to the distribution of news and information, and that they act as a watchdog. This means that the media distributes news without censorship, to all and from all, and seeks to hold authorities accountable for their actions and denounces issues that present itself in society, that are in the interest of civilians. The relationship given at the beginning of this chapter thus states that increasing the quality of media and journalists improves the role of the media as a servant and watchdog to the public. In this chapter, this supposed relationship is evaluated. The outcomes of a project about the Somali media (Douma & Abdilatif, 2016) were found to be the core of this pathway. The outcomes show the importance of journalistic evaluation and education to contribute to a better watchdog role. The main goal of the project was the improvement and professionalising attitude towards journalism and the media business. They did this by training journalists and standardising educational journalism curricula. The lessons learned from this project were that training journalists has significant effect on the quality of the information towards the civilians. When the information quality rises, the people are more aware of their current condition and state of being, and therefore is the watchdog role better fulfilled. Furthermore the junior media managers were enthusiastic about the training provided and willing to adapt their policy, whereas the senior managers were not. This means that only a specific group of journalists is willing to adapt their policy. Knowing this there can be concluded that it is hard to target everyone involved in the media business to improve the quality of information. The third important finding was that by implementing a curriculum for journalism education, the continuity of the quality of information is guaranteed. These are all three main findings that contribute to the quality of information which stimulates the watchdog role of the media This also becomes clearer in a report by Sullivan (2013) about investigative journalism. This is a form of journalism where Journalists try to do more in depth research to spread the most reliable information. This can be seen as an improvement of the journalistsâ€™ education because the level of information they spread will rise through more investigations. Similar to the first article about Somali is that the focus of the improvement lies in the level of education journalists get. Although in this report the overall level of information spread is higher, the idea is the same. Where in the first article the core values of journalism are implemented, here the more specific skills of investigation are taught to the journalists. By educating them the impact of the role as watchdog increases. This is also possible the other way around. In a report by Bednar (2015) the inhabitant citizens in Zambia are targeted to stand for themselves and their access to knowledge. In contradiction to the previous papers this paper focuses on civilians instead of journalists. According to this research the mind-set of the civilians is key to accomplish the best and most reliable information spread. Here they found that the people can serve as a watchdog of the media. People should speak up when media are sophisticating facts. When combining
the findings of this paper and the previous ones, we can conclude that the people and the media need each other to guarantee a reliable information flow. Another way to increase the capacity of media and journalists is the empowerment of diversity in journalism. This is what the Women in News: Gender and Media Freedom Strategy tries to do. This is an initiative by WAN-IFRA, the global organisation of the worldâ€™s newspapers and news publishers, the subject of the report (2016) written by the same organisation. They are convinced that increasing gender diversity creates stronger media organisations. They do this through addressing the gender imbalance and mobilising the industry to create an environment that supports conditions for women in media by capacity building actions involving training and coaching and peer-led advocacy that emphasises education and practical tools. It is proven that organisations with a consistent gender diversity have better results and contribute to social stability in their communities. This means this could be very valuable for countries that are struggling with both these issues. With the improvement of media in this way, it clearly serves the feminine public and acts as a watchdog for them. But if it is true that gender diversity improves media in general, this would be very important for the whole of the public. In the report of WAN-IFRA it is stated that gender parity puts its organisations in tune with communities and at the same time improves the journalism, creates more diverse news and also reaches a more diverse public. They also give several reasons why it could be hard to achieve gender diversity in journalism organisations, like societal and cultural norms, family obligations, compensations and limited self-advocacy etc. But despite the difficulties in reaching this, it is important to try. By increasing the capacity of female journalists, and through that empowering journalism organisations, the media can fulfill its role as a watchdog better. This is also supported by a report by WHYZE Communications & Research on the UCOFEM gender media monitoring project about the Most Significant Change pilot of FPU. The people interviewed state that through the training they received, they pay more attention to gender equality through more diverse news sources and more diverse news delivery. By doing this, media starts to really be a watchdog for gender equality. Capacity of media and journalists also includes their capacity to fulfill their role and to be able to do their job well. This is only possible when journalists feel safe, especially in countries or areas where journalism isnâ€™t fully free. It thus is important that journalists are taught how to take care of, protect and defend themselves. An article of Bednar (2017) about an evaluation of a project of FPU and FundaciĂłn Latitudes in El Salvador, with the goal to promote a culture of defending and protecting human rights for journalists, and more concrete to start behaviour changes through safety training of journalists, shows an example of how to do this. The most significant changes that came about were knowing limits of oneself, emotional and mental health, skill development and the value of regional networks. The working together with people from different levels of experience was seen to be very valuable because of the mutual learning effect this can have. This evaluation shows that with small trainings, journalists can develop their skills and at the same time feel safe. When this happens, journalists have more space and feel safer to serve the public. Besides this, building the capacity of journalists can also be done in collaboration with the government or officials. In a project in Nepal (Uprety, Baral & Ghimire, 2016) journalists were trained to distribute news on health issues in the country. To do this effectively and with high quality. By doing this, the journalists were better trained in informing the public on important health issues and by that serving their interests. This is not necessarily fulfilling the role of
watchdog, which is often seen to check the actions of government, but is in the interest of the public. To conclude, it is extremely important to train and increase the capacity of all journalists for them to be able to better fulfill their job as a watchdog for the public. Especially important is to train journalists in protecting themselves and empower female journalists to become a watchdog for women and gender equity, together with men. A possible research question to further investigate this could be: Do (trained) female journalists attract and increase female audiences in FPU projects? What about the role of female versus male journalists for gender equity?
3A. Increasing participation of civil society and marginalised communities in media and increasing their media literacy There are many factors that contribute to the professionalism, effectiveness and sustainability of the media and media practitioners. Pathway 3A argues that one possible factor is to increase the levels of participation of civil society and marginalised communities in media and increasing their media literacy. A civil society can represent the will of all citizens including marginalised communities. This section provides arguments that support this assumption to some extent. Theoretical background Beckett and Smith (2007) elaborate on the idea that there is a global transition from modern journalism to networked journalism. In networked journalism, the public are becoming partners with journalists in the creation of news (Guardian, 2008). Beckett and Smith (2007) argue that this transition creates patterns of interaction that forces the media to some extent to communicate with the citizens. Therefore, they argue that journalists are less manufacturers of news, but more the moderators of conversations that get to the news. Hence, the media facilitates a public service. Yet in order to achieve network journalism, the mind-set of the current journalists has to be changed. In order for network journalism to work and to contribute to increased professionality, effectiveness and sustainability of journalists and media practitioners, the government should embrace this new role of the society. The government should put the consumers, citizens, clients first, and stimulate a change towards “consumer-led” journalism. The solution of networked journalism (Beckett and Smith, 2007) is similar to the beliefs of Koornstra (2015). This is because they both suggest that the conservative journalism should be changed, there should be more emphasis on constant communication. This could take many forms, for example, a change to online blogs. Although, the access to the internet is lower in marginalised communities, infrastructure is improving. The authors argue, that the way to increase media literacy is through newer forms of communication. (Beckett and Smith, 2007). Empirical findings Bednar (2017) evaluated the Speak Up Zambia programme. This programme aimed to empower Zambian citizens to have a voice in politics and societal matters regarding their own country. The focus was especially set to support the social accountability and make the citizens more engaged in political processes. The program “Speak Up Zambia” followed multiple approaches to reach their goal. The organisation started training citizen journalists and radio station staff in “public sector accountability monitor” and “basic mobile journalism” (Bednar, 2017) to enable them to evaluate the usage of public resources. It also trained young women in “mobile reporting” and “public sector accountability monitor” to increase the representation of women in the media. The main conclusion was that when individuals were encouraged and empowered to speak up, they tend to change from having passive role to a more active role in society. By giving citizens, and especially women, a voice, the citizens do not only feel legitimised, but individual agency is improved. Thus, Bednar (2017) claims that when the participation of civil society and marginalised communities increased, people have more freedom to express their individual power. Additionally, the Most Significant Change method (MSC) was used in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mobile Community in Zimbabwe. MSC, a participatory story-based monitoring and evaluation method, was piloted by Free Press Unlimited as part of the Stories to Learn program. One of the pilot countries was Zimbabwe (project: Mobile Community Zimbabwe, MCZ). The MSC pilot in Zimbabwe focused on MCZ's citizen journalism training.
The trainings give (aspiring) journalists a platform to develop their skills. In this evaluation, Bednar and Verboom (2016) highlight the importance of training, as they claim that this gives the aspiring journalist the necessary skills to work in a professional, effective and sustainable capacity. Moreover, the MSC was used to conduct an evaluation of the FPU project: Somali Media. The goal of the project was to strengthen the skills, pluralism and ethical standards of Somali Media in a sustainable manner. Douma and Abdalatif (2016) emphasise the importance of focus on journalism ethics and media independence of politicians. Thus, it could be argued that when the level of participation of civil society and marginalised communities increases, the exchange of knowledge is boosted. This could lead to increased media literacy. Koornstra (2015) beliefs that one can enhance civic participation of marginalised and discriminated groups by creating awareness about their position in society and by giving them a voice to act in their own right. The Chiapas programme in Mexico was given as example. Furthermore, Drefs and Thomass (2016), investigated the working conditions and obstacles that the journalists had to deal with. The authors refer to the obstacles as conflict societies. The policy briefing discusses various scenarios, for example, when different minority groups demand recognition in their country and they voice their need through the media. In these countries, with a number of minorities and marginalised communities, undesirable working conditions for journalists are common. This results in numerous problems, such as the feel of pressure from the government to publish certain stories. Hence, the ethical side is only considered to a certain extent. Thus, it can be argued that the working conditions of the journalists have an impact on the level of participation of the civil society and marginalised communities. Drefs and Thomass (2016). Conclusion and recommendation Increasing participation of civil society and marginalised communities in media and increasing their media literacy is possibly realised by moving away from conservative journalism. Although, there is no quick fix, a move towards network journalism is advisable. This way, the context of a situation is taken into account. Yet, responsible media interaction and increased trust must be fostered at all levels of society. Therefore, the following recommendation is reached: the main focus of media development should be on the education of civil society and marginalised communities in media literacy. Hence, FPU should look into network journalism and explore this possibility via trial and error (Beckett and Smith, 2007). This is because the method suggested by Beckett and Smith (2007) is only applied to African communities. Furthermore, as Drefs and Thomass (2016) suggested, there should be psychological support for journalists and better safety equipment or safety laws.
3B. Networking media with civil society and connecting to best practices and innovation in the media industry, contributes to IO3. In order to achieve a fully integrated and connected media industry, the Theory of Change (ToC) assumes to some extent that this is achieved through networking and connecting. In this pathway, the ToC hopes to create a system in which the media is a reflection of society and that it reports on all aspects of society. The media provides society with accurate information and the whole truth. Although, the aim is difficult to achieve, the media should not only focus on the interests of influential people and parties that are discussed in the media. The issues of the average citizens and minorities should be addressed. The pathway states ‘media are connected to the best practices,’ this means that via the ToC the media are not merely concerned with reporting on events, but also use best practices to do this, and that the media also contribute to innovation in its own industry. This can for example be achieved by investing in ‘new ways’ of delivering news, such as through social media platforms. The pathway assumes that the measures mentioned in the previous paragraph contribute to the professionality, effectiveness and sustainability of journalists and media practitioners. This is because when the civil society is actively involved in the media, the media will arguably report more accurate information. Therefore, the impact of civil society contributes to the professionality, effectiveness and sustainability of the journalists and media practitioners. In the remainder of this evaluation, this assumption is reviewed with the help of existing literature. Evaluations by Bednar and Verboom (2016) and Bednar (2017) of projects using the Most Significant Change methodology emphasise on the need to connect journalists. They suggest that one way of implementing this need is to link journalists to radio stations. Hence, radio stations in the area can become a possible meeting place for journalists. Innovation in the networks of journalists and media practitioners enable them to share their stories and learn from each other. Consequently, this will result in an improvement in the sustainability and accurate of information that is provided to the public. Furthermore, Josimovic (2018) and Bednar and Verboom (2016) conclude that (mobile) citizen journalism can give a voice to those marginalised or excluded, develop new professional skills for journalists and other media practitioners, and that mobile citizen journalism can fill the gap between tertiary institutions, such as universities, and media organisations. By closing the gap between tertiary institutions and media organisations, the professionality, sustainability and effectiveness of the media is improved. Yousuf and Taylor (2016) explore network journalism, or connective journalism, and show its uses in Syria. The goal of connective journalism is to establish control over the common purposes and goals of journalists networks, and construct a common grammar for talking about public issues. It builds on new innovations in technology which allow more efficient communication. By connecting citizens to experienced journalists through an enabling framework, the professional and civilian journalists, and thus media in general, are able to consistently produce high quality content, reach more people and create a sustainable living. Besides providing evidence for pathway 3B, this paper comes with additional structures for setting up a healthy media environment that could have uses for the implementation steps of the Theory of Change. Kassimu, Chang and Charles (2016) describe a project in which a solar system was installed at a small community radio station in South Sudan. Beyond financial savings, the system has resulted in significant intangible benefits, such as positive community engagement and ease of maintenance by staff. As a result of this, the staff can focus on programming instead of worrying
about day-to-day operations. This case study is a good example of an innovation, not necessarily linked to the media industry, that contributes to journalists and media practitioners working more effective and sustainable. Although the literature review of this pathway is limited, the results seem to be in line with the assumption made in the pathway. Connecting journalists with each other, journalists with citizens and improving the networks with tertiary organisations by making use of new technologies is a general theme in literature, that is seen as having a positive effect on the effectiveness, professionalism and sustainability of journalists. Several sources describe concrete measures that can be used to set up such networks which might be interesting for further research. Besides that, the concept of network journalism is an additional concept that FPU could add to their theory. This will, arguably, increase the applicability of the theory. In order to test the impact of network journalism, PFU should research to what extent training and engagement of citizen journalists increase trust and participation of audiences in the media.
3C. Increasing the capacity of media and journalists in professional and organisational aspects, contributes to IO3. In the last assumption, the ToC argues that increasing the media and journalists capacity in professional and organisational aspects contributes to the professionality of the media and has positive influence on the effectiveness and sustainability of the journalists and media-actors. This section presents an overview of related literature and its findings. It starts with an overview of external publications followed by disquisition on evaluations by and in collaborating with FPU. Coronel (2010) explores the role of media as a watchdog. She states that when the media takes the role of a watchdog, the media stimulates reform and it assists a culture of civic discourse, transparency and government accountability in the long term. In order to enhance the media’s capacity to promote good governance, the news organisations have to some extent editorial independence. Furthermore, these organisations abide by high ethical and professional standards. Coronel (2010) states a number of policy interventions in his conclusion. One of these is raising professional and ethical standards by improving the level of skills in various areas of journalism, improving working conditions and raising compensation to respectable levels. The aforementioned help to raise the social status of watchdog journalists and also make them less prone to corruption. Coronel (2010) emphasises that the key aspect is to build a community of journalists bound by watchdog ethos and committed to democratic principles. Journalist unions and associations, as well as, other works of connective networks, could play a role here. The project ‘Media, Conflict and Democratisation’ investigates the role of traditional media and ICTs in conflicts, that accompany and follow transitions from authoritarian rule to more democratic forms of government in Egypt, Kenya, Serbia and South Africa. It focuses on the three main stakeholders in those conflicts—governments, civil society actors and journalists— and aims to understand the dynamics of conflict. Based on the findings of this project, Drefs and Thomass (2017) put forward suggestions for improved journalism support in the context of democratisation conflicts. The key finding is that media development actors emphasise the need for increased coordination and cooperation within the sector, and higher prioritisation of media development in foreign policy. Oostlander, Gaute and Van Dyck (2015) researched current and future business models for quality journalism. The authors identify a significant trend in the journalistic ecosystem in which information is created, delivered and monetised. This is the trend towards distributed production delivery and subsequent absence of monetising capacity and infrastructure. They claim that a number of ways to generate revenue or reduce costs in the current and future field of quality journalism. In addition, the authors argue that the evolving journalistic ecosystem has not yet developed the necessary framework to monetise distributed production and delivery. Hence, they recommend philanthropic organisations to support quality journalism’s transition to self-sustainability by helping the sector to resolve the gaps and obstructions hampering the development and adoption of new models. The need to increase the capacity of media and journalists in professional aspects is emphasised in Spurk (2017). In this analysis of local radio stations in Africa, the results portray that the lack of economic viability is a major constraint for local radio stations. The author states that generating sufficient revenues from advertisers to sustain the station is challenging. Thus, new problems occur, such as high turnovers of staff due to low pay, low quality of content, and lack of capacity in serious programming. The results of the analysis convey that a viable economic model requires simultaneously support for three different fields, (1) development of good
content, (2) development of media management capacities, and (3) media research covering the extent and satisfaction of local audiences in order to develop local advertising markets that serve local media. In their research, Wasserman and Benequista (2017) focused on how to ensure that African media organisations remain viable players in the changing political and economic landscape. They stress the need for increased commercial pressure on legacy media as a result of a growing emphasis on and preference for digital information and communication technologies. In addition, they emphasise the formation of coalitions and the existing ones to be strengthened. More capacity should be built to enable research into fast-evolving areas of the media such as digital, mobile, and social media, and the questions concerning freedom, independence, and sustainability that arise from this new and rapidly shifting arena. Wasserman and Benequista (2017) argue that one should not add more networks and link existing ones together, yet, the focus should be on educating and guiding media practitioners towards forming effective and sustainable collaborations. Koornstra (2015) evaluates the Press Freedom 2.0 (PF2.0) programme by zooming into three case studies in Mexico, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe. The aim of the programme was to support the process of development and structural poverty reduction by improving the quality of the media sector, enhance civic participation of marginalised and discriminated groups, and increase the accountability of democratic institutions. Koornstra (2015) concludes that the programme was effective. The most significant contributions were to organisational structures and an increase in efficiency due to better collaborations and improves skills. In his conclusion, the author emphasises quality collaborations with fewer organisations and creating connective platforms. Findings from the evaluations of projects using the Most Significant Change methodology, such as Bednar (2017) and Bednar and Verboom (2016), support that increasing professional aspects of media practitioners improves the professionality. In addition, it has positive influence on the effectiveness and sustainability of the media practitioners. Bednar (2017) concludes that the safety training course Riesgo Cruzado contributed to the development of new skills allowing the journalists to work more professionally and effectively. An additional unexpected outcome of the training was that it contributed to setting up regional networks of journalists in the region. Bednar and Verboom (2016) evaluate the Speak Up Zambia! project that aimed to empower Zambian citizens to have a voice and enabling media to act as a watchdog for society. They conclude that (mobile) citizen journalism gave a voice to those marginalised or excluded and developed new professional skills for journalists. In conclusion, literature supports the assumption made for pathway 3C in the ToC. Specifically, the evaluated literature emphasise the need for increased coordination and cooperation within the sector, where quality is more important than quantity for setting up connections. Besides that a key aspect is to build a community of journalists bound by watchdog ethos and committed to democratic principles.
Field Research 1
Independent news and unbiased information for everyone everywhere is becoming increasingly important in multiple developing countries. FM radio is an effective tool to disseminate information to people living in rural and remote areas, as it is easily accessible and free. Due to its wide reach and low costs of using, radio is recognised as one of the most powerful communication tools. In numerous rural areas, community radios are the only available form of media, and serve to raise awareness, disseminate information, enhance developments and foster changes. The research by the Involve consultancy project aims to investigate the business models of community radio stations within Nepal and Indonesia. Through this research, the Involve group would like to suggest possibilities for community radio stations to become more sustainable in the long run. The differences among radio stations are taken into consideration, including the legal, social, and political influences, while the effect of these differences on financial performance of community radio stations is also explored. This results in the research question:
"To what extent could a sustainable business model be developed for community radios in Nepal and Indonesia?"
The study period of this research was from the 29th of July until the 20th of August, during which we visited four community radios in both Nepal and Indonesia. The visited radio stations in Kathmandu are Radio Sagarmatha and Radio Namobuddha, and the two in Pokhara are Radio Gandaki and Radio Sarangkot. The visited radio stations in Yogyakarta are Radio Swarakota and Radio BBM and the two in Bandung are Radio RKSB and Radio Suara Cibangkong.
2.1 Definition of sustainability Sustainability is defined as the ability of an organisation to secure and manage sufficient resources to enable it to fulfil its mission effectively and consistently over time, without excessive dependence on any single funding source, according to L. Canon (1999). Sustainable organisations have, at minimum, a clear mission and strategic direction; the skills to attract resources from a variety of local, national and international sources, and the knowhow to manage them efficiently. Sustainability of community radios can be divided into three distinct, although interrelated concepts: social, institutional and financial sustainability (Gumucio Dagron, 2001). Social sustainability concerns the community ownership of the station and participation in the production and airing of programmes at both decision-making and operational levels, whereas the institutional sustainability refers to the functioning of the radio station, and covers the station policies, levels of democracy within the organisation, internal relationships and partnerships with external organisations. The institutional sustainability is affected by the industry, particularly the legislation, regulation and other policies. Lastly, the financial
sustainability covers the radio stationâ€™s finances, including its income generating potential, allocation of financial resources and investment decision. As part of the Media Development Project, a global research conducted by UNESCO (2018) defined requirements to ensure sustainability of the community radio stations, and to minimise their vulnerability. These include a strong sense of ownership within the community to improve the feeling of inclusiveness and responsibility, public accountability to generate trust, and a representative and democratic governance structure to enhance sustainability. Financial sustainability depends on strong and effective financial planning and management, and trust within the community reinforces the level of support from internal and external donors. Other requirements include effective training and capacitation regarding relationship management, administration and technical maintenance. 3
The following section provides an overview of the methods used to conduct this research. It elaborates on the data gathering process during our field research, the analysis and quality assurance. The Involve consultancy team observed the daily activities at 8 separate stations, analysed and recorded their experiences, documented challenges encountered at the station and resolutions reached. For this field research, a qualitative approach was chosen, as we aimed to evaluate specific radio stations and deeply examine their opportunities and challenges. The field research in Nepal and Indonesia emphasises the importance of understanding the different views and perceptions of the local radio stations in the different cities and countries visited.
3.1 Data gathering 1. Observations The visits to the eight radio stations allowed us to gain a realistic perception of the ambiance and working environments of the radio stations in the Kathmandu valley, Pokhara, Yogyakarta and Bandung. These observations have been included in this report with the aim to convey the context of radio production in Nepal and Indonesia more exhaustively. The evaluations focus not only on the recording and production studios, but also elaborate on equipment, technologies and other facilities to complement the impression of the reader. 2. Interviews To gain insights in the perspectives of employees and operations of the radio stations in Nepal and Indonesia, information was obtained by conducting qualitative interviews. During the visits to the radio stations, we interviewed employees working in different levels of the organisations, ranging from journalists to senior managers. An overview of the respondents with their corresponding roles are given in the Appendix. The interviews were semi-structured, as we used prepared questions to create a level of objectivity and generalisability of the stationsâ€™ impressions. Therefore, this method allows us to draw compatible conclusions across the radio stations and to align the research in Nepal with the research in Indonesia. Nevertheless, flexibility was required to tailor this approach to each radio station, as the stations were diverse in terms of personnel, equipment, level of professionality and financial insight. The cultural differences between Nepal and Indonesia also demanded adjusted approaches. Interviews were structured according to personnel, audience, employees, financials and content, respectively. We thoroughly asked questions on their core challenges, trends in the industry and desirable investment decisions.
3. Financial and managerial reports In addition to the data collected from interviews, we gathered financial reports depending on their availability, including audit reports, balance sheets and income statements. Total revenues and expenses, periodic profits and losses and other major finances are used to assess the financial prospects in the short term and long term, sometimes by help of a translator to understand reports written in local languages. Thus, we observed whether the radio station breaks even, whether or not the radio station is profitable or not, whether a stable cash flow is established and to what extent budgets are made on a regular basis. Secondly, from this data can also be derived whether there is financial independence. The basis of financial independence is that one can sustain a certain spending pattern without having to work for it. This means that the radio station gets sufficient income from other sources, in particular, capital appreciation to cover your expenses. 4. Websites and online resources The internet is upcoming in Nepal, and it is important for radio stations to benefit from this rise. For this reason, we looked at how active the particular radio station is on the internet. We looked at the official website, Facebook page, other websites about the particular radio station and Youtube channels. We looked at how professional the sites looked, in which languages they are written, how structured they are and how much information they provide. In Indonesia, this is not as accurate. Some of the radio station do have websites, but they tend to be very basic and outdated.
3.2 Data Analysis After the visits of the radios, the important information that was gathered there was structured by subject and put together. Thereafter, the data of the radios was combined to compare the different findings and to be able to carefully draw conclusions.
3.3 Quality Assurance and Limitations When conducting research, two aspects should be kept in mind: the validity and the reliability of the research. Validity means that the results of the research are aligned with the reality and represents the extent to which the results can be generalised on a bigger scale. The validity of this research is ensured through desk research done prior to the field research, a preset list of questions and by choosing a diverse population with respect to their function. In addition, it is ensured by the transparency of the data, to the extent possible. As the interviews were conducted in English, this could lead to language barriers: not all respondentsâ€™ level of English was proficient, meaning it was occasionally challenging to understand what was meant or discussed in the interviews. For this very reason, translators were hired in each city and for each radio to prevent this from hindering the quality of the research. To further tackle this issue, the transcription of the data was done in summary, instead of literally. These summaries can be found in the Appendix. Reliability is defined as the repeatability of the research: the consistency of the results if the research was repeated. In this study, this is strived for by including the preset list of questions for the interviews, the summaries of the interviews and all relevant information about the radio stations. This ensures that it is possible to do this research again in the same way at a later time.
The reliability of this research is limited by the fact that the sample is restricted and thus hardly generalisable to a bigger scale. This influences the reliability in a way that, if ever this research was conducted again, the results could differ and depend on the radio stations visited.
Empirical case studies
4.1 Nepal 4.1.1 General overview Nepal is a country in South Asia, surrounded by land, sharing its borders with China and India. Nepal occupies 0,03% of the world and it stretches from west to east with an average length of 885 kilometers (Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), 2018: p. 2). The history of Nepal begins before the Christian Era, with the birth of Buddha. The projected population of Nepal in 2017 is 28,825,709 with a GDP per capita of NRs. 103,335 (US$ 1004) in 2017/2018. The annual growth rate has been positive for the last four fiscal years, from 2014 on. In 2017/2018, it was of 5.89%. In 2011, 25.16% of the Nepali population lived below the poverty line (CBS, 2018: p. 3&4). According to the Nepalese Central Bureau of Statistics, 81.34% of the population is Hindu, with 9.04% practicing Buddhism and the rest being Muslim, Kirant, Christian or other. After years of constitutional and governmental struggle and a severe civil war, a peace agreement was signed in 2006 between the governmental parties and the rebels. The Nepalese people voted against the monarchy and, with the Constitution of Nepal in 2015, Nepal officially changed from a kingdom to a federal democratic republic with seven states (CBS, 2018: p.2). Between May and December 2017, successful elections were held at local, provincial and national levels where a coalition of two parties won a majority at all three levels. KP Sharma Oli is the prime minister (International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), 2018: p.35). These elections were very successful in democratically electing the coalition to lead the country, but it also poses challenges for the government to pass new laws which can have consequences for the media in Nepal (INF, 2018). Press freedom in Nepal Nepal is categorised by Freedom House as a â€˜partly freeâ€™ country, with a rating of 3.5 out of 7. Freedom House states two categories of freedom: political rights and civil liberties. The civil liberties of Nepal were graded 30 out of 60. The Nepal constitution of 2015 contains articles on freedom of expression and prohibits limits on press freedom, with the exception of situations of national emergency or if it is in the interest of national security. Around the time of elections, there have been cases of violence against journalists in Nepal. Overall the score of freedom has still improved because the pressure on media has decreased and investigative journalism has developed positively. (Freedom House, 2018) Democracy allows a free expression of opinions and ideas by people. This freedom is exercised through media and the media therefore has an important role in promoting democracy. Modern media includes mass media, public media, private media, community media and social media. In this report the focus will be on community media, and more specifically on community radios. Since their existence, they have had an important role to play for the communities. They, amongst other things, address the languages issues and operate as an educator. Additionally, they may function as peacekeeper between different communities, operate as one channelled
voice representing the community in front of the national government and, in extreme cases, embody the only means of communication and information of a community. Radio station development In multiple rural areas, community radios are the only form of media available and the radios raise awareness, providing information and enhancing development. The Himalayan Times (2018) reports that the 400 radio stations located in Nepal are reaching 90 percent of total population. The community radios have become an integral part of the communities. FM radio has rapidly developed across Nepal because people can listen to radio for free and the barrier in terms of both effort and costs to receive radio is extremely low. FM Radio is serving the people of remote rural areas and the disadvantaged communities that lack access to other media forms such as newspapers, television and websites. The National Media Policy (1992) and National Broadcasting Act (1993) allowed commercial radio broadcasting for the first time. The National Broadcasting Regulations (1995) defined the processes and methods for establishing FM stations. Broadcasting and radios in Nepal Broadcasting began with the establishment of democracy and with the establishment of Radio Nepal in 1951. Television was only introduced in 1985. Government monopoly in broadcasting continued until the establishment of Radio Sagarmatha in 1997, which was the first nongovernmental and non-commercial radio station. Monopoly in television was ended by the establishment of Channel Nepal Television in 2001. The Nepali conflicts that started in 1996 and lasted until 2006 had caused many changes for Nepali journalism. In February 2005, the media rights and fundamental freedom were trampled: the government had put a ban on news on radio, and only television stations were allowed to have news within acceptable limits. In April 2006, a major protest was organised where the controls of the radio and television were eventually restored. Broadcasting licences Independent FM radio in Nepal began around the mid-1990s. The government issued about 150 licences between April 2006 and July 2007. In early August 2011, the government had issued 393 licences; of these, 228 were community stations and the remainder commercial radios. Institutions including commercial enterprises, cooperatives, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local government bodies can obtain a broadcasting licence. In Figure 1, the distribution of radio licences is showed.
Figure 1: distribution of radio licences According to the Himalayan Times (2017), the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development issued a new operation procedure model â€œfor the purpose of local levels to license, renew and regulate FM radiosâ€?. The model procedure was developed to bring uniformity in the governance of FM radios. According to the procedure, rural municipalities may issue licence for FM radio with radiated power of up to 100 watt. The Ministry of Information and Communications used to decide whether the station can obtain or not a licence. The Ministry widely covered postal services, telecommunications, broadcasting, press & information and film development. However, the local governments now have the authority to give out such licences, therefore lowering the barrier of obtaining one. The validity period of the licence is one fiscal year. 4.1.2 Findings 188.8.131.52 Radio Sagarmatha As the first independent community radio of South Asia, Radio Sagarmatha has been broadcasting in Kathmandu Valley of Nepal since May 1997. The radio station was founded under the mother organisation of NEFEJ. The influence of its mother organisation NEFEJ on Radio Sagarmatha is twofold; it constitutes the board of directors of the radio station, as well as appoints the station manager, and formulates its overall policy. After the disastrous earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015, Radio Sagarmatha was reconstructed with the support of Jouw FM, Free Press Unlimited, and the Asia Foundation, under CSRC/NEFEJ project. The reconstruction took place in 2016. As an early advocate of democracy and freedom of speech, the radio station currently covers the three fundamental topics regarding sustainable development that they claim need most urgent attention; environmental, social, and ethnic development. The radio aims to reach the community of the Kathmandu Valley and beyond, while most of its listeners are located in the
city of Kathmandu. The station strives to educate and activate the community to understand and take part in public debate in their society. As the first non-government-owned radio station, Radio Sagarmatha augments the amount of information accessible in an endeavor create an inclusive society, in which people are free to express their opinions on issues of public concern. Adopting the role of watchdog for the Nepalese communities, the station raises awareness and monitors public issues, while lobbying for positive change in policy. As the station addresses pressing problems in society, it aims to integrate traditional Nepalese culture with contemporary knowledge and modern-day developments. Located in Lalitpur, the radio station broadcasts 24 hours, of which the majority of hours it broadcasts via FM, and the remaining hours through their online channels. In an attempt to improve their financial stability, recently the radio has reduced its FM broadcast from 18 to 16 hours a day. Targeting the general public, the station aims to reach all age groups of the population, although it focuses mostly on educating the youth. Many of the stationâ€™s programmes are therefore broadcasted at schools. As reported on their website, the total reach is approximated to be 2.5 million listeners, thus capturing a quarter of their total potential reach. Due to its network of community radio stations located throughout the country, Radio Sagarmatha is able to reach a broad audience, also reaching remote areas outside the Kathmandu Valley. To further broaden their potential reach, several podcasts and programs are also produced or translated into local ethnic languages of various minorities around the Kathmandu Valley. Additionally, its programs are distributed to and broadcasted by over 50 local community radio stations, located in other geographical areas. Operations Personnel Radio Sagarmatha employs 28 people, either on a full-time, part-time or volunteering basis. As the radio operates 24 hours a day, working days are divided into three shifts and every employee works at most 6 days a week. The station employs both men and women. There are several departments, that operate autonomously, and report to the station manager. Among these departments are an executive and managerial department, a finance and accounting department, an IT department, and a production department. Radio Sagarmatha emphasizes an open company mentality. To ensure that employees are free to give their feedback, whether it be positive or negative, the station has a closed Facebook group that is open for all communication. A clear protocol for communication on this platform was created to facilitate constructive feedback and respectful behaviour. Materials and Other Assets The radio station is located in the South of Kathmandu City, nearby the Ring Road, therefore easily accessible to both internals and externals. As a result of its central location, most employees do not have to endure a long commute to work. Additionally travel expenses are covered by the station. The station has two recording studios, one of which can host a larger group of people to facilitate round table discussions. To broadcast the recordings, the station has a 1000 Watt transmitter, which can be replaced by the backup transmitter in case of failure. Departments are split into separate rooms, providing sufficient and spacious work stations. Employees are equipped with computers and laptops, and other necessary materials. Tape recorders and
vehicles are available to enable journalists to report on site. Materials are funded mostly by external donors, such as Free Press Unlimited, whose funds have been used for supplies such as the transmitter. Content Gathering News is largely story-based, journalists and producers collect content from sources within the local community and external experts, specialized in specific topics. Stories are thoroughly checked and verified to ensure objective reporting. Guidelines have been drawn up by the radio station to select reliable and relevant news. During the interviews, journalists have not raised any concerns regarding threats to their personal safety, and have indicated that they are wellpositioned and respected in the communities. Sustainability Sustainable development of the radio station is of vital importance to ensure long term survival. This pilar can be split into several domains; it focuses not only on financial sustainability, but also monitors the quality of journalists and their news reporting, partnership management and media trends to strengthen the continuity of the station. Quality of Journalists The reported content of the radio station is heavily dependent on the quality of the journalists who are employed by the station. Therefore, the selection process of suitable candidates is crucial. Due to competition from International Non-Governmental Organisations, who are able to offer higher wages, Radio Sagarmatha has been facing a slimming of the pool of high quality journalists. Additionally, the station has been confronted with another challenge as the growing popularity of television has caused an increasing number of journalists to favour a career in this industry. To assure a workforce of constant quality that is possesses the required skills for projects and is financially efficient, personnel is recruited mostly on a project-basis. Vacancies are promoted through advertisements and employment agencies for a sufficient supply of quality applicants. Once hired, journalists are provided with several trainings, hosted by NEFEJ or Radio Sagarmatha. The trainings that last multiple days, focus on various themes such as presenting and reporting, and the production of news and programs. All employees must comply with a strict media policy and code of conduct. Independent Reporting As an advocate of positive change and a lobbyist for public policy, the stationâ€™s independency of news reporting is of vital importance. Once granted the broadcasting license, Radio Sagarmatha reported to be able to independently select what content to cover. Journalists have not indicated to experience any pressures or threats to avoid certain topics or themes. The quality and reliability of the reported news are crucial to preserve the credibility of the station. Issues that are addressed by the community are therefore thoroughly checked to ensure that the reporting is nuanced and covers all sides to the story. Additionally, the station has drawn up a set of guidelines to select and verify the content before it is broadcasted. Financial Sustainability The financial situation of Radio Sagarmatha has been subject to many recent structural changes. The station had suffered from financial distress, resulting in the inability to pay its employees for periods of over three months. Therefore, drastic structural changes were inevitable. Among
these changes were several interventions to reduce costs, such as reductions in the relative expenses of the staffing pool and other redundant expenses. Radio Sagarmatha has a sound financial statement and conducted their audit following the requirements of the Nepalese professional ethical pronouncements. The company’s fiscal year runs from mid-July until mid-June in the following year. Considering first the revenues, the station relies largely on external donor funding. These donors include partners, such as Free Press Unlimited, NGO’s and INGO’s. In addition to donor money, the station also generates some revenues from content sales and advertisements. The station does not receive money from the government to ensure independent content production. Based on income statements for the years 2015 until 2017, the main sources of revenue for Radio Sagarmatha have been Advertising Income, Programme Income and, since 2017, a NEFEJ grant, totalling to 12.3 million Rs. of revenue in 2015 to 9.7 million Rs. in 2017. After a large drop in revenue from 2015 to 2016, there was a positive revenue growth from 2016 to 2017. Relatively, advertising has become a more important source of revenue, growing from 29.6% of the total revenue in 2015 to 37.9% in 2017, while the absolute amount of Advertising Income has remained approximately the same. Simultaneously, Programme Income decreased from 70.4% in 2015 to 41.9% in 2017. Next, considering Radio Sagarmatha’s expenses, the station’s largest total outflows can be attributed to Programme Expenses and Operational Expenses. However, a shift in expenses is clearly visible. In 2015, Programme Costs accounted for 8.4 million Rs., adding up to almost 60% of the total operating expenses, whereas, these expenses were reduced to 454 thousand Rs., 4.4% of the total operating expenses, in 2017. Meanwhile, the Operational Expenses have grown significantly from 4.7 million Rs. to 9.2 million Rs., summing up to 88% of the Total Operating Expenses. Overall, Total Operating Expenses have decreased over the last three years. As a result, Yearly Net Income has increased, from a loss of 1.8 million Rs. in 2015 to 733 thousand Rs. in 2017. Partnerships In the past, there has reportedly been a lot of incidences of mismanagement of stakeholders. Therefore an important goal, in the current strategy, is to re-establish the relation with stakeholders. Strengthening these relationships with stakeholders, will enable a better exchange of knowledge and expertise, as well as increase the inflow of external funding. Opportunities and Challenges The media industry in which the station operates has been subject to various recent developments. As a result of these developments, the station is presented with several opportunities as well as challenges that accompany these developments. Due to global digitalisation trends that also extend to Nepalese communities, NEFEJ and Radio Sagarmatha have experienced fast recent growth and a broader reach. This digitalisation has allowed the station to capitalize on online trends and mobile phone usage by developing an online app, and expanding its online broadcasting channels. A drawback of the digitalisation, which present a clear challenge to the station, is the substitution of radio for online channels by the younger age groups. Consequently, it has become increasingly difficult to engage young listeners. The decreased retention of young listeners poses a threat to the sustainability of the station.
Another challenge that Radio Sagarmatha faces is the financial instability of the station, combined with its increases in the stationâ€™s dependency on external donor funds. As a result of its limited financial resources, there have been periods in which the station was unable to pay the monthly salaries of its employees. International radio stations can guarantee higher and periodically paid wages, incentivising journalists to favour larger, international radio stations over community radio stations. Furthermore, the rising popularity of television fosters the transfer of journalists towards international media organisations. Lastly, Radio Sagarmatha has difficulties in monitoring and analysing the interest of its audience. This cannot only be attributed to the wide variety in minorities and languages of the listeners, but also to the differences in ages and interests. Gaining insights in the listener segments and their interest would allow Radio Sagarmatha to better tailor the content of their programs to its audience. Conclusion and Recommendations NEFEJ is a large organisation that is active in a variety of fields. Radio Sagarmatha, the suborganisation that we mainly focussed on, covers three fundamental topics regarding sustainable development; environmental, social, and ethnic development. The professionality and structuredness of both NEFEJ and Radio Sagarmatha was impressive, even according to western standards. Besides that, the clear vision and dedication of the personnel were clear. However, despite its well structuredness, the radio faces many challenges, most of which are shared by other radio stations. Based on these challenges and our observations, we have the following suggestions: Transition to modern media - as the media landscape is changing at a rapid pace and other forms of media, such as online media, are on the rise, traditional media houses have to adapt to keep their relevance. Modern equipment must be acquired, as well as the knowledge and skills that is required for the other forms of media. There should, therefore, be an increased focus on helping the media organisations prepare for the future of the media landscape. Development of skills - finding quality journalists and retaining them is a challenge for Radio Sagarmatha, due the monetary situation which does not allow for journalists to be fully employed, and the fact international media organisations are able to offer better salaries. As a result, the employees might not always be experienced or well-trained to the level NEFEJ wants it journalists to be. NEFEJ, therefore, already focuses on offering trainings for their own journalists and journalists from other radio stations to maintain the required quality. Additional focus on supporting and supplementing these trainings could be an effective and efficient way to offer aid. Feedback and analysis systems - data about the interests of the audience, the reach of the radio station and other crucial information is currently unavailable. More emphasis should be put on gathering and analysing data to better serve the public and to get a better understanding of what aid measures are effective. Partnership formation - partnerships between community radio stations are uncommon and limited. Radio Sagarmatha indicated that their focus has only recently shifted to forming more long-term partnerships. Guidance in forming partnerships as well as network platforms could be very beneficial for the radio stations.
Financial sustainability - possibly the major challenge for all radio stations visited is the lack of financial sustainability. Financial resources are lacking and the main source of income, donations, is not reliable in the long-term. By attracting other sources of income and generally making radio stations more financial sustainable, the stations can allocate their time now spend on acquiring donations on serving the community and setting up a more effective and efficient business which in turn will contribute to the overall sustainability of the radio stations. 184.108.40.206 Radio Namobuddha General Community Radio Namobuddha was established in June 2007, as the first broadcasting station in Dhulikhel, Kavrepalanchowk District. Radio Namobuddha is located on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The main goal of this community radio station is to create an social, political and cultural activation and stimulation. Radio Namobuddha aims to establish a well-balanced and flourishing medium which informs the communities in the region, it describes itself as a â€œvoice for peace and prosperityâ€?. Programmes therefore focus on maintaining the cultural and social harmony, peace and respecting ethnic diversity within and across communities. Main topics of interest are related to women and children, agriculture, health, environment, climate change and education. The role of the radio Namobuddha is to act as a mediator, watchdog, communication channel between local governments and communities, and as peacekeeper. For example, the religious holidays differ between the Hindus and Buddhists. Hence, best wishes are exchanged via this medium. It is a very harmonious form of communication, as the voices of the communities are represented as well. Target Audience The radio community station targets local communities in the Kathmandu region, and seeks to provide accurate information to the grassroot level of numerous communities in the area, instead of having a nationwide impact. Most of its listeners are living in the rural areas of the Kathmandu region, are indigenous and barely understand standard Nepali. Radio Namobuddha translates its content into eight different local languages, and is therefore able to reach eight communities in the region and provide them with information and news. Reach Due to its broadcasting in numerous languages to different communities, the exact reach of the station is hard to approximate. Broadcasting in Nepali, Radio Namobuddha is able to reach approximately 1.5 million people, of which 20% is considered a regular listener and this concerns the totality of all languages. The duration of each podcast varies from 20 minutes to 2 hours. However, it must be noted that the accuracy of these results might be limited, as they are based on a random-sampling survey of 30 people. Furthermore, the radio station can be listened to in various areas, mainly covering the Kavrepalanchowk area (Radio Namobuddha, 2009). The aim and coverage of this radio station differs from other radio stations in the region. As reported by the employees of Radio Namobuddha there are nine community radio stations in the Kathmandu region. In contrast to the focus of Radio Namobuddha on the community, the majority of these stations has an entertaining purpose or political focus.
The following section discusses the general impression of the radio station to create a proper understanding of the circumstances in which the employees operate, and the setting in which the interviews were conducted.
Operations Personnel Radio Namobuddha is relatively small and the size of its workforce varies over time, consisting of both part-time and full-time employees. The most influential body within the organisation is the board of directors, which functions as an advisory body and is consulted by the radio station manager for the yearly planning and potential policy changes. The station manager leads the day-to-day operations of the radio station. In addition to the radio station manager, the treasurer and technician are full-time employees. The number of employed reporters of the radio station differs from time to time, due to its project-based working environment, resulting in mostly part-time employees. On average, it takes two or three months to finalise a project. These parttime employees receive a compensation for travel and communication expenses, in addition to a small variable salary that is equal to 30% of the commercial revenues they collect, surrounding their broadcasts. Furthermore, two news anchors employed part-time, of which one is responsible for the morning broadcast, while the other anchor presents the evening broadcast. During daytime, the reporters are in the field to gather stories and data, resulting in a low occupancy of the building. The station operates seven days per week, each day divided into two shifts, resulting to a working week of six days for full-time employees. Both men and women are employed by the Radio Namobuddha. Materials and Other Assets The radio station is located on a busy road, and no clear indication of its location is given. The building in which the station resides is currently under construction, and most facilities are extremely dilapidated and the level of hygiene is low. The revolting first impression of the building was paradoxical to the pleasant atmosphere of the Namobuddha Radio, which is located on the first floor of the building. The equipment and building was old-fashioned, poorly-maintained and fairly minimalistic. The radio station wholly operates on one single floor, consisting of four rooms and a recording studio. The limited space of the floor was split into departments. Located on one side of the hallway are the gathering room, the office of the station manager and the recording studio. The other side of the hallway accommodates a flexible work-space and the treasury room. The quality of the technology and recording equipment was poor and not according to modern standards. Currently, Adobe Audition is the used software to produce broadcasts and the hardware was outdated, comprising one computer, two microphones and a mix panel. The accounting was done using pen and paper and the resulting ledger were stored without any online back-up. The reporters did not have any vehicles or laptops to their disposal. Social Media and Websites Radio Namobuddha has an active online presence and operates on various channels, including a website, Facebook page and Youtube channel. Firstly, its official website is well-structured and written in English, except for the news articles. The vision, mission and goal of the radio
station is obvious and described in a clearly manner, and the broadcasting agenda is displayed on the website. Online listening via the website is possible, and messages can be sent online with feedback or special requests. Furthermore, the advisers, board members, management team and full-time employees are listed on the website, except for the part-time workers or project-based consultants. The official website also provides background information and elaborates on its reach, received awards, objectives, financials, marketing strategies and policies. The information on the Facebook page is rather limited, only displaying a link to the website, a couple of photos serving as an impression of the environment, and live videos of radio broadcasts. The Youtube channel of the radio includes numerous promotion videos, which are also translated in English. Employees introduce themselves in these videos and explain their roles, while elaborating on the focus, and norms and values of the station. Live episodes of the recording studio are also available on Youtube. Content Gathering The importance of objectivity of news and neutral reporting are stressed constantly by the radio station. Each incoming story is checked thoroughly in order to assure that both sides of a story are represented. Meeting the needs of the communities is of utmost importance for the radio station, and reporters who are closely affiliated with the communities therefore gather content and stories within their communities. This results in news that is relevant. Reporters, who often belong to the communities about which they report, can also translate news and information to the local language. In addition to translating, reporters can also educate and inform communities on topics such as medical advice on prevailing diseases. Financials A paper administration system is used by Radio Namobuddha to monitor and report profits and losses, and bank statements in Nepali, although a balance sheet is not created. With help of a translator, the profit and loss statement was translated to English. An overview of the profit and loss statement can be found in Appendix A1, and the largest revenue streams and expenses are discussed in the following section. Revenues and Expenses The major sources of revenue for radio Namobuddha are advertisements and sponsored programs, which are particularly focused on health, children and reconstruction. The municipalities often contribute to the communities by sponsoring these programs. Salaries, rent, royalties and tax comprise the largest portion of expenses. Rent and royalties are paid annually in January, whereas taxes are paid biannually in January and July. The salary payment differs between the type of contracts of employees, as full-time employees receive their salaries monthly, while part-time employees, who are usually employed on a project basis, are paid over a period of two or three months. Most of the expenses are incurred in January and July, resulting in significantly higher losses in these months. Overall, the radio station has an annual loss, which is compensated for by savings or zero interest loans provided by board members. Other Sources of Income Income is obtained from various sponsors of programmes and projects, advertisements, grants offered by the municipality or the umbrella bodies of community radios, community fundraiser
events and membership fees. One is expected to donate to the community radio when he or she wishes to become a community member, which is considered as a privilege. The radio tries to avoid the use of loans to prevent financial instability, and only borrows money when left with no other option. In this case, zero-interest loans which are offered by board members are taken out. Investments Radio Namobuddha has recently acquired over 10.000 square feet of land to build a new office. The property will accommodate the new office of radio Namobuddha, while it also allows other community initiatives to rent a small office in the building. This not only reduces the annual costs of Radio Namobuddha, as the yearly rent currently amounts to 146.000 Rs, but also supports smaller community initiatives. Sustainability Quality of Journalists Radio Namobuddha emphasises that a community radio should serve the interests of the community. Journalists should therefore be closely connected to the community and focus on local issues, while taking both the norms and values of the community and the radio into account. This also implies that broadcasts are translated to local languages to meet the needs of the communities. Since most journalists represent their own community, journalists are selected by the radio station in collaboration with the community leaders. This recruitment strategy is chosen to ensure that the community radio serves the communities. A disadvantage of this strategy is the limited pool of high quality journalists, and as a result, less skilled reporters are sometimes selected. Radio Namobuddha has issued general guidelines and a code of conduct for the journalists to ensure that the core values of the radio station are not violated. The guidelines cover a wide variety of topics, such as the role of women in society. The radio station aims to be neutral and to broadcast fact-based information. The station manager evaluates the work of the reports to supervise the quality of their produced content. This evaluation verifies whether the news is unbiased and objective. In case the audience disagrees with broadcasted information, they are provided the opportunity to visit the radio station and explain their side of the story in a live show. In addition, the radio station and its partners, such as NEFEJ and Radio Sagarmatha, provide trainings for the reporters aimed at teaching journalists to improve professionality. Trainings are offered to journalists working at different radio stations, can last multiple days and focus on various practical skills for journalists. Stakeholder Management The main external stakeholders of radio Namobuddha are the different communities the news is aimed at, the national and local governments, and the development organisations that give donations to the radio. These relationships are sustained via direct contact with reporters and other staff members of the radio station. Development organisations provide grants on project basis. To obtain and maintain this income stream, the board, chairman and station manager formulate strategic plans and budget allocations.
The station manager, board and chairman are responsible for the annual renewal of the broadcasting license, and need to ensure the requirements are met. In exchange for a broadcast license, the community radio acts as an information channel for the national and local governments. Financial Sustainability The current financial situation of radio Namobuddha is marginally sustainable. Its four fixed sources of income are advertisement revenues, projects, sponsor programmes and memberships. Currently, numerous external parties financially support the radio station, inflicting a certain amount of dependence and financial uncertainty. In case of any shortcomings, the station draws upon its savings and board membersâ€™ interest-free loans. However, a strategy is created to create a more supportive and stable financial outlook by establishing corporations with multiple wards. More specifically, wards can use the radio station in case of general and urgent messages to the communities in exchange for monetary support. The first contact with several wards has been made, and now the focus is on collaborating with these wards to raise their awareness of the importance of community radios, in order to agree to a mutually beneficial relationship. To illustrate this, the station translates educational programmes into the local language of a particular community, and broadcasts the translated education in return for fundings provided by the wards. Independence Radio Namobuddha strives to remain as independent and objective as possible, and therefore partners only with Radio Sagarmatha. The aims of these two stations are aligned to a large extent, as Radio Sagarmatha also focuses on sustainable development, resulting in a fruitful relationship. Government Influences Religion, cultural practices and objectives of the communities are given more importance than governmental and political issues. This even implies that the radio station criticises the government if the views of the government contradicts with the communitiesâ€™ objectives. To avoid susceptibility to political influences, Radio Namobuddha operates independent of the government, except for the licence renewal and other compulsory legal requirements. Radio Namobuddha also aims to minimize its financial dependence on the government. Only in 2015, the year in which the Kathmandu region was affected by a disastrous earthquake, the community radio station received a large donation from the government. The funding was meant to improve the information available to the radio audience about the earthquake and assist with emergency aid. Currently the radio station is reliant on other parties for its income, such as the municipality, the umbrella organisation of community radios and the community itself. The stations aims to achieve independence by reducing the number of parties from which fundings are received, and aims to expand the number cooperation with wards to which it broadcasts. Being active in approximately 150 wards, even just a small amount per ward would be sufficient to fund the radio station. Main challenges
The main challenges faced by Radio Namobuddha are fivefold; determining and anticipating on community-specific interests, adapting to changing media use and popularity, ensuring financial stability and independency, dealing with cultural and ethical differences, and providing objective and reliable information. The fundamental of existence for radio station Namobuddha is to function as a the voice of all the different catered communities. Therefore, it is essential to know what this voice should broadcast. In other words, the radio station strives to create a perfect match with the demand for information from the communities. Improvement of this match represents one of the main challenges of the radio station. Due to the booming rise of the internet, radio production and popularity has experienced fierce pressure, with the new sorts of media threatening its very core of existence. However, certainly in the less developed communities and areas, all communication and conveyance of information relies primarily on radio broadcasts. Consequently, in the Kathmandu Valley, many of these communities are isolated and therefore (still) heavily rely on the radio broadcasts. The question to be posed here is for how long radio as means of communication will remain the most essential source for these segregated communities and when (or if) they will switch to the internet as main medium of communication. A conversion to availability of broadcasts on both internet and radio seems a suitable solution, catering to the youth with the internet availability and to the isolated communities with the radio. As previously stated, the radio station has an uncertain long-term financial stability, and improving this stability is one of its main priorities. The investment in the land and new building decreases the high expenses on rent, and allows the station to generate a fixed monthly income from subletting office space. Currently, the station has no outstanding loans and can rely on contributions of board members in times of financial distress. Relationship management with its board and trust are important for its financial stability. Furthermore, the community radio station faces the challenge of combining different cultures and ethics at the same radio station. Each community has different values and traditions, which may contradict. Sensitive subjects are currently only broadcasted in the language of a particular community. Representatives of different communities potentially causes conflicts if they need to work more intensively together. Since the information provided by Radio Namobuddha is almost always story-based, it is important to keep the focus on providing objective and reliable information. Currently, they check the information with stories of different people within a community. This activity is highly labor-intensive and future growth of the station might make this way of working unfeasible. Thus, innovation is crucial in order to continuously provide objective and reliable information. Conclusion and Recommendation In conclusion, Radio Namobuddha plays an important role in the Kathmandu Valley, facilitating various sorts of information to the communities and fulfilling multiple roles. It faces many challenges nowadays, struggling with both the 21st century technologyâ€™s impact and a lack in several resources to modernise the station. The personnel has clear intrinsic motivation and fully support the radioâ€™s mission. They are well-aware of the need of objective news and the present language differences in the valley. All in all, after having experienced the day-to-
day operations, culture and employees of this radio stations, we believe that the following areas would generate most value when improved for the radio station. Training in skill - several functions appeared to be needing some kind of training in order to further develop both their personal as well as functional skills. One might think of trainings in specific for the workings of Excel and Microsoft in order to digitalise the accounting, trainings for the use of modern equipment for broadcast production and for instance an interview training for the reporters. However, also more general trainings can be of substantial value, for example an extensive social media training, communication training, training in the basic understanding of the principles of sound accounting and the best manner to discover the market needs. Acquisition of modern equipment - one of the challenges detected is the change in media landscape and exploded usage of internet by the society as a whole. A valuable asset for the radio station would be to increase its online presence by not only broadcasting all its productions over the radio, but also facilitating online availability for instance. Furthermore, its equipment is outdated and needs to be replaced. One might think of laptops for the reporters, computers and software for the accountant, and a sound recording studio for the production of broadcasts. Improvement in office space - employees wish to build their own office on the land that is recently acquired, in order to both facilitate proper housing of the radio station as well as create community centres in the same building. The building would function as a place in which various community can broadcast their own shows. Ideally, the community radio station would be autarkic. For example, the office building of the community radio station could become a social meeting point for people in various community and share their stories. In addition, the radio station could rent out other parts of the building in order to generate a stable cash flow.
220.127.116.11 Radio Gandaki Radio Gandaki was established in 2008 as a community radio for people in and around the hilly and mountainous areas of Pokhara. As part of the Gandaki Media House (GMH), the station aims to focus on issues concerning politics, health and development, where various parts of the population are targeted via programmes relevant to the community. The GMH was established in 2007 and has grown to be one of the major community based organisations in Pokhara, aimed at delivering quality for the betterment of the lives of the community inhabitants. For this purpose, it generates several media products, including Gandaki Television (GTV), Radio Gandaki, Gandaki Khabar National Daily newspaper and other printings and advertisements (Neupane, 2018). Focusing in particular on minorities and people living in the hilly and rural areas, Radio Gandakiâ€™s goal is to educate these people on political and social topics. Practising individual rights, legal accountability and the Nepali political institution are also important pillars, contributing to its ultimate goal of giving a â€œvoice to the voicelessâ€?. The estimated reach of the station is approximately one million listeners. Radio Gandaki plays a particularly crucial role in disseminating information to people living in remote areas, who often have no access to internet and rely solely on the radio for receiving news and information. Broadcasting radio programmes for 20 hours per day, the station offers programmes on a variety of topics, such as fundraising and hourly news bulletins. It also officiates as a cross checking agency for parties that have a duty to serve the public. In every case, the radio station focuses on the needs of the community. The type of content depends on the time of the day, as religious programmes are broadcasted early in the morning, while evenings are often devoted to entertainment. On average, the radio station produces one documentary a week to raise awareness for a group in the community or topic of discussion. These documentaries can serve to raise donations for people who are struck by disasters, for example. All programmes are broadcasted in Nepali and no longer translated to other local languages as this is not feasible for the station. Federation of Nepali Journalists The journalists of Radio Gandaki are members of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), headquartered in Kathmandu. The FNJ was officially founded in its current form in 2007 and is a representative organisation for more than 13.000 people working in the media sector. The organisation aims to promote and protect freedom of speech and press, security of journalists, the right to have access to information and, all in all, strives to contribute to a well-informed Nepali society. The FNJ expands its aspirations regarding democracy and human rights to an international level and is a full member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). Operations Personnel The workforces of the radio station and television are separated and these media stations employ 13 and 24 people, respectively. The number of employees varies and can expand depending on the production of a specific programme or project. Six of the 13 employees are women and most of the employees have an educational background in journalism or social science. Working days of the journalists of Radio Gandaki are ranging from five to twelve hours day, while the management board works on a voluntary basis to serve the communities. New hires are recruited via online vacancies and job positions are posted in newspapers.
Materials and Other Assets Radio Gandaki is located in the southern part of the city centre of Pokhara and is therefore easily accessible by public transport. The broadcasting studios for both radio and television are accommodated in one building together with a small office, while the financial and accounting department are located elsewhere. The station operates with one 1000 watt transmitter to broadcast its programmes and other equipment needed for production is present, such as a digital recorder, mobile phones and a camera. Laptops are only available for the employees for whom laptops are crucial for their daily working activities. Social Media and Websites Radio Gandaki uses social media to broaden its reach. It hosts live streams on Facebook and it has its own Youtube channel, which it uses to broadcast some of its most important television content. The channels are frequently visited by the Nepalese community. The stationâ€™s website is currently under construction and cannot be accessed. Content Gathering News is gathered by the national news agency and Radio Gandaki selects the news items and topics relevant for the communities. Furthermore, news is obtained by reporters working in the field, for instance, by interviewing locals, while local people also provide content themselves via phone or email. Independence of Reporting Although the stationâ€™s journalists are reportedly free to choose the content they report, there is a code of conduct with which the journalists must comply. There are several institutions that regulate the journalists and their content to prevent bias in reporting. These institutions include the Press Council of Nepal and the FNJ. The criteria of the Code of Conduct are threefold; credibility of the station, balance of the stories reported and accuracy of the news. Both FNJ and Press Council Nepal are able to exercise warnings and punishments if this code is violated by a certain station or journalist. In the past, the Nepali government has also issued warnings when a media station wilfully harms the reputation of a particular public policy, party, community, or religious group. In conclusion, the journalists may report to be free to choose their content, there are guidelines that are strictly enforced as a result of the Code of Conduct. Additionally, several employees of the station reported to have experienced threats to their personal safety as well as threats to the station, as a consequence of a specific story they have had reported. There have been instances of threats by political groups, social groups or even single persons with a responsibility to the public.
Sustainability Quality of Journalists Radio Gandaki strives for good quality journalists, ensuring this by its selection procedure and the trainings offered to hired journalist that fit the station best. These trainings are generally managed by the FNJ and are otherwise provided by the radio station itself or the government. Financial Sustainability
The financial situation of Radio Gandaki is turbulent, leaving the station no choice but to terminate its newspaper department five years ago. Currently, most revenues are received from advertisements, donations and partnerships with (mostly local) NGOs. These partnering organisations are actors who aim to contribute to the community and sponsor the station with campaigns. To illustrate this, partnerships with health organisations result in monetary sponsoring of the station in exchange for campaigns to reduce smoking, while environmental organisations advertise against tree cutting. The main expenses include fixed costs such as salary, equipment and maintenance. Unfortunately, financial reports and information were lacking, due to the absence of the accounting department. Opportunities and challenges The rapidly changing media environment in which Radio Gandaki operates, is one of the main challenges of the station, widening the gap between the urban and rural areas surrounding Pokhara. The number of urban dwellers with access to internet and smartphones is increasing, allowing them to listen to the radio via Facebook or Youtube. The station responds on this development by broadcasting radio through Facebook and by reporting important television programmes on Youtube. The popularity of the latter channel is evident from its millions of viewers. On the contrary, Radio Gandaki struggles to reach the rural dwellers living in the mountainous areas of Pokhara, who often have no access to internet or mobile phones. Bridging this gap between the urban and rural possibilities is therefore challenging. Another challenge for the station is the matter of its financial stability, resulting in a lack of resources to pay its employees on time. Sometimes journalists need to wait months before receiving their salaries. These limited financial prospects of journalists also cause a decrease in popularity of the media sector, creating difficulties for Radio Gandaki to recruit new and young journalists. Lastly, the highly competitive media industry in Pokhara poses a threat to the station, as it is hard to attract and retain listeners. Radio Gandaki strives to distinguish itself from its competitors by purely focusing on the communities and gathering news and information accordingly. Conclusions and Recommendation To conclude, Radio Gandaki aims to serve the people, particularly minorities, in and around the hilly and mountainous areas of Pokhara and focuses mainly on issues concerning politics, health and development. Based on our visit of the radio station, we have the following suggestions: Transition to modern media - as internet is coming up, Radio Gandaki has to come up with a response whilst trying to reach the audience who do not have access to internet. There is a need for knowledge, skills trainings, and modern equipment to keep up with the rapidly changing media environment. Financial sustainability - although Radio Gandaki receives financial support from governmental organisations among others, it lacks financial resources and sustainability. Project based donations form the majority of their incomes which is not sustainable in the longrun. More emphasis should be put on generating income from other sources that are preferably sustainable, and will lead to a more effective business model and a better allocation of resources for the radio station.
Feedback and analysis systems - Radio Gandaki lacks measures for their impact and reach. Improving the monitoring and analysing the radioâ€™s influences on the community will help the radio station to serve the community more effectively and more efficiently. Trainings on measuring impact or meetings between radio personnel on measuring their impact, could be very beneficial for the radio station. 18.104.22.168 Radio Sarangkot General Sarangkot Community Radio was established in 2004 with the aim to work towards the betterment of society and to uplift the poor and underprivileged in the greater area of Pokhara. Radio Sarangkot is dedicated to promote and protect local economy, health, women empowerment, education and culture. The office of radio Sarangkot is located in one of the most important districts of Nepal, Kaski. Sarangkot is considered the cultural hub of the Kaski district. Target Audience In theory, the target audience of the community radio is all communities spread out over ten of the eleven different districts in Nepal. The radio station aims to remain accessible to everyone. All its programs are in Nepali, the official and most common language of nepal. The broadcast schedule is tailored to specific target groups, with specific time slots created during which the community can tune into specific topics. For example, when students have finished school, songs and other content intended for students is broadcasted. Reach Radio Sarangkot estimates the potential reach of the radio to cover almost all of the Nepali districts. This amounts to an estimated audience of two million listeners, which is based on transmitterâ€™s broadcasting capacity and community feedback. The feedback was received through phone calls, facebook, post boxes and email, originating from various districts. The radio station broadcasts different programmes during the day. For example, they have a special program in the afternoon in which local listeners can ring the radio and sing their own song on the radio. Operations Personnel Radio Sarangkot employs approximately 30 people in total, of which 10 are female and 20 are male employees. The male/female ratio was emphasised several times by the radio staff. Due to the lack of financial resources, 22 of the 30 employees were part-time employees. Most reporters work as freelance journalists for multiple radio stations and other media organisations; they come in for one programme and leave once this is finished. In addition to the 30 employees, there is an Advisory Board of 6 people. The board members, who act as a policy advisors, work on a voluntary basis and sustain themselves through other sources of income, most of them having their own business. Apart from the Advisory Board, the radio station does not work with volunteers.
The radio broadcasts 18 hours per day and operates 7 days per week. The full-time employees work 7 days per week. As the first session in morning requires at least 30 minutes of preparation, a work day starts around 5 in the morning. Broadcasts start with a news show at 5.30 am., which is half an hour earlier than the other radio stations, to stay ahead in the very competitive environment that the radio operates in. Materials and Location At the moment the radio station is constructing a new building facing the head office. Some of the existing building is being broken down, so that the new building can be built bigger. The construction of half of the building was still work-in-progress, debris was scattered everywhere. However, after entering the part of the building that still was in use, both the building and the used equipment were in proper status. The radio station wholly operates on several floors. On the first floor, on one side of the hallway, are the gathering room and the office for administration and marketing. Located on the second floor, are studios for the recording of broadcasts and for the programme editing. Both these studios were of substantial quality, even housing walls that are soundproof. Next to this was a small space for backup and batteries, in case of a power failure. The technology of the recording equipment was of high quality. Various software programmes are used to produce broadcasts, supported by modern hardware. The production rooms had computers, high-tech Pioneer microphones and several well-functioning mix panels. The accounting was done using both pen and paper, and Excel, thereby ensuring an online and offline backup of the general ledger. In all the other aforementioned rooms, several qualitative wooden desks were present, as well as at least one computer per room. Social Media and Websites In addition to radio, the station is active on other platforms. The official website, www.radiosarangkot.com.np, is in English making accessible for people all over the world. The schedule is published and provides a clear overview of which show is broadcasted when. The contact details can be easily found and in general the website is well-structured. All news items are in Nepali. With regards to the employees, there is a picture of the executive board members as well as full time employees on the website. The members of the advisory board and the part-time employees are not mentioned on the website. The website does not provide any information of sources of donor funding. Although, the website is accessible, the level of professionality of the website is low, the lay-out of the website is simple. The radio station is also active on facebook. The general information on the facebook page is limited. There is a link to a website that is not currently active. There are no contact details on the facebook pagine. Only 368 members follow the radio station, and this does not provide a reliable indication as to how many people are listening. Their articles and new information are all in Nepali and most of the content is promotional. Radio Sarangkot also has another web-address: www.radiosarangkot.webs.com, this is likely to be the older website of radio station Sarangkot. Here, only the headlines are in English, all other information is in Nepali. The contact details of the radio station cannot be found on this website. The layout is very simple and the level of professionality is low. However, a photo gallery can be found on this website. It illustrates 13 pictures of the radio station and it gives an impression on how this radio station operates.
Finances The information in this section is based on an interview with the staff of Radio Sarangkot. Financial statements have not been provided, and the analysis is therefore limited. The radio station Sarangkot generates income in multiple ways. The advisory board members have made large contributions to the radio station. In addition, community members or others can become a members after making a significant contribution. The number of contributions per member remains unclear. Next to donations, the radio station receives income from advertising and other projects. It has strict criteria on what advertisements are allowed. Advertisements for products such as junk food, cigarettes and alcohol are not broadcasted. Certain projects or programs are sponsored, and therefore generate income. Sponsors could include national and local governments, corporations and charities. The radio station hires the building. The rent is paid on a monthly basis, which is amounts to a large monthly expense. The details of this arrangements are not specified. The radio station has no volunteers and only solely employs full-time and part-time employees. All reporters work part-time and usually on project basis, because the financial situation does not allow the radio station to full-time employ them. Sustainability Quality of journalists Radio station Sarangkot strives to provide truthful and objective information to the community. The stationâ€™s Program Manager is responsible quality control. He provides feedback to journalists, investigates the success of the particular programmes, distributes projects among reporters, and sets the broadcast content. Finally, as the community radio does not have the funding to support a large number of fulltime reporters, they generally recruit part-time journalists, with some previous experience in the media industry. The journalists tend to be recruited based upon references. In some situations, the journalists may also be asked to come in for interviews. Stakeholder management There are many parties that have an interest in the community radio station. The main stakeholders of Radio Sarangkot include: the community, members of the Advisory Board, the local and national government, and advertising companies. The community attributes great value to the accuracy and objectivity of the community radio station. Because of the limited access to information, this primary stakeholder has a strong interests in the existence of the community radio station. The Advisory Board members of the community radio station also appreciate the existence of the radio station, as the community holds the board members in esteem for their position. The board members support the community radio to help local societies. Apart from primary stakeholders, the local and national government and the international development agencies qualify as secondary stakeholders. Although not providing any financial means, the local and national government provide the broadcasting license to the radio stations. To acquire this license the community radio has to oblige and follow their rules and regulation.
Financial sustainability The radio station Sarangkot is supported financially by its board members and advertisement. The board members as well as other people in their networks make significant contributions to the radio station in order to maintain its existence. For example, the managing director is part of the Lions club. The Lions club is the largest service club organisation and they believe that when you work together, problems get smaller. Members of this club provide help to the local community through their company, e.g. through financial donations. Although this is a very noble way of operating, it could be argued that this not financially sustainable in the long-term if the station becomes too dependent on these donations that are not guaranteed to be constant. Hence, the radio station Sarangkot should strive to find a more sustainable way of operating, for example, through increased advertisement. Independence Partnerships Radio station Sarangkot is one of many radio stations in the Pokhara area, there are precisely 36 radio stations, of which the major part has a commercial approach. In total there are 6 community radio stations. As all radio stations fiercely value their independence, currently there is no cooperation. However, the radio recognises that it might be mutually beneficial to start a cooperation with other community radio stations, as many community radios are facing similar challenges. Barriers to setting up this cooperation network could be that most radio stations have differing focus, that they attach substantial value to their own way of running the station and do feel some kind of competition with other community radio stations. Influences government As emphasised by many community radio stations, Radio Sarangkotâ€™s core purpose is based on what information the community wants and needs to hear. Because of this deeply rooted core purpose, the radio station aims to function in a fully independent manner, and refuses to accept conditional financial support of any governmental institution. Financial independence In order to be independent of potential lenders such as banks, Radio station Sarangkot does not take out loans. However, they do not generate a steady fixed income each month. Consequently, the stationâ€™s financial stability is not a guarantee. Revenue has to be acquired every month to get sufficient income to cover their expenses. When incurring a loss in a given particular month, the station can ask for donations from the advisory Administrative Board. These donations are grants instead of loans, ensuring the radio station has no financial obligations. To generate additional revenue, the station can also recruiting other people to become a member of the community radio. Main Challenges The focus of the radio station Sarangkot lies with the community. The goal is to educate and provide the community with truthful information. One of the main challenges is, the lack of high-quality infrastructure. The radio station aims to reach as many people as possible, this is sometimes hampered by the insufficient quality of materials. If the quality of their materials improves, they will be able to reach more people and the community is served in a better way. For example, with the outbreak of a certain disease, they could provide information about the disease and its prevention.
Furthermore, radio station Sarangkot faces a high level of competition from other radio stations. Another challenge is the competition that they have with other radio stations. The station actively competes as it aspires to be better than other radios. To inform the community listeners to the best of their ability. Additionally, they are currently deconstructing the head office. On this same land, they wish to build a new building. However, obtaining the financial resources to build their new office has proven to be challenging. As stated above, the community does not have a profit motive and they do not have a buffer from previously acquired profits on hand. The majority of their income comes from large donations or the work done by bunglers. The same problem actually applies to equipment, the station does not have a margin on the budget for unforeseen expenditures or unexpected replacements. with the current supply of equipment, it can be challenging to reach all districts and communities through the mountainous landscapes. Lastly, both facilities and training courses could always be improved. Time never stops and the technology makes huge leaps. This also ensures that staff must continue to keep up with the technology. Conclusion and Recommendation To conclude, Radio Sarangkot has significant impact in the Pokhara area, informing the local communities, while competing against commercial radio stations. It faces many challenges nowadays, these struggles are similar to the struggles of the other radio stations. For example, lack of several resources to modernise the station. From our observation it is clear that the the employees are passionate about their work and they truly believe in the impact of the radio station in the Pokhara are. Thus, after having experienced the day-to-day operations, culture and employees of this radio stations, we have the following suggestions: Acquisition of modern equipment - one of the challenges detected is the change in media landscape and exploded usage of internet by the society as a whole. Radio Sarangkot would be able to compete with the commercial radio stations when they are able to improve their online presence. This is because the rise of the internet has only yet begun in Nepal and will have increased impact in the future. Although, the equipment used functions properly. There should be an increased focus on the opportunities that the internet has to offer. Hence, equipment should be bought, in addition to existing equipment. Partnership formation - Radio Sarangkot operates in a mountainous area. Hence, they face the challenge of providing a high quality signal in some parts of the valley in the Pokhara area. By increasing the number of partnerships and other ways of generating income, the quality of the signal could be improved. Therefore, this recommendation is part of the solving the larger problem: making radio Sarangkot financially sustainable. Improvement in office space - currently the radio Sarangkot rents an office that is under construction. We believe that this impacts the quality of the radio that they are able to provide to their listeners. Hence, it is of the essence that the building is finished as soon as possible. They should consider investing in the acquisition of the property and rent out various parts of the office building. The investment would be done by board members that are part of the Lions Club. This way they would become less dependent on donations and create a more stable cash flow in the future.
Financial sustainability - one of the major challenges for the radio station is that they are largely dependent on donations. The board members are part of the Lions Club and they make significant contributions when needed. Without these donations, the impact of the community radio station would be limited. In order to become more financially sustainable, to drive away from the dependency on donations, other sources of income should be generated. For example, the radio station could create partnerships with other community stations. This way, they could form a block against the powerful commercial radio stations. The communities radio stations have to some extent a common goal. Thus, when partnerships are created, the focus is on maximising the potential of community radio stations in the Pokhara area, rather than competing with the commercial and other community radio stations.
22.214.171.124 Conclusion Nepal Overview The visited radio stations all aim to serve the community. Generally, informing and educating the audience is the main objective. The topics covered and audiences, however, differ significantly between the radio stations. Radio Sagarmatha is mainly reporting on sustainable development, particularly on environmental, social, and ethnic development. Radio Namobuddha has a different approach: their focus is more on serving the local community and their content is tailored to the needs and languages of the local communities. Radio Gandaki has a more ideological goal: giving a â€œvoice to the voicelessâ€?. Accordingly, their main focus is to educate certain minorities on political and social topics. More government influences can be seen in Radio Sarangkot which aims to work towards the betterment of society and to uplift the poor and underprivileged, and aims to be seen as an independent informer and entertainer for all groups in society. Besides informing and educating its audience the radio stations serve two other roles in society. The radio stations act as a watchdog on the national and local governments as well as on community leaders and companies. Audience can contact the radio to report on things such as mismanagement, corruption, etc. in society. Reporters will conduct investigation, and report on their findings if issues were encountered. Besides acting as a watchdog, the radio stations fulfill the role of a mediator between the national government, local governments and different communities. Radio Namobuddha, for example, tries to mediate by conducting objective research when there are conflicts between local communities, inviting over the leaders of the communities to discuss the issues, and reporting on the topic. Main Challenges For the radio stations in Nepal there is a focus on improving society and balancing social, political, cultural stimulation. While the radio stations target different districts in Nepal, they both focus on remaining accessible for people of all communities. A worldwide trend is that more and more businesses rely on technology for example for telecommunications, online customer support systems and webinar trainings. All companies want to deliver great customer experiences, save cost and improve the quality. But a lot of companies find it difficult to reach this and stay sustainable for the long run. Radio stations in Nepal struggle with the rapidly changing online media environment and how to not fall behind.
According to a survey done by Sharecast Initiative in 2018, mobile phones are by far the most common communication device in Nepal today with an individual ownership rate of 90%. Of these, slightly more than half were smartphones. In the electronic media, TV has overtaken radio with 56% of households now owning tv sets whereas only 29% of the households possess traditional radio receivers at home. People still use as main sources of news and information television (38.4% and radio ( 36.6%). Some people also gather information by talking to friends (11.6%) and Family (7.3%) and also online (6.2%) and reading newspapers (4%). There is a wide gap between the media landscape in the urban areas and in the rural areas. People in rural areas are often isolated and still listen to radio because radio is easily accessible and free and they do not have access to the internet. People living in the cities use mainly television and online sources as a news source. Most radio stations try to catch up with this rapidly changing online world by also broadcasting on Facebook and Youtube. In order to do this, the employees need to have trainings about social media and general online communication trainings. They especially need to focus on the online media environment if they want to target young listeners, because this group is less interested in radio broadcasting.
4.2 Indonesia 4.2.1 General overview Indonesia is located in the South-East part of Asia. It is composed of over 17,000 different islands of which Java, Sumatra, Bali, Borneo, Sulawesi and New Guinea are the largest. It is the fourth most populous country in the world, with about 261 million inhabitants (UN DESA, 2017). 10.8% of that population is living below the poverty line (Indonesia Investments, 2016). 82.7% of the population is Muslim, resulting in the Islam as the main religion (Baden Pusat Statistik, 2010). From the 1600s, Indonesia has been colonised by Portugal and later on by the Dutch. After the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, they proclaimed independence in 1945 on August 17th. This day is still celebrated as their day of independence. The remainder of the 20th century, the country has been under the rule of the authoritarian leaders Sukarno, Indonesiaâ€™s first president, and Suharto, who lead the country from 1968 until 1998. Since then, the country has developed into a democracy, having its first direct presidential election in 2004. Currently, Indonesia is a republic, where the president fulfills the role of head of government, commander-in-chief of the army and director of the political forces. The economic structure of Indonesia has changed rapidly, from a mainly agricultural focus to an economy where services and manufacturing are the biggest sectors (ASEAN, 2016). It is one of the emerging economies and is seen as a New Industrialized Economy since the year 2000 (G20.org, 2009). In 2017, the GDP per capita was 3876 US Dollars (IMF, 2018). The media in Indonesia are developing a lot. As a result of the economic development, the access to new media devices causes people to use the media differently. Television is the most important media platform with on average 254.7 minutes per consumer spent watching TV in 2016. It is followed by the internet, which is a growing source of information. In 2016, consumers spent 50.6 per day on average, compared to 27.2 minutes in 2012. Radio audiences have declined from on average 23.6 listening minutes per consumer in 2012 to 13.8 minutes in 2016 (Statista, 2018). Community radio is a special kind of radio that focuses on a specific community. It uses local languages and is important for the provision of local information,
mobilisation, cultural development and education. This form of radio remains key for the local communities, considering the role in can play in voice and empowerment (UNESCO, 2008). Although the media freedom has increased considerably, the truthfulness of the information provided is still questionable. As Sen and Hill conclude in their research in 2007, the media are controlled by the conglomerates of multi-millionaire businessman and might therefore be biased towards those conglomerates. Their influence is seen as a concern to free press watchdogs and therefore gives reason for more in-depth research (Info As Aid, 2012). Press freedom in Indonesia With a score of 3 out of 7, Indonesia is ranged as “partly free” by Freedom House, a media rights watchdog based in Washington, in 2018. This score remained the same over the past few years. The ‘Freedom in the World’ is divided in two sub categories; political rights (2/7) and civil liberties (4/7). Regarding the freedom of press, Indonesia scored 49 out of 100 in 2017. Indonesia’s media is diverse, because it regularly corresponds with its owner’s interest (Freedom House, 2018). Freedom of the press is categorised by legal, political and economic environment. The legal environment in Indonesia is ranked 16 out of 30. Freedom of speech and press are allowed, but in many cases these rights are interfered by the government or a private party. Defamation is one of the biggest offenses in Indonesia, which is covered by more than 40 provisions of the criminal code (Freedom House, 2017). For example, in 2015 the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, charged of blasphemy after he insulted the Islam by referring to a verse of the Qur’an on a campaign (The Guardian, 2016). The 2008 Law on Public Information Transparency entrenched the right to have access to public information. In practice this law is known for its openness to misinterpretation (Elidjen, 2017). Moreover, the political environment is ranked as 18 out of 40. According to Freedom House, Indonesia’s electronic and printed media is in general free from government interference. However, powerful and political owners do have strong influence on the content (Freedom House, 2017). For example, the ITE Law has been criticized for allowing censorship and blocking content that supposed to be negative or culturally inappropriate. Some journalists execute self-censorship to avoid facing prosecution under defamation laws or harassments (Tapsell, 2012). The economic environment is 15 out of 30. Nearly all national television stations and major newspapers are owned by twelve media companies (Freedom House, 2017). Almost all of these media companies have ties to political parties. Televisi Republik Indonesia, the public broadcasting television network, is owned and operated by the state. Despite the fact that there are few restrictions on news broadcasting and distribution, foreign ownership is not allowed under the 2002 Broadcast Act. Furthermore, the working conditions for journalists are very poor. Since the broadcasting media organisations are not paying competitive wages, many journalists need to have another job, according to Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI). Radio station development Following the Reformasi Movement in 1998, also known as the Post-Suharto era, Indonesia saw a significant rise in the use of local radio stations as news outlet. The Reformasi Movement was a dramatic shift in the political-social environment towards a more democratic and liberal outlook, ending an authoritarian rule of President Suharto. Local radio stations did exist under the reign of Suharto, however, there were not many local radio stations and they were under heavy surveillance, both at a national and regional level. With the resignation of President
Suharto in 1998 and the aforementioned political transition, media outlets had gained independence in their news publication. In effect, a huge surge of media participation occurred in forms of newspapers, internet, and radio stations. Local radio stations, including community and commercial radio stations, climbed to a whole new level. Succeeding this important reform, radio community stations have since developed into important tools to bring useful information on local government election, as well as regional news to areas that do not have access to common commercial outlets. Thus, local radio stations have gradually received more support from NGO’s, advocacy groups, and academic organizations to maintain the efforts of radio stations (Hollander et al, 2008) . Broadcasting and radios in Indonesia The fall of the Suharto regime saw a boom in the formation of community radio stations. The radio stations moved quickly to unite their communities, fostering discussions on local issues and problems directly affecting the villagers and stimulating community-wide interaction. The community radio stations in Indonesia differ from the radio stations in Europe in several ways according to Hollander et al. (2008). Where in Europe they developed under an already firmly established democratic system, in Indonesia there was no such system. Instead, the radio stations are a key part in establishing this system. Even though it is an important task, creating a sense of community at the local and national level as in Europe is not the main task of the radio stations.. The main task is to contribute to the formation of an identity as a member of civil society to the local community by providing an open and free platform to discuss issues relevant to the community, in turn creating a public sphere. Legal framework There are about 600 community radio stations in Indonesia, but their broadcast coverage area is restricted by law to 2.5 km radius of a single FM transmitter. ‘According to the JKRI, this is to prevent direct competition with commercial stations and to prevent the broad diffusion of content that may be considered provocative by neighbouring communities.’ A more liberal and open political environment started to arise in Indonesia after the fall of president Suharto in 1998. During this transition, groups of independent journalists gathered forces to eventually obtain a new reform on freedom of press and expression. They wanted the government to accept their request of going from a state-licensed journalist association to a fully independent press council. The new regulation was enforced in the following year and is known as the 1999 Press Law. It prohibits government officials to sit in this new council while making sure the government also cannot ban any newspapers in the country. Once being elected Indonesian president end of 1999, Abdurrahman Wahid also dissolved the Ministry of Information and opened the press council to receive complaints from citizens. (Human Rights Watch, 2012) These past few years, several controversial laws have however been voted. In 2008, the Indonesia Parliament passed a bill on electronic information and transaction, logically named the Law on Electronic Transactions (Belfas, 2009). Before this bill was passed, any form of electronic generated evidence was non-existent for the law, meaning not admissible in court or any legal proceedings (Kwok, 2015). The necessity of this law was explained by globalisation which has placed Indonesia as part of the world’s information community and, to stimulate this development in “an optimal, distributive and widespread manner”, regulation is required. A lot of criticism followed because the act was seen as too broad. As a result, the law got revised by the government and minor changes were made (The Jakarta Post, 2016) .
Since October 2011, the Indonesian State Intelligence Agency (BIN) is responsible for enforcing a new law, the “New Intelligence Law”, which aim is to “prevent and/or to fight any effort, work, intelligence activity and/or opponents that may be harmful to national interests and national security (article 6)” (Privacy International, 2018). Furthermore, the law describes the term “opponent” as a “party from inside and outside the country engaged in effort, work, activities and action that may be detrimental to national interest and national stability.” (Human Rights Watch, 2018). The law has been strongly criticised by human rights activists in Indonesia and, after its implementation, also by the Human Rights Watch (Human Rights Watch, 2018). The organisation mentions that the terms “opponents” and “national stability” were used by Suharto beforehand and enabled him to justify his actions against people supporting democracy and activists for human rights. Therefore, the activists were voicing their concerns that the law could be easily abused to imprison journalists who are trying to hold the government accountable by working as a watchdog (Human Rights Watch, 2018). Institutions The government monitors the broadcasting landscape of the country via the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI). KPI was established in 2002 and gives out the licences for radio and TV stations, while managing complaints received from the public audience. The KPI is also responsible for giving trainings in broadcasting methods to community radios before they officially air. In July 2012, the commission stated that Indonesia has 1,512 authorised radio stations in the whole country (BBC Media Action & Internews, 2012). The only radio station covering the entire nation is a state-run one called Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI), which was the single radio station operating in the country until 1966. Once fully controlled by the government, RRI’s role is now defined by the 2002 Broadcasting Law as “an independent, neutral, non-commercial character and functions to provide services in the people’s interest”. The radio still enjoys from an ideal positioning for the hard-to-reach communities due to its nation-wide geographical coverage (BBC Media Action & Internews, 2012). Jaringan Radio Komunitas Indonesia (JKRI), the Indonesian Community Radio Association, carries the role of representing and helping the community radios of the country. It also offers trainings to the community radios, while teaching them the importance of staying away from any potential reporting biases and therefore remaining autonomous. In mid-2012, the JKRI reported Indonesia had 286 active community radio stations, with 247 being on Java’s island. Java therefore remains a special case compared to any other Indonesian islands. Community radios need to pay an annual licence fee of 18,000 rupiah. They are also required to pay an equipment certification fee of 12 million rupiah every decade, which represents a colossal amount of money for these small stations (BBC Media Action & Internews, 2012).
Broadcasting licences KPI is responsible issuing licences for radio and TV stations in Indonesia. In July 2012, 1512 licensed radio stations existed in Indonesia. One of the conditions they need to meet in order to get the broadcasting licence, is a mandatory training in the techniques for broadcasting. The licence is imposing a yearly cost of 18,000 rupiah to the radio station. Every 10 years, 12 million rupiah have to be paid for certifying the equipment of the radio station. New radio stations can receive help for obtaining their broadcasting licence by the Indonesian National Commercial Radio Association. Furthermore, the JKRI, as mentioned in the previous section, limited the range of broadcasting to a 2.5km radius from the transmitter of the station. 4.2.2 Findings 126.96.36.199 Radio Swarakota Overview Radio Swarakota is a small community radio station that started in the year 2000. After the fall of the second president of Indonesia, Suharto, a lot of corruption was present in the country. Civil society was able to control a great deal of activities in every local city, resulting in the formation of a group aiming at fighting corruption in Yogyakarta. Radio Swarakotaâ€™s goal is to inform people, mainly about corruption in procurement, infrastructure financing and others. The radio promotes an interactive dialogue between its anchor and its listeners. It is part of a radio community called Jaringan Radio Komunitas Yogyakarta (JRKY), which consists of over 50 different radio stations in Yogyakarta. Operations Subjects The most important talk show that Swarakota hosts is called Sandiwara. This is a weekly talk show where people sit down in the studio and talk about a certain subject to the audience. The most discussed topics are about corruption and the prevention of corruption. The biggest success the radio Swarakota had was in 2015. Over 100 people attended a cultural performance hosted at the radio station, including music and dancing acts. Between 2000 and 2006, the radio station reported mostly on corruption. Since 2006, Radio Swarakota believes the corruption has greatly diminished so it no longer needs to be the main focus of the radio. They still report on corruption but also about news, the cultural agenda and papachetur. Papachetur is music sang in the Javanese language. It tells a story about values and incorporates life lessons into the lyrics. Team Since the radio station was founded in 2000, they employed a broadcasting person, a technician and a reporter. Two people of the staff are responsible for the procurement, sponsorship and money. Today there are three reporters, all working on a voluntary basis. The only costs compensated are the transportation fees. The reporters usually work two or three hours a day, for five days a week. Due to danger, the reporters cannot go too far away from Yogyakarta, since they report on sensitive issues related to corruption. It can still happen that they attend a special ceremony or event related to corruption further away than usual.
Audience The audience of Swarakota FM includes people from various backgrounds and are mostly 40 years and older. They live from about 3 to 5 km away from the radio station. There are at least 250 people from the area that actively support the radio station by donating amounts of money. Those people are very important to cover the radioâ€™s expenses. Finances The radio does not make use of proper financial statements that include detailed revenues and costs. Because the station solely works with volunteers, who have not followed an academic degree including financial/accounting courses, they manage their financial situation on a dayto-day basis. The station has several different ways to collect their funds. Income The first important income resource is the Papachetur, which was already mentioned before. People can organise such a Papachetur for themselves, their community or their company. They use this radio station as a platform for performing. The radio station then receives money for the broadcasting. The second way of raising money is charity from nearby wealthy Indonesians who feel committed to the success and vision of this radio station. They have about 250 people that give them money on a regular basis when the money is needed. The border of 250 funders is obligatory in the Indonesian law. NGOâ€™s are an alternative source of funds, however the last time this happened was in 2006 by an American NGO after the big earthquake that year. Besides the NGOâ€™s there are state funded instances who fight corruption, the so called Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). In financially bad times, they reach out for these kind of instances to get the funds the needed. Expenses The biggest expense for the station is the electricity to run the whole organisation. These costs unfortunately often exceed the revenues and therefore the charity funds or the listeners have to help them out. The amount of money approximately needed every month to break-even is about 2 to 3 million Rupiah. If the funds are not able to help them out, the managers themselves pay the bills. Sustainability Quality of Journalists As they work on a voluntary basis, the reporters at Radio Swarakota are not professional journalists. As already mentioned before, they have not received specific education and according to the station manager, they learn on the job. However, universities in Yogyakarta offer trainings to the staff of the radio station on various topics. These trainings take place about once a year, and are also given by other agencies such as KPK or the ministry for family affairs. The staff of the radio station is sometimes unable to come to work, as they have other obligations. Since they do not get paid for their job at Swarakota, it is not their number one priority. It is not possible to give good payment to the reporters, because the radio station operates on a non-profit basis and is legally not allowed to engage in commercial activities. The station manager notes that promoting the agenda of the radio is also more important than paying their reporters. The reporters are not looking to earn money at the radio station, they work there because they want to help Swarakota.
Financial sustainability In terms of the financial sustainability, the revenues of the radio station fluctuate each year, as they mainly consist of donations from listeners and other sponsors. Radio Swarakota does not receive a fixed amount per month or year, and therefore it happens frequently that its expenses exceed the revenues. As already mentioned before, these losses are covered by the people who manage the radio station, or money is collected from the group of 250 people from the listeners community. If they were given money to invest, they would invest in new equipment. The current equipment they work with is too old. By getting new equipment, they would be able to improve their radio station. Independence Partnerships Radio Swarakota is part of a network of community radios in Yogyakarta, JRKY. The chief of this network is also the financial manager of Radio Swarakota, Mr. Martiono. This network has three main pillars it focuses on. The first one is assistance. When someone wishes to start a new community radio station, the community offers help to help them properly getting started. The second one is mediation, as radio stations might sometimes face issues within the radio itself. Finally, advocacy is also a part of their core pillars and falls into play when people are confronted with legal problems. Government influences Radio Swarakota sees the press as free in Yogyakarta. Sometimes, people might even think it is too free. The radio does not feel like they are facing any broadcasting restrictions, but there are still regulations that you need to follow related to hatred, religion, etc. These regulations do not hamper the broadcasting of this radio station. Defamation is also not seen as an issue by the radio, as the news is being checked and covering the issue brings out the truth. Though, it can still be challenging to interview the people who face corruption. Radio Swarakota always tries to invite people on air to talk about corruption, rather than just showing one side of the story. Lately, they also air special announcements asking people and the government to come forward with stories about corruption. Financial independence Many community radio stations have to cease activities due to financial issues. Radio stations need to obtain a licence in order to go on air: it costs an important amount of time and energy to get it, as you need to go through a legal institution and you have to obtain support from at least 250 people in the area. They need to get a licence from the government and the radio infrastructure needs to be operational before starting. Radio Swarakota believes it is still doing well because of the commitment and loyalty of the people supporting the radio. They keep adapting their vision and mission to match with the needs of the local community. People donating to the radio station are not expecting anything in return.
Conclusion and discussion Radio Swarakota is a small community radio station that is a part of the Jaringan Radio Komunitas Yogyakarta organisation. The station has about 250 permanent supporters from the community. It fully relies on volunteers for its operations and has no permanent income stream. This makes it hard for the radio station to cover the expenses. The employees of the radio station also see the old equipment as hindering in their day-to-day operations. We believe that the following recommendations could improve the future sustainability of Radio Swarakota.
Financial Management - Radio Swarakotaâ€™s expenses are frequently greater than its revenues. At the moment, these losses are covered by raising money from the community or by the station manager themself. This does however not seem a long-term solution to the issue. In some months, the radio station does make a profit. The cash flow of the radio station could be better managed to cover the losses with these profits. A savings plan could be installed, which can help in financing big investments such as new equipment. The radio station makes use of old equipment, such as computers running on Windows XP and cassette tapes to play music. To make sure that in the future they can replace this equipment, the forward looking cash flow management will help them. Marketing - Several other community radio stations in the Yogyakarta area have been forced to stop broadcasting because of financial issues. Radio Swarakota has, according to its station manager, been able to keep operational because of the adaptation of its vision and mission to the need of the local community. In that way, the supporters of the radio station stay committed and loyal. To keep the community connected, Radio Swarakota should run an active marketing campaign in their community. If the community learns about the needs of the radio station, they might also give more donations. Moreover, the radio station could consider a crowdfunding for new equipment, which might attract funders that would like to help Radio Swarakota. Training - The volunteers that work for Radio Swarakota work for 5 days a week two or three days a week. In this way they are not always able to report on current events because of time constraints and other priorities. Besides that, they also are not educated journalists. The trainings provided by the local university take only place once a year. To increase professionalism, the staff of the radio station should receive more specific trainings, on for instance financial management or reporting techniques. 188.8.131.52 Radio Balai Budaya Minomartani (BBM) Overview Founding Radio Balai Budaya Minomartani (BBM) is a community radio station located in Yogyakarta. The radio was founded in 1994, making it the oldest community radio of Indonesia. In the beginning, the location of the radio station was the living area for people working for the Catholic Centre in that area. The institution belongs to the Catholic Church. Aim Under the authoritarian regime of Suharto, the community had limited communication capacity. Radio BBM was created to stimulate this communication. Also, the community wanted to adopt the old tradition of every town having a public square to unite the people living in the town. Therefore, they build a community centre next to the radio station where people can come together. The regime of Suharto was very hierarchical, mainly focused on solving society problems. To discuss and solve the local and daily issues of the community, people can come together at the community centre. To unite the community, the radio station uses the traditional Gamelan music of Indonesia in combination with the Wayang kulit, or shadow puppets. The programming of the radio station consists of performances of this Gamelan music. To perform the Gamelan music more than ten people are needed, so in that way the music brings people together. News is not on the main agenda of the radio station. Occasionally the station broadcasts cultural news or public
announcements and activities, but their main programming consists of musical performances. The radio station is impartial in terms of their broadcasting; they do not broadcast about politics, religions or tribes. Operations Audience The radio station BBM does not have a regular frequency of their operations. The audience of the radio station is located within a 5-kilometer radius around the radio station. Lately, BBM also started streaming their musical performances online and attracted reporters from the other side of the island Java to come to the community centre and interview them about their culture and community sharing, as well as filming it. So far, the streaming has been performed four times, with the objective of attracting a younger audience and interest them for the traditional Indonesian Gamelan music and culture. This remains difficult, since BBM the nature of community radio is in general not popular among younger audiences. Furthermore, BBM uses their streaming service to create awareness for their community across the country, and aims for working as a role-model for community life and the practicing of cultural activities. People who are running other community centres and radio stations also visit their station, since it is the oldest community radio, with the hope of learning from their activities and operations. So far, the audience of the radio station is mostly 25 years old or older, since the older generations are more interested in keeping up their culture and style of music. The employees from the radio station do not ask their audience for feedback on their content and are more interested in the size of the active community than the reach of their radio station. Therefore, also the effectiveness of their programs is neglected. Their transmitter is designed to reach 700 people across 500 families. Approximately 100 people visit the live performances in the community centre, the number of listeners is expected to be higher. The radio station aims to increase their reach in the future. Employees and recruitment The working hours of the employees are fluctuating. All employees are volunteers and have other jobs next to their position in the radio station. The recruitment of the volunteers happens within the community and through word-of-mouth. Often, the volunteers bring new songs for the radio station to play, and then decide to become more involved in the community by helping out. Currently, 16 people work for the community. Three of them work as reporters for the radio station, next to the station manager Sri Kuncoro. Sometimes, students are temporarily employed if they want to gain hands-on experience next to their study. Finances Revenues and expenses All employees in the community radio work on a voluntary basis and therefore do not get paid. The radio station keeps track of their finances in terms of financial statements, which specify their incomes and expenses. However, nobody at the station has received trainings regarding financial statements. The radio institution belongs to the Catholic Church who donates one million rupiah per month. Also, sometimes people give money as a donation to the community. Nine years ago, a NGO gave the radio station a sound mixer, which they still use. Their biggest source of income comes from playing music and a part of that income goes to the radio station. By renting out their Gamelan instruments, they earn from 500,000 to 1,500,000 rupiah per month. This does not happen often, but frequently enough to cover the monthly costs. Another source of income is from the students from the near university who come to the radio station to practice broadcasting and singing for their final exams. The local government in Yogyakarta
has a cultural fund, but the radio station have never received this fund. Therefore, the radio station tried to submit a proposal to the government to renew the Gamelan instruments. Their biggest source of expenses is the operational costs for performances they give in the community centre. The finances of the radio station fluctuate per month. Only In the early years of the radio station they made losses. Nowadays, they make profit each month. With these profits they can save money each month. There is no plan for the ideal business of fundraising. Their main goal is to unite the community, not to make profit. They do not want money to be a barrier for people to come to a performance or listen to their radio. Therefore, the radio station is not commercial and always asks people how much money they have before renting out their instruments. On the other hand, the radio station would never refuse money. With profits, the radio station can spend more money on food and drinks at performances or save money for bigger investments. Most of the profits are used for repainting the building or cutting trees for a parking area. With a bigger investment, they would like to buy more instruments or buy new equipment like a sound mixer or computer, since those are quite old. Sustainability Quality of employees All volunteers at the radio station are local artists without formal training. They do not have a formal schedule as each volunteer has their own job, so the radio broadcasts whenever the volunteers have time and feel like broadcasting, most often around 6 PM according to the radio manager. Once in a while students from the local universities might visit the radio station to receive training in broadcasting. In the long run this might result in a lack of employees for the radio station, e.g. in the face of economic hardship. However, because the radio station is backed by their community and works on a voluntary base, this flexibility makes the community radio sustainable. Shareholder management and financial sustainability The radio station is owned and sustained by the community and is able to financially sustain itself. The church with which it is affiliated donates one million rupiah each month and the community donates money to their cause. Besides this, the radio station use profits earned from leasing out their Gamelan set and performing music at various events. There is also the possibility for people from the community to rent the community centre for activities. In the event that this is not enough the employees are willing to put in their own money, although this has not been necessary for the last three years. This shows that the radio station is becoming more financially sustainable. When asked about the ideal business model for the radio station, the manager replied that he has no such ideal model. Instead he wants the people of the community to be involved and for them to able to come to their shows for free. Long term outlook The radio station seems to be sustainable due to their backing by the community. All the employees are volunteers, with no specific training, This makes the broadcasting more flexible to change and ensures that the radio station is likely to have a continuous supply of employees. As for the finances, even though the cash flow is not constant, it does not seem to affect the radio station as the community and the volunteers are willing to donate money in case of a lack of funds. In the last three years this hasnâ€™t been necessary suggesting that the radio station is becoming more financially stable.
Independence Partnerships and financial independence The radio station has ties to the local Catholic Church. Besides the monthly donation of the church, there is no direct involvement of the church in the activities of the station. Any form of religious activity is banned from both the radio station and the community centre in order to maintain neutrality. As for political activity, the radio station is banned from broadcasting anything relating to politics by Indonesian law. In case of elections, the community station does host a polling station but this again is on with an eye on neutrality. Because of these rules the radio station manages to remain impartial in their broadcasting and activities. Besides relative independence from religious organisations and full independence from political organisations, the radio station also operates independently from the government. Although they are currently in the process of applying for a government grant for new instruments this is not a vital part of their income. NGOs do not play an important role either in the operations of the station. Besides receiving a sound mixer from an NGO in 2009 the station does not rely on any NGO to sustain itself. Influences government During the Sukarno era strong restrictions were in place for the radio stations and the stations broadcasting tower was taken down by the government. To still unite the community and talk about local issues they instead used the community centre, hosting events and performing plays to discuss important topics. After the fall of the Sukarno regime these restrictions went away and the station was able to broadcast again. The government still has a set of broadcasting regulations that the station has to follow, but these are far less limiting. They are not allowed to discuss any topics relating to tribes, discrimination or religion. This community centre is also used as a place to discuss local issues within the community. Conclusion and discussion The answers from the individuals that were interviewed seem to reflect a success story. This community radio station remains largely independent in terms of the content it produces. Reasons behind this could include that it doesnâ€™t involve itself with any circulating information in the country. In terms of its finances, they admitted to them fluctuating back and forth but are not dependent on them as everyone is a part-time volunteer. It is also clear from the financial data, that even though their sources of revenue are volatile, they do consistently make profit from their monthly budget reports. Due to their backing by the community, the radio station is able to remain sustainable in terms of employees and finances. The community radio station remains sustainable in its journey to unite the surrounding villages through music, dance, and general entertainment. In effect, the radio station illustrates a tool to form a community where individuals can share problems, and ideas with each other effectively creating a space to spread information. To ensure continued survival of the radio station the research team has a few recommendations. First of all we recommend the employees of the radio station, in particular the station manager, to take a more long term outlook in terms of finances and overall goals of the radio station. Taking this outlook ensures that people are more dedicated and committed. This might lead to more donations, the possibility of full-time employees and and even more strongly dedicated community. A key factor for the community radio station to grow is to expand their efforts towards younger audiences. Admittedly, this remains difficult as the nature of community radio stations is not popular among younger audiences, the purpose of the BBMâ€™s mission can be carried over
through online streaming over social media and other internet outlets that are more likely to reach younger audiences and bring over to the cause. This is a very plausible approach, as pilot programs for online streaming have already shown to be successful. Furthermore, the research also suggests introducing new forms of income generating activities for BBM to generate a more consistent source of revenue, in effect becoming more sustainable. There is no straight answer to this subject, however an example could be to introduce pay-forsong requests that charge individuals a small fee for their desired music to be played on-air. 184.108.40.206 Radio RKSB Maja Bandung Overview In the beginning, the founder had no clear intention of setting up a radio station. He had an interest in arts and culture, so it all started as a hobby and with only a reach of approximately 50 houses. At the time, they were hosting cultural events, such as music and dances performances. In 2008, they eventually decided it would be valuable to bring these events on air. The goal of the radio is to make people appreciate and introduce them to culture by providing a stage for people to practice art and culture. Subsequently, the radio simply provided entertainment. Nowadays, radio RSKB also values a more educational approach, by showing how different actors may inspire other people. Operations Team At RKSB, about 7 people were employed of which 2 get paid and 5 people work on voluntary basis. The 2 people that receive payment are operators who are also responsible for maintaining the equipment. One of them works 24 hours a day at the radio station, since he lives there as well. The other person works for about 12 hours a day. The volunteers that work there are mainly broadcasters and they have the freedom to broadcast whatever they like. This mostly results in cultural programs. One program lasts for about three hours and the broadcasters receive 5000 rupiah per program. Since this is a very small amount, the radio station sees it as voluntary work. The volunteers that work at the radio station came there through word of mouth and friends, so they were not selected based on a specific background. They also donâ€™t receive any specific training, but the volunteers are mostly students and the broadcasters that have been around for a longer time teach the other volunteers about how the radio station works. Audience The radio station is able to reach the west part of Bandung, almost a quarter of the city. The most successful program is a traditional cultural program that consists of cultural music. This used to be performed live every night, but due to lack of finances and licenses they are not able to perform it anymore. The last time they did so was in December 2017. If they would have gotten more money they are able to get a better sound system, a stage and a toilet. In this way they are able to receive guests and get the program started. It also provided a source of income for nearby lying stores, since the turn up was always very high. One of the older women in the group is taking care of the finances. She also has a job as an architect and only works at the radio station during the weekends.The station manager, who is her husband, is also an architect. He works at the provincial government during the day and during the night he works at the radio station. He is also the owner of the land on which the radio station is built. He built the building of the radio station himself starting in 2005. When
they retire, they hope their kids will see the radio station as their holiday hobby. In order to do so, they need more and better facilities and they have to develop a strategy that helps them to increase their reach. Finances Income Concerning the financial sustainability of this community radio station, four different types of income have been established. The first income generating part is the donation of the people who watch the cultural events. This money is directly reinvested in the operations of the radio station. The second source of income is donations of NGOs that are interested in arts, culture and sports. NGOs are eager to sponsor cultural events that are broadcasted on the radio, facilitating the promotion of cultural knowledge. The third source of income is donations of personal contributors who feel connected to and interested in the community radio. The last income source entails marketing revenues. The radio station charges a fee for companies that desire airing advertisements during radio programmes. Though the fees are small, they do generate a continuous flow of income. Expenses The expenses of this radio station, however, often exceed income. The biggest expenses are the cost of equipment to broadcast and the labor. As already mentioned before, two people work at the radio station on a full-time basis and get paid. To cover these costs, the above-mentioned four sources of income are used first, but when the amount is insufficient, the owner of the station pays for the costs himself. To solve this problem of exceeding costs, the station needs a licence from the government. A more detailed explanation of this problem will be offered in the financial sustainability paragraph. The current financial status is, as mentioned before, not sustainable. According to the station manager, this year there is a loss of seven million Rupiah. This loss is paid by himself. When this station started back in 2005, only 250k Rupiah was needed. Now that the radio has drastically grown, they require more advanced equipment and therefore more financial means. Sustainability Quality of journalists As already mentioned before, the volunteers did not get any specific media-related education, but all come from various backgrounds. Some of the volunteers are students at a university in Bandung, who learn from the older broadcasters. The radio does not seem to struggle to get enough volunteers. As the main goal of this radio station is to entertain people and teach them about culture and art, journalism does not play a big role in its day-to-day activities. Financial sustainability The financial situation of Radio RSKB is worrisome. Currently, the station does not have a licence yet, whose application is still pending at the government. Without a licence the station does not have the proper legal status to make a partnership with other radio stations and hence create a better way of generating revenue. Furthermore, not having a legal status limits the radio stationâ€™s reach, as it has to compete with many other stations for a very small amount of radio frequencies. Because of these financial issues, Radio RSKB is unable to replace its outdated equipment, which also limits their broadcasting possibilities. Besides that, being a commercial radio would increase possibilities of generating income. However, it is currently legally not possible for the radio station to become commercial. In short, the radio station has some financial struggles which are currently hard to tackle.
Independence Partnerships The whole of West-Java falls under a community radio association, of which Radio RKSB is a member. On a national level, it is based in Surakarta (also named Solo), near Yogyakarta. The association is called Jaringan Radio Komunitas Indonesia (JRKI), which can be translated to Indonesian Community Radio Network. The radio did not mention having close links to any community radios in Bandung. The radio has also partnered with Original Rekor Indonesia (ORI), which celebrates peopleâ€™s achievements in the country. When an event is organised by ORI, the radio will also broadcast it live. This organisation is in contact with over 1000 communities so, by partnering with them, the radio can reach a substantial amount of new listeners which are also potential supporters. The radio tries to reach out to several communities so that a greater number of people get to know the radio station, raising awareness on the programmes they air. A volunteer is taking care of this task, having been working at RKSB for a year now. By making sure that more people know the radio station exists, he hopes that they will spread the word to family, friends and more. Because a community radio has a closer relationship with its listeners than a commercial one, it can be used to broadcast what the community truly wants to. RKSB therefore tries to air what people like and value the most. The people sometimes give the radio compensation in exchange for some recognition. This is not always money, but also material contributions such as furniture. They are doing live streaming sessions through Facebook, via the account of the station manager, as they do not have a Facebook page for the radio. Their wifi is also no longer working, due to unpaid bills. Influences government Radio RKSB sees a community radio as a means for the government to better reach the population. The radio did partner with the election commission a couple of years ago, but they still think the government should support community radios to a greater degree: ideally, the system should enable everyone to create a small radio station for the community if they wish to. Radio RKSB does not feel they are restricted by the government on what they can broadcast: they cannot touch upon issues such as religion and races, but they do not see it as a problem since the radio was created to promote art and culture. Radio RKSB would like to become a commercial radio station in the long run but this is not possible for now due to licencesâ€™ and other legal aspects, which make it already challenging for them to be a recognised community radio. Under Indonesian law, it is not allowed to trade radio frequencies, but it happens this way nonetheless. Since a lot of people listen to the radio in West-Java and the frequencies are full, some radios are selling their frequencies. Financial independence This current year, radio RKSB is making a loss of 7 million Indonesian rupiah. They receive donations from the communities but not from the government. Because community radios have an ideal position between the government and the people, RKSB believes it can be a tool for the government to get a message to people. However, the government chose to use commercial radios instead, so that is where the state money goes.
Conclusion and discussion Resulting from our interview with the people involved at Radio RKSB, several points of recommendation can be shared regarding the development of the radio, all falling into the aspect of cultivating a longer-term vision for RKSB. Seek commercialisation - Having shared its desire to eventually become a commercial radio, Radio RKSB could gain a lot from a better insight into its finances so that it can once again be a state-recognised community radio. The radio is on the right track with a volunteer working on the community network to collect more donations but, by analysing recurring monthly revenues and expenses while tracking the unforeseen ones, the radio can hope to gain a deeper understanding of its financial needs. With a clear idea of what the needed funds are to regain the community radio licence (approx. 50,000,000 rupiah), the radio can set up a clear monthly saving plan, while being able to better explain to potential financial supporters, whether they are civilians or commercial organisations, why the money is needed and therefore increase the chances of receiving funds. Improve online presence - Even though some community radios are aimed at reaching the local and most remote communities, Radio RKSB has bigger ambitions and a potential reach of a quarter of the city of Bandung. In order to get closer to their goal of becoming a commercial radio, increasing awareness is therefore crucial and would bring together the closest communities of the radio to the ones of the more central parts of Bandung. The radio does not have an official Facebook page yet, but is using the private account of the station manager. This could be easily changed, enabling the radio to live stream its programmes to a greater number of people. Once the financial means can be met, the radio should consider working on its website. A potential lead might be to receive the help of volunteer IT students from a university nearby. Training - So far, Radio RKSB has not received trainings from any organisations. Besides the role that could be played by JRKI and PPMN in providing key trainings to all current and potential community radios in Indonesia, Radio RKSB management can also make sure the radio is running more sustainably by seeking tailored trainings for its employees and volunteers. These trainings might include an accounting training for the treasurer and a marketing/sales training for the volunteers. Achieving this could be done by having closer contacts with other community radios who did receive this help before, but also by proactively reaching out to NGOs, JRKI and PPMN. Combined with a more efficient way of dealing with its finances, a higher quality of contact with communities could lead the radio to an increase in the amount of listeners and donations.
220.127.116.11 Radio Suara Cibangkong Overview Founding Radio Suara Cibangkong (RSC) is a community radio station located in Bandung. The radio station was founded in 2001. It is the oldest community radio in West Java. Aim The radio station was created to inform the people in the community. In general, people in Indonesia, including the people living in the community, who have low literacy levels and low access to information. The community radio exists especially for the people in the community. By broadcasting, the radio station is able to spread messages and to inform people living in the community. Because of this, the people are aware of their rights and options and are able to make better decisions in life. The main goals of the radio are to educate, inform and entertain. Their vision is to improve transparency of the government, hold the government accountable for their actions, introduce the local wisdom, preserve the Sundanese language (local language of West Java) and inform about family planning. The main topics the radio station reports on include governmental programs, such as health programs, music, local news and community activities. The station is allowed to comment on and criticise the government, however, they always first ask for their confirmation. There are no commercials broadcasted on the radio station, only public announcements. Operations Audience & reach The age and type of the audience strongly depends on the current broadcaster. If the broadcaster is younger, a younger audience between the age of 16 and 25 is attracted. The audience mostly makes use of traditional radio boxes to listen to the radio stations. Many radio boxes have been handed out in the area by the Japanese government, who was conducting research on radio stations in the area. The transmitter of the radio station has a reach of 2.5 kilometers. Since 200 signatures were needed for establishing the radio station and obtaining a governmental license, the employees have a good estimate of the audience they reach. At least 425 locals frequently listen to their programs. Nevertheless, the passive audience is not measured. The employees distribute questionnaires in the mentioned radius of the transmitter to evaluate the quality of their radio programs and the general satisfaction. So far, the feedback has always been positive. Employees All the employees of the radio station are volunteers. They approach the radio station since they share the vision to serve the local community. Currently, 12 volunteers are operating the radio station. 75% are male, 60% are older than 25 years. The new volunteers receive a job training by the station manager, which is mostly focused on the linguistic part of communication. This includes sessions on how to properly inform and get short messages across to the audience. All volunteers are employed as broadcasters and therefore the tasks do not vary across employees. They either play music, announce or host talk shows. During the daytime, they also attend events they are reporting about. Their equipment includes headphones, which they sometimes bring from home, and the microphones. In the
previous years, they also broadcasted their radio shows online, nevertheless, there is not enough money available to continue these operations. Higher education seems rather uncommon for the employees. The station managerâ€™s highest education is a highschool degree. The volunteers usually have other jobs next to volunteering at the radio station, some of them are related to communications and media. Not all employees live in the surrounding area. One interviewed employee travels 12 kilometers with the motorbike to the workplace, which takes approximately one hour. Finances Revenues and expenses All the employees work on voluntary basis for the community radio station. Therefore, they do not earn any money by broadcasting and they consider it as a hobby. The radio station does not keep track of their finances and there is no specific person in charge of the finances. The employees pay voluntarily for expenses, such as for the electricity. Until 2006 they asked the community to donate money to the radio station. However, since the rise of other media outlets, in particular the rise of television, people do not listen to the radio as much as they used to. Therefore, people refuse to support the radio station financially. The partnership with the local government is their biggest and only source of income at this moment. The government pays the radio station 300,000 rupiah to broadcast a show, because the government knows the radio station can spread information to the community efficiently. Those programs are public service announcements from for example the health department. The number of programs from the government fluctuates per month. So far the radio station had only one-time cooperations and was not able to find organisations willing to have a longterm partnership. A difficulty they are facing is that they are not allowed by the government to broadcast shows from commercial partners. Because of this, they do not consider to partner with private organisations. Buying new equipment is the biggest expense for the radio station. The last replacement of equipment, which was required by law, costed around 8 million rupiah. A local community radio network granted them a loan without interest or repayment requirements. They plan to pay the loan back through broadcasting government programs, but they always make losses. The radio station has never made any profit, but according to the head of broadcasting of the radio station that is the power of the hobby of radio. If the radio station would have more financial resources, they would like to replace the equipment. The aim would be to improve the signal to be able to reach more people. The rest of the money should be for the community and should not be invested the radio station. In their opinion, the radio station exists because of the audience, the community. The radio station used to stream via the internet. Unfortunately, the funding for the stream was not sufficient enough to continue the streaming. The radio station does not have a business model. The main goal for the future in terms of finances is to stabilize their income. As mentioned above, they are trying to initiate this change by finding new partners.
Sustainability Quality of employees All employees of the radio station work on a voluntary basis. The employees are not recruited, instead they join the radio station on their own terms. New employees receive basic training on how to report on issues effectively and through an unbiased lens. This training is given by the broadcasting manager together with another broadcaster of the station, both of which have previous experience in the broadcasting industry. The fact that employees join the radio station voluntarily paired with the fact that they receive basic broadcasting training from experienced broadcasters ensures a sustainable base of employees for the radio station. However, this will remain sustainable only as long as the station has a good connection with their community so that volunteers will continue to join their cause. Shareholder management and financial sustainability The radio station is owned by one of the broadcasters and does not have a history of bookkeeping; none of the financial transactions are written down. All money flowing into the station is either from government grants or money made from broadcasting public service announcements from the government, which are not constant over time, or is obtained from the employees of the station. The financial situation of the station is therefore not sustainable. Even though the station is busy trying to find other sources of revenue, these must all come from either donations, be it from individuals or NGOâ€™s, or from government grants. By Indonesian law the station is not allowed to partner with private organisations, which severely limits the options the station has in finding new revenue streams. In the past the station tried to obtain donations from the community. However this is not an option anymore because radio has become less attractive because of the advent of the internet and mainstream television. These restrictions make it difficult for the radio station to obtain a constant stream of revenue and threatens the long term sustainability of the radio station. Long term outlook For the moment, the radio station has a sustainable supply of employees due to their connection with the community and their training. This will continue to be sustainable for as long as the community is involved with the radio station. As for the finances of the radio station, a few things will have to change in order for the station to be financially sustainable. First of all, the radio station should start keeping track of their finances, in order to get an overview of their financial situation. In particular their incomes and expenses should be tracked such that inefficiencies can be removed. Besides this the radio station should move towards a more constant stream of incomes. Only relying on government grants and money obtained from governmental public service announcements is not sufficient to run the radio station. Further recommendations for moving toward financial sustainability are given in the following section Conclusion and Discussion.
Independence Partnerships Finding partners for the radio station for funding and operational support remains a challenge. RSC is prohibited from finding any commercial partners. Consequently, they depend mostly on public partners in the form of family programs, and the ministry of law and civil right that are able to provide them with support.
Influences government In terms of content that the radio station can produce, they are completely independent. Their relationship with the government remains very important to them, as it is not only a primary source of revenue. However, the central goal of the radio station is to report information as they receive it and hold the government accountable for their actions, no matter what it is. Their first priority is to ensure that the information is accurate, and then to ensure the surrounding communities are made aware. The information that is spread could also be a criticism of the government in some cases. Financial independence Similar to the narrative behind the partnerships behind RSC, they cannot receive funds from private organisations, or any sort of commercial entity. Past efforts have included receiving donations from surrounding community members, however they have ceased those activities since 2006. There was heavy competition in donations from many other media outlets, particularly the internet. Thus, their primary source of funding lies in the government, that providing financial support for particular programs they want broadcasted on their radio channel. Admittedly, these amounts remain inconsistent but remain their primary source.
Conclusion and discussion The findings and people met at the radio station of Cibangkong differ significantly from those of other stations presented throughout the research. RSC have illustrated a mission to bring information to their surrounding communities in comparison to other communities that may have focused on the entertainment. It seems that the radio station remains active, and manages to fulfill its purpose to the community. However, there is a gap between their potential and their current level of operations that could push them to fulfill their mission more effectively. Perhaps, if the radio station incorporated some of the recommendations portrayed below, such as consistent government grants, or the start of financial records they could take a step closer to realizing their potential to the community around them. Firstly, the research team strongly suggests for the radio station to start a bookkeeping process to gain a general overview of their financial status. Having a clear financial outlook would help significantly in establishing partnerships, and interested parties will have a clearer overview of what exactly they are supporting. Also, it will give station managers a better idea of what investments are important, or necessary to develop the radio station. Another way to raise money is to organise talk shows where people from the surrounding community and elsewhere can discuss topics of their own choosing. In order to participate in such a talk show a small fee would be charged which would generate a small but constant revenue stream. Besides raising money, these talk shows would also strengthen the bonds inside the community and the bonds between the insiders and outsiders of the local community and the outside. Finally, the radio station would benefit from a more structured government grant scheme. One of the current income flows is from government subsidies. However, according to the broadcasting director these are not constant over time. One way to stabilise this income flow is to arrange a deal with the government that instead of various fluctuating amounts over time constant amounts would be given at set periods in time. Combining this with a steady history of bookkeeping would ensure a more stable financial situation for the radio station.
18.104.22.168 Conclusion Indonesia Overview The radio stations all seem to be created for different reasons and have different goals for their broadcasting. However, all radio stations try to inform the people in the community about different topics and or unite the community. Hereby, all radio stations aim to improve the living environment of the community and the relationships between the people living in the community. They all effectively create a space for the communities to come together and spread information. Radio BBM tries to unite the community by using the traditional Indonesian Gamelan music. The people can come together at the community centre of the radio, perform the music and discuss local issues. Therefore, the communication in the community is also stimulated. The same goes for radio RKSB. They want to introduce the community to and make them appreciate the culture by providing a stage for people to practice art and culture. Contrary to this, radio RSC was created to inform the people in the community because of the low literacy levels. Their main goals are to inform, educate and entertain. Radio RSC mainly broadcasts governmental programs. Radio Swarakotaâ€™s main value is also to inform people, but in this case informing about corruption. Not all radio stations are allowed to discuss and criticise the government. Radio BBM is impartial in terms of their broadcasting. They do not report on any religious, political or tribal topics. Again, the same goes for radio RKSB. They do not report on other topics aside from art and culture. In contrast to this, radio RSC and radio Swarakota have as part of their visions to increase the transparency of the government and hold the government accountable for their actions. Operation Audience A comparison of the characteristics of the targeted audience of the radio station leads to the conclusion that all of them approach a wide and not very specific audience. The radio station BBM, for instance, targets people aged 25 or older with their radio program including mostly the traditional javanese music â€œGamelanâ€?. Also Suara Cibangkong focuses on all types of listeners. Nevertheless, they found it evident that the younger broadcasters attract a younger audience during their broadcasting times. To appeal to the whole neighborhood, the broadcasters vary widely in their age. The devices which the audience uses, appear to be the same in all neighborhoods of the interviewed community station radios. The most popular devices are the traditional radio boxes. In the neighbourhood of the radio station Suara Cibangkong, radio boxes have been provided by the Japanese government, which was distributing them as gifts for being allowed to conduct research about radio stations. Therefore, most people in the neighborhood are likely to have access to the community radio. Recently, some of the interviewed radio stations tried to stream part of their programs online. The radio station BBM in Yogyakarta streamed their music four times so far. They claim, that they reached some people from the other side of the island Java. Nevertheless, they also highlighted that they usually do not know their online audience since it is not reported who is streaming their radio program. Also the radio station Suara Cibangkong tried streaming their radio shows online. For now, they stopped the streaming since they do not have the financial means to maintain it. The reach of the transmitter varies widely across the radio stations. It ranges from a radius of 2.5 kilometers to a coverage of 25% of the city
Bandung. Consequently, also the number of listeners differs across radio stations, ranging from approximately 250 people to 700 people. The station RKSB can be listened to from almost whole West Bandung, which even leaves them with approximately 1.6 million potential listeners. Nevertheless, the actual size of the audience has never been estimated. The interaction with the audience has a different level of importance assigned to it by the interviewed radio stations. The radio station BBM allows its audience to participate by handing in music or attending their social events. On the other hand, they do not ask for feedback regarding their radio program and also do not further measure their reach. While Suara Cibangkong also does not measure its passive audience, they do distribute questionnaires about the quality of the radio station in their radius of reach. Employees The number of employees within the interviewed radio station varies from 3 to 12. In the case of BBM, the radio station is only one of many tasks in the community to which only 3 out of 16 community workers are permanently allocated. For all radio stations, excluding RKSB, all functions within the radio stations are on a voluntary basis. This means, that the employees do not receive any payment, except for possible compensations for commuting. At the station RKSB, two operators are working as employees, meaning that they do receive a salary. The other so-called “volunteers” receive 5.000 rupiah for a 3 hour radio program. Due to the low compensation, the radio station refrains from calling them “employees”. Usually, the recruitment of employees is performed through word-of-mouth. For BBM, people from the area tend to bring new recordings to the radio station to broadcast them and often stay with the radio station. The working hours are showing huge differences across radio stations. For instance, at the radio station Sawarakota, the volunteers work 2-3 hours per day, 5 days per week. At Suara Cibangkong, the volunteers work on the evenings, after their own working hours on their main job, and also during the daytime if there are important events which they have to attend. At RKSB, the operators are working full-time, corresponding to 12 hours per day. The gender and age balance has only been obtained for the radio station Suara Cibangkong. 75% of all employees are male and 60% of the employees are estimated to be above 50 years old. For two of the interviewed radio stations,the employees did not receive any training by the company or the government. At Sawarakota, the employees attended 5 university trainings over the past 5 years. These trainings were offered for free by the KPK and ministry for women and children. Furthermore, they stated that they find self-learning at the job the most important form of training. At Suara Cibangkong, the volunteers received a job training by the station manager. The training is mostly focussed on the linguistic part of communication. Usually, the highest degree of the volunteers is a high school degree. The basic equipment which the employees of the radio stations use, is relatively similar. All of the radio stations make use of a transmitter, microphone and headphones. The radio station BBM also uses music instruments to broadcast their own Gamelan music. They also use cassettes for playing music, which they often receive from people in the neighborhood. The most relevant task for all volunteers across radio station is broadcasting. At Suara Cibangkong, the reporters also attend community events, which they discuss in their radio programs. Furthermore, they invite guests for talk shows, usually including local politicians or decision-makers. The operators, such as at RKSB, are responsible for the maintenance of the equipment. Finances
Concerning the finances of the four radio stations in Yogyakarta and Bandung we can conclude the following statements. First of all, employees work on voluntary basis at every radio station. Only at RKSB there are two paid employees who are covered by more volunteers. None of the volunteers have had trainings regarding financial statements. However, three out of four stations; BBM, Swarakota and RKSB Maja, do record their revenues and costs. Most of the time this is done by the owner of the station or the station manager. Only RSC does not keep track of their financial well-being. Regarding the revenues of the radio stations, we can clearly see four sources of revenues: donations by the community, broadcasting revenues, investments of the owner and donations from NGOs. Revenues The broadcasting revenues of Swarakota and RKSB can be seen as revenues due to the payments made to use the radioâ€™s equipment to broadcast, and the revenues from advertising during broadcasting. RSC receives payments from the government for the public service announcements per show. BBM does not receive payments for broadcasting, but like to gain more interest for the Gamelan music and more audience for their performances. This is relevant for their revenue since their biggest source of revenue is renting out the Gamelan instruments. Only two radio stations, BBM and RKSB Maja, obtained income or equipment through NGO support. Expenses The biggest similarities regarding the expenses are the costs for equipment and for electricity. BBM also indicates the operational costs for a performance as an expense and RKSB the salary costs for the employees. In terms of consistency all four radio stations are having a hard time. Because revenues are not sufficient to cover costs of investments, their performance is strongly dependent on the expenses in a certain period. Although BBM is able to realize small profits, they still are vulnerable to big expenses. This is dangerous for the long run, because when innovation is required, the stations are not able to make investments. When the station would have more financial resources, all of them would invest in new equipment. Only BBM and RSKB Maja would invest in their facilities next to replacing their equipment. In the future, the four stations would improve on different topics. Swarakota FM would try to educate the volunteers to improve the quality of the radio broadcasted. RSC wants to generate long term partnerships to get consistent revenue flows. RKSB Maja would like to improve the facilities to welcome the broadcasting bands and groups in a hospitable way. BBM FM does not have a clear plan for the future regarding the finances. Their goal is to unite the community, not to make profits. Sustainability Quality of journalists We looked at each community radio stationâ€™s kind of journalists, aim, recruitment process, training and availability to compare the quality of their journalism. What stands out when comparing the quality of journalists across the investigated Indonesian community radio stations, is that almost all the employees work on a voluntary basis. This means that the staff of the radio stations consist of a variety of people, from students to older radio enthusiast, who have often had no specific education for the job. Fully relying on volunteers can be problematic because those people also have other (paid) jobs, which sometimes have priority over their work at the radio station. This means that the radio stations
are often not able to broadcast on a full time basis, but have to adapt their schedule to the availability of volunteers. The radio stations have different aims, varying between providing information for and about the community, investigating corruption and musical and cultural entertainment. What is a common factor in all radio stations is that they try to adapt their broadcasting to the wishes of the community they serve. This connection with the community is crucial for the existence of the radio station, and one of their main strengths. The fact that the radio stations do not have a shortage of volunteers exemplifies how important the radio also is for the community - they are eager to help them for free. Often, volunteers remain at the radio station for a longer time, meaning that younger employees learn on the job from their more experienced colleagues. Some radio stations also occasionally provide trainings for their staff. This is however not very specific nor on a regular basis, meaning that the quality of journalists is not always guaranteed. The lack of (tailored) trainings seems to be the weakness for all community radio stations. Shareholder management and financial sustainability In terms of shareholder management all four radio stations appear to be sustainable. All are owned by either a worker of the radio station with interest in its continued survival or owned by the community in which the station operates. The largest difference between the radio stations are found in the finances. While three of the four radio stations have some form of book-keeping, RSC doesnâ€™t keep any records of financial statements. All four radio stations also still rely on either donations from their community or on governmental grants as a big part of their revenue, neither of which are constant over time. Radio BBM is the only radio station that has managed to make a constant profit over the last three years; all other stations still vary on a monthly basis. When compared with the other radio stations, one factor stands out that could explain the success of radio BBM, namely the fact that their main revenue stream is obtained from the leasing of their musical equipment and their performances at various events. This provides a relatively large and constant income stream for the radio station, ensuring that the station is less dependent on other sources such as donations and other organizations. Our conclusion with respect to the financial sustainability of the four radio stations is thus that only radio BBM appears to be sustainable in the long run due to the fact that they depend less on donations and grants from other organizations. Independence When comparing the independence factor across the different radio stations in Indonesia, it is clear that many radio stations have experienced a similar increase in their independence degree since the shift in politics that occurred in the 2000â€™s. Ever since the fall of president Suharto, radio stations feel that they are significantly more free and independent to choose what to broadcast. While the degree of freedom that is granted across radio stations differs, it is a common positive change nonetheless. BBM and RKSB radio stations appear to have less broadcasting independency than RSC and Swarakota, in the sense that they are required to stick to the main focus of their radio. While BBM has enjoyed more independence than compared to under the Suharto era, the radio station is still prohibited from discussing any political issues on-air and effectively only serve as an entertainment platform. As a younger radio station, RKSB also needs to stay away from race and religious topics, but that is not an issue since the radio was created to promote art and culture. In the realms of what they are allowed to broadcast, both radios are free to choose how to carry out their entertainment activities. BBM may serve as polling station in times of elections and RKSB as a partner of the election commission but, in
terms of political content, that is as far as they may go. In contrast, RSC and Swarakota have complete sovereignty in terms of the content that they produce on their radio show. They are able to broadcast any criticism of any political party, shed light on corrupted actions, as well as host talk shows and invite guests. On the other hand, a recurring aspect in each radio station seems to be their precarious financial situation. Almost none of the employees at these radio stations are dependent on it for income, and remain part-time volunteers who dedicate themselves to the stations. Only radio RKSB has two persons working full-time on the project and being paid for their work. The equipment at all radios are outdated and replacing them proves challenging, if not impossible, due to the great financial investment it represents. More importantly, the radios are all dependent on external parties for funding, with varying income from one month to the other. RSC seem to partly rely on the government in terms of financial support, through grants. In contrast, Radio BBM relies more on the donations of its community members, the church, and renting out its instruments in comparison to RSC. Radio Swarakota relies on donations of its listeners (via its Papachetur programmes) and charity help, but can also count on the help of other community radios, in terms of trainings and advocacy, through Jaringan Radio Komunitas Yogyakarta (JRKY). On the other side, radio RKSB still could not obtain its new broadcasting licence and is still wishing it could receive more, if not any, support from the state. It is clear that the government is more likely to financially help commercial radios, as these radios were the chosen ones by the state to reach out to the public. The situation of RKSB might make it further difficult for them to build new needed partnerships and it seemed to be receiving less regional support than Swarakota.
5 Analysis In both Nepal and Indonesia, the community radio stations are facing similar challenges and opportunities. Firstly, each radio our research group went to was facing strong financial instability. Most of them had very few, if any, insights into the patterns their finances follow on a monthly basis. Financial stability can unleash the full potential of the radios by giving them the means to modernise both their equipment and infrastructure, while unlocking opportunities to increase their marketing presence and improve the quality of their services. It is therefore crucial for these community radios to tackle this common issue. Some advices to reach this goal would be to provide financial, accounting and financial trainings to the treasurers of each entity. The regional or national community radio networks present locally have an ideal position to facilitate the organisation of such training. The radios should then be able to create clear saving plans to save and invest in necessary tools, programmes and events. With the radios mainly relying on external donations, it is important for them to also clearly and concretely communicate to all listeners, and therefore potential donors, how the money (or any other type of donations) given is exactly spent. An example could be to organise a live event with singing and dancing performances, during which people of the communities are welcome to join. This simple act would enhance the trust communities have in their radios, while enabling the stations to better tailor their programmes to the listenersâ€™ demand. Another challenge community radios are facing is the increasing difficulty for them to keep up with the technological developments of the 21st century, which come with a shift in the listenersâ€™ preferences. The radios need to deal with younger generations which favour online communication channels and mobile phones, and communities that are increasingly a part of the internet bubble as well. All radios are still lacking of a strong online presence, having either an outdated website no longer in use or not having an official Facebook page yet. A potential
route to take would be for the radios to use these highly cost-efficient marketing tools. The platforms of Facebook, Youtube and Instagram provide a wide range of free services that can become a great asset in the marketing portfolio of the stations. These include, but are not limited to, live video streaming, events that can be followed by anyone using the platform, and groups to share ideas and thoughts. Not only would these platforms be able to improve visibility, but might also be a further step to bridge the gap between rural and urban listeners. It could also be possible to deepen the online presence of the stations by joining a radio broadcasting smartphone application that gathers many radio stations on one single platform. Some examples of these are the Android “Nepali FM Radio & Nepali News” and “Radio Indonesia” applications, which both welcome more than 100,000 users (Google Play, 2018). The costs linked to joining such platform are however not known. Last but not least, the stations should not underestimate the power of their network. Through more and/or deeper partnerships with other radios, the community radios can limit the power big commercial radios have by shifting the state’s prefered communication mean to reach its population from commercial to community radios. Such network would also facilitate and promote the exchange of ideas, and general and financial knowledge between all community radios, with the more successful ones being able to help the new or struggling radios. Another important network the radios have to keep in mind is their own listeners network, which also represents an important part of how each radio is funded. Stations are facing difficulties in bridging the gap between their rural and urban listener, so it is important to tailor the goal of the radio and their programmes in order to offer what the communities really want, while offering opportunities for both type of listeners to come together through events. Better insight into their audience could be achieved through surveys during live events welcoming listeners to the radio station, door-to-door visits, but also via the analytical data of the social media they would start using.
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Appendix A: Interview Questions
1. Station managers Personal background ● Please tell me a little bit more about your background (education etc). How long have you worked at this radio station? How did you get this job? ● Please describe some of your day-to-day activities working at the radio station? ● How was the radio station created? ● How many hours/days do you work per week? ● Are you comfortable with telling me how much you and the journalists get paid? If yes, how much? (Maybe how much they get paid on average as a journalist in the community compared to other journalists and other jobs in the community?) Audience ● What type of listeners are you targeting? Do you measure your audience? ● How do they get access to the radio? (phone/at home/car etc) ● How many listeners approximately? ● Have you measured any response from your audience? (for example effectiveness of campaigns of the radio station)
Employees ● Where do you recruit from? Is it easy to find employees? ● What is your recruitment process? ● How many journalists do you employ? (man/woman ratio) ● Do you employ many volunteers here at the radio station? If so, how many? And how often? ● How much do the employees work? What is their training level? Which positions exist? Financials ● Who is in charge of the finances at the station? If anyone is in charge, are they trained for doing the finances? (goal of question: finding about whether they care about keeping track of their finances) ● What are your biggest sources of revenue? ● What are your biggest expenses? ● What is your most consistent source of revenue? ● Do you have any other means of support? NGOs, religious groups (mosque), donations, etc? ● Would you describe the finances of the community radio station as consistent? Effective? ● What do you think would be a good business model? What would you like to be changed? ● Suppose you would have … local currency (Indonesia: 10.000.000 and 25.000.000 Rupiah), what would you invest in? (More employees, new computers, other equipment etc.) Content ● What is the aim of the radio station? (informing/entertainment etc)
● What are the main topics the radio station reports on? (e.g. education/limited access to jobs/schools etc) ● Do you have any restrictions on what you can broadcast as a radio station? (if they don’t want to answer this question, we could for example ask if they would be okay with reporting on a sensitive topic like wrongdoings of the local government) ● Do you feel like you’re able to work independently and report on whatever you want? 2. Journalists (if available) ● Please tell me a little bit more about your background. How long have you worked? How did you get this job? ● Please describe some of your day-to-day activities working at the radio station? How much do you work (hours/days per week)? ● Is this the only job you have? Can you make a living of your job as a journalist? Or do you work as a volunteer? ● What education did you get? ● Why did you want to become a journalist? ● What positions do you have at the station? (task division between journalists) ● Are you comfortable with telling me how much you get paid? If yes, how much? (Maybe how much they get paid on average as a journalist in the community compared to other journalists and other jobs in the community?) ● How do you travel to work? How long does your travel take? ● How far do you travel for work? i.e. to conduct interviews, to go to locations where events happen ● What type of equipment do you use? ● What are the main topics you are reporting on? ● Do you have or feel any restrictions when working as a journalists? Have you ever felt unsafe or unable to express your opinion? if yes, what was the cause of this? ● How do you see your future at the radio station? ● Is there something you would want to be changed? (in terms of efficiency, content of the radio, equipment, press freedom)