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Title: Radio & development : access and uses of the radio public sphere by rural Baganda women
Author: Knowles, Sima Kaur.
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis examines ways in which radio stations serve the development 'needs' of rural Baganda women in Uganda. The thesis argues that a new participatory public sphere has been created in Uganda with the rise of commercial radio stations, with important implications for social development. These conclusions are drawn from an analysis of media liberalisation and globalisation in Uganda, informed by communication development theories and the theory of the Public Sphere. The thesis, examines the African Public sphere and the way that Uganda's vibrant oral culture has fostered the rapid expansion of radio services in the region. It unpacks 'development' as a concept, exploring its relationship to radio services in Africa and Uganda in particular. The thesis concludes that as part of the push for 'development', media liberalisation has led to haphazard licensing of radio frequencies with no proper spectrum planning. It has also seen the growing influence of commercial radio stations like Radio Simba. Using content analysis of the programme schedules of Radio Simba and the publicly funded Radio Uganda, the thesis examines the quality and nature of radio programmes available to rural Baganda women. Drawing on interviews and participant observation with radio producers and government representatives, it concludes that in places like Uganda, where national broadcasters are too close to governments, their public service role is limited. The thesis asserts that Radio Simba partly fills this role. U sing focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, the study goes on to examine the access and uses of radio by rural Baganda women for development. It concludes that rural communities use radio to inform, enhance farming practices, health promotion and human rights campaigns. Radio also has a 'psychosocial' purpose, enabling a redefining of Ugandan identity through music and 'local' programming. The thesis ends by describing some of the moral panic created as a result of the presence of this new global public sphere in Uganda, and the limited nature of Ugandan academic debate about the changing nature of public service broadcasting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available