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Free Content Negotiating context as a survival strategy: The case of Mugambo Jwetu FM

Kenyan community radio works between international and national media paradigms, while seeking to meet the expectations of its local communities. International funding and training organizations active in the sector focus on enhancing technology for development, freedom of expression, democracy and governance. At the national level, community stations are expected to act as development-oriented media. While development is a value embraced by most stations, freedom of expression is embraced more cautiously, given the political contexts in which they exist. Drawing on fieldwork conducted between 2014 and 2016, this article explores the operational choices that community broadcasters make in view of their funding and training partnerships, all the while negotiating their local, social and political contexts in order to survive. It focuses on Mugambo Jwetu FM, a community radio station in Kenya, as a case study.

Keywords: Kenya; Mugambo FM; community media; community radio; development media; governance; negotiation; partnerships

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000417811037Chuka University

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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  • The Journal of Alternative and Community Media (JOACM) publishes research which helps explain the shifting media environment, and the ways in which people use alternative forms of media and communication. Issues of concern to the journal include the nature and distribution of media power; access to and participation in media; media practices of communities and social movements; and the possibilities of emerging technologies and new media.

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