Nhkata Bay Radio Initiative
Butterfly begun Nkhata Bay’s first radio station after an inspiring visit to Mzimba Community Radio in 2001. Since, we started teaching the community about recording and broadcasting for radio, using the media room at Butterfly as a hub. The aim is to be able to set up a Tonga radio service so that information and news can be disseminated in a language the people understand. Radio is the perfect way to reach people living in rural areas a it is the most accessible medium.
We have taken great strides and have received an excellent building from the District Assembly, and with many influential community members in the Committee, we are now registering as a Trust; Kandoli FM, and recent consultation with a lawyer means that it will always be a community radio.
We have been working with an increasing number of students about the skills involved in journalism, editing and radio broadcast, while ensuring students are knowledgeable about the technologies involved in order to develop a fully functioning, educational and enjoyable community radio station in Nkhata Bay.
To do this, we have utilised different fundraising strategies to continue the renovations of the building. The community organised a big walk and gained support from local businesses and those from far away. A Crowd funder was set up, but we are looking into more substantial support to get the transmitter so we can go live!
Freddie, a recent volunteer from Suma Wholefoods, helped to renovate the building and now, with electricity and some basic equipment, we are one step closer to being set up! The space has been used for interviews, editing and workshops, and we plan to run community programme’s and broadcast here soon! Judith Weymont, a fully trained journalist, has been to visit the project three times, and has run several broadcasting workshop and delivered training to students. Judith continues to support us remotely from the UK and has sourced and sent equipment for the studio.
We are now trying to make links with media businesses and colleges internationally, so we can increase the numbers of media volunteers here and get sponsorships for funding for the station!
We hope to harness more substantial support to enable us to get the equipment we need to get on air, and from there we can apply for the license.
If you have a background in media, community development or management then there are plenty things you can do for this project:
- Give lessons in journalism or other media skills and techniques.
- Attend the weekly news meeting and help edit news stories that the team has written, and develop with them their journalistic spirit.
- Help recording the stories and music opportunities and editing them accordingly.
- Developing their ideas for writing, researching and recording feature stories for radio.
- Practice radio and recording techniques.
- Research into linking to other media organizations that could sponsor and support the project financially long term.
- Fundraising and research to help towards the installation costs of a radio transmitter.