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August 2002

Rural radio as a social enquiry tool

Participatory production techniques and audience research

by Jean-Pierre Ilboudo
Extension, Education and Communication Service
FAO Research, Extension and Training Division

This article begins by contrasting the expectations and ambitions devised outside of rural communities compared to the development objectives of rural community radio. It undertakes a study on a country by country basis which reveals incomplete research on listeners and on the impact of rural radio initiatives (the focus is primarily on French-speaking Africa, with some examples from English-speaking Africa).

For the past thirty years, rural radio broadcasters and journalists have produced transmissions with only a partial understanding of their listening public. The articles' author indicates how qualitative research approaches can be used to shape the research of radio professionals, thereby helping them to better understand what listeners are seeking from radio programmes and how the audience reacts to various broadcast programmes.

(Only available in French)

Click here to see the full article.



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