Media Professional Advocates Increased Funding Of African Radio Stations

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African governments have been urged to adequately fund public Radio broadcasting stations for them to effectively adapt to emerging trends in Mass Communication and maintain their relevance in the digital age.

The Convener of Broadcasters Global Forum, BGF, Mr Tony Ekata made the call during a presentation at an Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) web summit hosted in Malaysia to commemorate World Radio Day 2024.

Ekata, who spoke on ‘The Power Of Radio To Inform And Educate Communities’, said “public radio, as a veritable tool for building Local and International community relations and influencing foreign policy decisions, needed to be deliberately funded to equip it for the effective discharge of this responsibility.”

Citing Nigeria’s external  radio station, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Ekata said that before the era of media convergence and the proliferation of broadcasting channels, VON was the go-to channel for Nigerians in the Diaspora and others to get credible information about Nigeria and to promote Nigeria’s foreign policy initiatives.

VON, as the external service of Radio Nigeria was instrumental in rallying public opinion against White minority rules in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa in the 70s and 80s. Even today, VON remains relevant with its broadcast in eight international languages, including English, French, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Kiswahili, Fulfulde, and Arabic. No television station or newspaper does that,” he said.

He also underscored the importance of radio as a trusted source of information during epidemics, natural disasters, wars, military coups, pro-democracy agitations, political campaigns, and for information dissemination and virtual education, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Pioneer Bureau Chief of the Voice of Nigeria Southern Africa Bureau was among veteran broadcasters from different continents who spoke on various topics at the summit under the theme, Radio: Echoes Across the Century.

 

 

 

PR/ Mercy Chukwudiebere

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