Media expert Levi Zeleza Manda has advised community radio stations in Malawi to stick to their core value of providing developmental programmes and serving communities instead of wasting airtime on playing music.
He said this on Wednesday in Lilongwe where a regional media development body, Panos Institute Southern Africa (Psaf) organised a week-long training for broadcasters from selected community radio stations in the country.
Manda said the community radio stations have the same mandate as public and commercial ones in having advertising, entertainment and development contents.
“Community radio stations are supposed to have more of development content than other forms of content…If you take it from that point then you will find that there is no need to have too much music. But this is happening for a reason that they lack capacity and resources to go and do programmes so they just play music in order to pass time,” added Manda.
Psaf has, therefore, initiated a one-year project called The Radio Platform for Community Development(RPCD) currently targeting 15 radio stations in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique before spreading it to other countries.
These targeted areas are to build capacity for the radio stations in developing local content; providing a community platform at which marginalized groups, women, policy makers, larger community interface and thirdly to facilitate networking and information sharing among community radio stations and other media initiatives.