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(UNESCO / Japan Young Researchers' fellowships programme)

Technology transfers and community media ownership in Burkina Faso: A socio-anthropological approach to communication

Summary of research carried out: 
Technology transfers and community media ownership in Burkina Faso: A socio-anthropological approach to communication

The research reported here results from an analysis of the phenomenon of technology transfer through the observation of three community radio stations in Burkina Faso: the Palabre radio station in Koudougou, the Daandé Sahel radio station in Dori and the Vénégre radio station in Ziniaré.

The report presents two levels of practice and discourse. On the one hand, an attempt is made to demonstrate the mechanisms developed both by the holders of hard technology and by community radio promoters and moderators so that such media can be appropriated at the local level. On the other hand, by means of an opinion poll, an attempt is made to determine the broad outlines of the appropriation process within community radio audiences (knowledge of the media, audience and listening habits, level of interest and of appropriation).

From the analysis it emerges that, in order to be successful, the phenomenon of appropriation of community radio stations must start with a stage of expropriation, followed by (re)appropriation within vertical and horizontal paradigms. The vertical paradigm puts hard technology industries in contact with the consumer market. This relationship is characterized by both the dominance of technological power and the concomitant tendency to share knowledge. The horizontal paradigm brings together various holders in a negotiating situation at the local level.

The results regarding the practices and discourses of the audiences make it possible not only to produce a profile of the typical community radio listener but also to define the significant appropriation factors from the standpoint of the populations. These factors are, in order of importance: the broadcasting language, the radio programme content, involvement in management of the radio station, the moderators’ sociocultural background, and technical mastery.

 

Armand Joseph Kabore, 21 January 2008

Translated from French by UNESCO