College of Social Ssciences and HumanitiesyDepartment of Mmedia StudiesstudyAssessing the Impact of Forum for Environment Radio Program:
The Case of Jimma Fana Fm 98.1
By – Tamirat Dinssa Geleta
A Thesis Submitted to
The Graduate study of broadcasting JournalismDepartment of Media Studies
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master inof Bbroadcasting Jjournalism
Chapter one: Introduction
The provision of information and skills has gained popularity in the quest to empower communities with radio broadcasting as a unique and effective tool. Chapman et al (2003) reported that the growth of rural radio stations reflects both the improvements in information technologies and the shifting of development paradigm towards a more participatory style of information and knowledge transfer. Kumar (2004) identified radio as an avenue for participatory communication and as a tool relevant in both economic and social development.
Roba (2012) notes that lack of awareness among the general public and decision makers in the country could negatively impact adaptation and mitigation efforts related to environmental change. The role of the modern media is one of the most important factors underlying the knowledge of environmental problems. This can only be done on condition that the media are accessible to a large proportion of the population, a specific period of time is allocated to environmental issues, and people are interested in the information on ecological issues provided by the media so that they view or listen to the corresponding programs, news as well as read newspaper articles or other written publications dealing with environmental issues (McQuail 1994 as cited in Roba, 2012).
The environment is one of the key concerns for many cities and countries around the world. By definition, the environment encompasses surroundings in which an organism operates, including air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans, and their interrelation (Flemstrom, 2003). According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF 2010), the environment also refers to the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (such as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon individual organisms and communities, including humans, and ultimately determine their form and survival. It also views environment as the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community. Apparently, all definitions emphasize the importance of the environment for life. In an attempt to define development, Bass (2006) identifies four criteria of good development: increasing the asset base and its productivity per person, empowering poor people and marginalized communities, reducing and managing risks, taking a long-term perspective including subsequent generations. He then argues that the environment is central to all these constituents of good development.
This study focuses on assessing the role of forum for the Environment radio program. The study will examine the program that has been on air on Radio Fana FM 98.1 Jimma station and the roles it played in transforming the lives of local communities in Jimma zone.
1.2. Statement of the problem
People choose to live in urban and rural areas so they can have a better quality of life. They want to be at the heart of economic activity, and to have more job opportunities and other social and economic advantages. However, environment brings a range of challenges on people living in city and the rural areas. While living in close proximity to our daily activities can lead to more resource efficiency and so contribute to sustainability, other factors such as air pollution can be far more acute in cities (Hagen and Stout, 2003).
The Ethiopian government is committed to making Ethiopian’s cities and rural areas healthy, attractive and sustainable, and to improving citizens’ quality of life, now and for the future. Over the last 50 years, Ethiopian cities and rural areas have seen dramatic improvements in terms of mobility, green areas and waste management, and this has contributed to a significant improvement in living standards. However, Ethiopia’s cities still face a number of environmental challenges which influence the everyday lives of millions of Ethiopians and these often highly political issues need to be tackled through cooperation between local, national and Ethiopian authorities and their stakeholders.
Green spaces, quiet streets and recreational parks are important for relaxation, health and sport, nature watching and social activities. Open areas and green parks are important building blocks for promoting quality of life in urban environments.
On the other hand, Ethiopian agriculture is dominated by subsistence, low input-low output, rain-fed farming system. The use of chemical fertilizer and improved seeds is quite limited despite Government efforts to encourage the adoption of modern, intensive agricultural practices. Low agricultural productivity can be attributed to limited access by smallholder farmers to agricultural inputs, financial services, improved production technologies, irrigation and agricultural markets; and, more importantly, to poor land management practices that have led to severe land degradation. Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of soil nutrient depletion in sub-Saharan Africa. Estimates suggest that the annual phosphorus and nitrogen loss nationwide from the use of dung for fuel is equivalent to the total amount of commercial fertilizer applied. Land degradation is further exacerbated by overgrazing, deforestation, population pressure and inadequate of land use planning. There exists a gap between the scientific researchers and the users. A lot of findings from the research institutions and laboratories are not used by communities across the country. Research information on improved seed varieties, better farming techniques, post-harvest handling and marketing are not used by farmers either because the information did not reach them, either because the implementation of the received information is not clear. The gap between the researcher and the farmer is even wider in the rural areas; large distances separate researcher from rural farmer. Other barriers like language and diversity of cultures also come into play making it even more difficult for the research information to reach the intended audiences.
It is evident that development implies change, and the first change that takes place is the attitude of the people who will be directly affected by the development in this case, the farmers and rural communities. In order to achieve this goal, there must be a fundamental change in the way farmers approach agriculture and the rate at which they adapt new technologies, husbandry and farming practices.
In order to achieve this change both urban and rural communities need to be informed on the importance of adapting these new practices. Attempts by extension workers through demonstration farms and working with communities have not been sufficient to bring about change in attitudes. Radio has often been used to complement the efforts of the extension workers. However the use of radio as a mass media has its limitations such as poor signals, limited reach in certain areas, top-down approach, and limited airtime and in appropriate programming. This calls for a shift in the use of radio from mass media to community centered as already illustrated in the paper. McQual et, al (1979) noted that this media role emanates from a collective, organized source with a purpose and a clearly specified objective. It is targeted to a specific section of the population and conforms to established norms. Having these roles of mass media in promoting environmental protection, and taking in to consideration media scholars’ comments there is an organization in Ethiopia who broadcasts environmental program running on Jimma Fana FM 98.1 aiming at created a series of environmental radio programs designed to educate farmers, and to enable them to improve their agricultural practices. Farmer listeners were central to the development and implementation of the radio campaigns. The researcher noted that Forum for Environment works with different regional states of Ethiopia. But this study is dedicated to assess the impact of this environmental radio program sponsored by the campaigning name called `Forum for environment` and this environmental radio program making the community environmental issues and interactions in such a way that agricultural innovations encouraging them to take up new environmental protection practices that would improve their food security among certain peasant farmers in Jimma area.
The extent to which Jimma FM.98.1 Radio contributes to improving the environmental program and its situation of its listeners is not well investigated. This study examines the impact of Forum for Environment radio program of Jimma FM.98.1.
The questions below serve to further break down the aim and objectives of this research in order to simplify them and guide the focus of the thesis. This research based itself on the Forum for Environment radio program, a sponsored radio program in this case radio for its development and research dissemination in Ethiopia in special reference to communities around Jimma town, where the radio transmission reaches. The results may be of general relevance, but may also not be directly applicable to situations of radio use in community development elsewhere.
Does the Jimma Fana FM.98.1 Forum for the environment provide its audience with enough information through its environmental program?
How do audiences of the forum for environment program of Jimma FM.98.1 perceive the program?
How far has the Environment program broadcasted on Jima Fana FM.98.1 raised community awareness?
1.3. Objectives of the Study1.3.1. General Objective of the StudyThe main objective of this study is to investigate effectiveness of the forum for environment radio program of Jimma FM.98.1 in addressing the environment information for the audiences.
1.3.2. Specific Objectives of the Study will be:
To identify whether Jimma Fana FM.98.1 Forum for the environment provides its audience with enough information through its environmental program
To examine how audiences of the environment program of Jimma FM.98.1 perceive the program;
To scrutinize how far the Environment program broadcasted on Jima Fana FM.98.1 raised community awareness?
1.4. Significance of the studySeveral studies suggest that radio programs contribute to social development and social transformation. This study does not intend to focus on the role of radio program rather it solely stresses on assessing the impact of a radio program that addresses environmental issues transmitted on air. Hence, by assessing the impact of the environmental program broadcasted by Jimma Fana FM 98.1 radio program in Jimma zone, the findings from this study will help employees and managements of Jimma FM.98.1. On the basis of the information they will get from the result of this study, they will plan to review similar other programs. Additionally, the result of this study will be used as source of information for future researchers, for those who will be interested to conduct research in the area. Moreover, the study can be used by policy makers, government and nongovernmental organizations who want to engage in environmental issues
It is also believed that policy makers gain new insight that can shape future policies. It will also inform advocacy, legislation, social mobilization and program design. Finally, the findings of this research can be a starting point for future research on food security and nutrition.
The results of the research are intended to fill gaps of current knowledge regarding impacts of radio programs in FM radio stations. It will serve as ground for further training and possible feedback in the implementation of research findings at all levels of interventions to researchers and development actors. This information will be combined with other studies to assist interested government and non-government agencies in Ethiopia in developing their long-term program to reduce environmental issues.
1.5 .The scope of the study
This research is thematically and geographically limited to its intent: assessing the impact of environmental program broadcasted by Jimma Fana FM 98.1. There are several issues to consider while assessing impacts of the program. The transmission reaches communities dwelling on 100km radius. However, given limitation of budget and time, this study limited to the impact it has on the lives of communities that dwell in Jimma town and its surrounding.
The study briefly discusses the status of the radio program taking environment as a case. A cross sectional survey will be handled taking sample audience from all walks of life. It highlights key features and facts of the current status of the program in the case of regular followers of the radio show. The research paper further draws implications to media practices and recommends key actions for the way forward at addressing cross cutting issues like environmental through transmissions of radio programs. In conclusion, the report underscores the need to address audience preferences in a comprehensive, structural and sustainable way.
1.6. Limitation of the Study
A number of limitations are acknowledged in this study. The main limitation of the study was related to exclusion of audiences at distance. This was due to the fact that the study was limited in its scope in that it solely focused on assessing experiences of audiences in Jimma town and its surrounding; it does not show the views of the audiences across the transmission radius of the radio wave.
Finally, causality is difficult to establish in this study since it used cross-sectional data. Therefore, limitations in design stemming from cross-sectional data, reliance on single-item measures, or failure to adequately control for factors that may misperceive the observed relationships make it difficult to assess the strength of the findings.
The data that will only engage those who are close to the town to enumerate without duplication may be misleading for policy purposes because the data might not show work contribution and regular presence in the case area. While individual-level data are used, generalizations cannot be made about the focal children in the survey.
1.7. Organization of the Thesis
This research will be structured in five chapters. The first chapter presents the research topic together with the justification and background. It also includes problem statement, research questions, objectives, scope, limitation and structure of the paper itself. The second chapter provides a review of the literature pertaining to transmission of programs like environment on radio channel. It also emphasizes on the impacts of transmitting environmental issues for social development and social transformation. Conceptual definitions, theories and perspectives will also be dealt under this section. Chapter three of this study describes the research methodologies adopted for gathering and organizing data for the effect of the study. Chapter four deals with data presentation, analysis and discussions made on the results/findings. Conclusion, recommendations and synthesis of the results for the development of policy actions with respect to research objectives and significance; as well as implications are drawn in the fifth chapter.
Chapter Two: Review of Related literatures
2.1. Clarifying the Environment
The traditional understanding of nature has been that it is a system created by God for the sustenance of humans. The general belief was that the Earth was the hub of the universe and man had a central place in it. It was also believed that the environment was a static entity with little or no possibilities of change (Kumar, 2013). This had been the dominant view until the advent of enlightenment in the early modern history. However, with the growth of scientific thinking and reason, it came to be gradually accepted that neither the Earth was at the axis of the universe, nor the Humans were the core constituents of the Earth. Science also established that there has been continuous change in the nature of environment all along the history of the Earth, though the speed of change differed for different components of nature and even this speed had not been uniform. This holds true for the evolution of both living and non-living components (Kumar, 2013). The understanding and use of the word environmental quite often tends to be associated with some kind of human impact on natural systems. This context distinguishes it from the word ecological, which can be characterized as a concept of interdependence of elements within a system (Morelli, 2011).
Literary, environment means the surrounding external conditions influencing development or growth of people, animal or plants, living or working conditions etc. (Singh 2006,). In fact, the concern of all education is the environment of man. However, man cannot exist or be understood in isolation from the other forms of life and from plant life. Hence, environment refers to the sum total of a condition, which surrounds a point in space and time. The scope of the term Environment has been changing and widening through time. In the primitive age, the environment consisted of only physical aspects of planet earth’s land, air and water as biological communities. As time went on, man extended his environment through his social, economic and political functions (Singh 2006,).
History reveals that the human race was once afraid of nature and the natural forces. Human beings have worshiped nature and considered nature as superior to human race. Enormous increase in human population, nevertheless, raised the demand for development and increased the consumption of various natural resources resulting in environmental deterioration (Kumar, 2013)
Various mitigation efforts have been underway in response to increasing abuse of the environment committed mainly by human beings who would have otherwise been major beneficiaries of conserved environment. Environmental protection and conservation activities need to take a holistic approach considering various aspects. As cited in Roba (2012), UNCED (1992) formed the basis of Agenda 21, which finally moved the debate from being about how to stop “mining resources, to recognition of long-term sustainability and achieving sustainability needs, to the social, economic and environmental aspects of development. This placed environmental matters squarely within the domain of human development, and led to an understanding of the underlying importance of the environment as it relates to people.
The environment may be broadly understood to mean our surroundings. It can be divided into non-living and living components (Kumar, 2013). The environment, Kumar further states, provides resources which support life on the earth and which also help in the growth of a relationship or interchange between living organisms and the environment in which they live. It is important to realize that humans enjoy a unique position in nature due to their exceptional ability to influence and mould the environment. Until recently, the term nature’ was used synonymously with the word environment’. It had been generally believed that nature is what man has not made (Kumar, 2013).
The consideration of common features in these definitions can help the research in informing it on the main activities and issues involved in relation to the environmental awareness creating and mitigating endeavors made by Jimma Fanna F.M.
2.2. Overview of Environmental Issues in Ethiopia
While Ethiopia is a country of great geographical diversity endowed with rich natural and human resources, these conditions also create huge environmental problems. Due to these environmental problems, Ethiopia is one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of the environment in Africa as well as in the world (Environmental Protection Authority (EPA 1998 cited in Roba 2012). This vulnerability of the county is derived from multiple stresses coupled with low adaptive capacity. Ethiopia’s economy and ecological system are fragile and vulnerable to climate change. Environmental challenges in Ethiopia include climate change, soil degradation, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and pollution of land, air and water. Ethiopia’s economy is also highly dependent on natural resources. Exploitation of these natural resources may generate large economic benefits in the short term. In the long term, unsustainable use of these natural resources increases not only environmental degradation, but it also decreases economic growth and livelihood opportunities (César & Ekbom 2013).
During the last few decades, Ethiopia has experienced massive environmental degradation due to natural factors, unwise use of its natural resources, unsound ecological practices and population pressure (Bielli, et al., 2001). Environmental degradation is most severe in the highlands, especially in the northern half of the country due, in part, to different reasons. Aynalem (2014) identifies the following major reasons.
History: long history of settlement
Primitive land-use practices which included clearing of vegetation cover for farming and fuel, and lack of innovation in farming practices
Vague legal environments of land ownership and uncertainty of tenure with the resultant fragmentation of land-holdings
Government policies, including a move toward collectivization in the1980’s and 1990’s which deprived rural citizens a sense of ownership and entitlement to the land they farmed
Exponential growth in population numbers
Climate change, drought, and the resulting population dislocation
cultural animal husbandry involving the overstocking of grazing land as well as use of dung and crop residues for fuel
Several decades of war and conflict (northern Ethiopia)
Lack of capital resources for investment in environmental rehabilitation
Among the harmful consequences of environmental degradation, land degradation is the most serious environmental problem in Ethiopia. Land degradation is one of the greatest threats which strike at the basic resource of the population, particularly in countries like Ethiopia, where large proportions of the population depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Land degradation is one of the subjugating main causes for increasing numbers of people to remain in poverty, suffer from shortage of food and deteriorating living conditions (Bielli, et al., 2001)
The Ethiopian population is experiencing climate change and its impacts on the environment and natural resources. Continued climate change is expected to bring greater variability, and extreme weather events (e.g. droughts) which will further drive degradation of the country’s ecosystems. The impact of climate change in Ethiopia is already apparent in the increasing temperature and declining rainfall, particularly in northern parts which are exceptionally vulnerable to drought (César & Ekbom, 2013). Climate change is already taking place now, thus past and present changes help to indicate possible future changes. Over the last decades, the temperature in Ethiopia increased at about 0.2° C per decade. The increase in minimum temperatures is more pronounced with roughly 0.4° C per decade. Precipitation, on the other hand, remained fairly stable over the last 50 years when averaged over the country. How-ever, the spatial and temporal variability of precipitation is high, thus large-scale trends do not necessarily reflect local conditions. The projected increases in the inter-annual variability of precipitation in combination with the warming will likely lead to increases in the occurrence of droughts. Furthermore, heavy rains and floods are projected to increase as well (Keller, 2009).
2.3. Awareness about the Environment in Ethiopia
The relevance of the topic of this research, information is very crucial for decision making on environmental issues and for dissemination of current environmental information to the public at large. In view of the pivotal role that information plays, the Environmental Policy has incorporated it as one of the cross sectorial policy issues (EPA).The environmental policy of Ethiopia designed in 1997 emphasizes the need for environmental education and awareness to have a population with knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivation and commitment enabling to work individually and collectively towards solutions of current and future environmental problems (EPA 1997).
Environmental education envisions the increasing of awareness and understanding of the environment through formal and informal education. Practically, most of Ethiopian local population and government officials may be aware of the degradation problems but not the root cause of these problems (Bekalu 1995 cited in Roba 2012). Knowledge of the root causes of environmental degradation was not given much attention in the past since the emphasis was on raising public awareness about the environmental problems. Understanding the current status and root causes of land degradation are critically important and the government has to educate, spread awareness, involve and motivate everybody in the country to conserve the local flora and fauna, soil and water resource, and all other natural assets the country has been endowed with (Bekalu 1995 cited in Roba 2012).
2.4. The Role of Media on Environmental Awareness
Environmental awareness involves communication campaigns for reaching various audiences, developing messages and selecting and/or producing the appropriate resources and media to reach these audiences. The aim of environmental awareness is to make people from all walks of life aware of specific issues related to their surroundings, including living and non-living elements, e.g. land, soil, plants, animals, air, water and other humans, as well as awareness of their built, social and economic surroundings, and the impacts of our actions on these (ERMD, 2011). Awareness is a necessary but not a sufficient element of social change. The aims of awareness-raising activities are more limited in scope than environmental education and the processes should not be confused. While they cannot, on their own, achieve the required educational outcomes outlined above, awareness-raising can be a component of broader and more in-depth education processes (ERMD, 2011).
According to EPA (2006), the overall capacity for the promotion and awareness creation of environmental concerns is weak (has not been adequately developed). The essential capacity to raise and promote environmental awareness at all levels through the enhanced and effective use of mass media is still in its infancy. More specifically, the following are still lacking:
Environmental awareness, although essential to good citizenship, is not always a prominent feature of education programs in institutions of primary or higher learning. Agenda 21 states that education is critical for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of the people to address environment and development issues, moreover, education is stated to be an indispensable means of achieving environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behavior consistent with sustainable development and effective public participation in decision-making (UNEP ,2007).
Wezel and Haigis (2000), write that media coverage of the environment is poisoned by inconsistencies, distortion, and misrepresentations of the data. The problem in part has been insufficiency of environmental information in printed and electronic media and the lack of depth of writers on the subject. Such contributions by the press according to Ongkili (2004) have been ad-hoc and the problem sounding rather than problem solving (Ongkili, 2004 cited in Ogunjinmi, et. al., 2013). Environmental news coverage is typically devoid of scientific explanations and pro environmental mobilizing information and has been crisis or event oriented. Furthermore, coverage of environmental issues had centered on dramatic, improbable environmental risks and has emphasized problems and conflicts instead of solutions (Buell, 2005 cited in Roba 2012).
The Ethiopian public media (print and broadcast) has a long history. However, there are currently less than a dozen radio stations and a small number of print media outlets, nearly all of them in and around Addis Ababa. These media’s air time on environmental protection may be seen in the context of difficulty to initiate sponsorship and fund-raising for media programs on environmental issues as opposed to doing such promotions for sports, music and other entertainment packages (EPA1997 cited in Roba 2012).
2.5. Theoretical Framework
This section discussed in brief the various theoretical underpinnings and conceptual frameworks related to communication for development as applicable to this research.
2.5.1, The Development Journalism Model
There is a close link between environment and sustainable development which is used in the broad perspective and the overall development of human beings without any distinction (Awan, 2013). This interaction can be characterized as one of interdependence. Just as development is impossible without a good condition of the living environment, so quality environment cannot be maintained in inhabited or intensively exploited areas without their sustainable development (Stojanov, R 2007). Thus, development journalism is one important model for this study.
Development journalism had different definitions in different contexts. In some places it meant the communication process being used as a tool to serve the development goals of state journalism, which was practiced by all forms of media and played the same role in promoting the total development plans of a government (Fiji Institute of Applied Studies, 2008). Development journalism comprises the reporting on ideas, programs, activities and events, which are related to an improvement of the living standard, mainly in the rural regions. Basically, it is assumed that journalism is able to influence the development process by reporting on development programs and activities.
Accordingly, it is the journalists’ duty to critically examine and evaluate the relevance of a development project to national and local needs, the difference between a planned scheme and its actual implementation, and the difference between its impact on people as claimed by government officials and as it actually is (Aggarwala 1979 in Wimmer & Wolf, 2005, p.2). A more professional definition of development journalism existed in other places. There, development journalism was treated as being similar to investigative journalism. Journalists who wished to make a legitimate report on development issues needed to engage in critical examination of events, situations and processes they were reporting about. In this case, journalists had a task to observe critically and report on the whole government development process, which included planning, implementation, impact and shortcomings as they were. The role of journalists was not to support the state’s development goals without questioning. Instead, it was to make sure that the development process was accountable and transparent (Fiji Institute of Applied Studies, 2008). The reporting on national and international events is only desirable if they constructively contribute to the development and improvement of the living standard (Kunczik 1995 cited in Wimmer & Wolf 2005).
2.5.2. Social Responsibility Theory
It is well known that social responsibility theory is one of the four theories of the press that mainly focuses on the media’s discharging of duty stems from their existence within the society. Serving the public interest through promotion of development activities, advocating environmental protection- since environment is a major part of development- , etc. are among the main responsibilities of media which this theory underpins.
McQuail, in his (1983) book, Mass Communication Theory, explained that social responsibility theory has a wide range of application, since it covers several kinds of private print media and public institutions of broadcasting, which are answerable through various kinds of democratic procedure to the society. The theory has thus, to reconcile independence with obligation to society. Its main foundations are: an assumption that the media do serve essential functions in society.
According to Baran and Davis (2012), social responsibility theory appealed to the idealism of individual media practitioners and tried to unite them in the service of cultural pluralism even when this might reduce their profits or antagonize existing social elites. Social responsibility theory challenged media professionals ‘ingenuity to develop new ways of serving their communities.
Nerone (1995) also said that it seems an open question whether social responsibility theory makes demands on the macro level. Certainly the theory expects, some kind of stewardship of media resources on behalf of the public, certainly it expects the media to be educators. But at the same time it avoids detailing structural changes that would allow performance of these functions.
2.5.3 Framing Theory
The framing theory has been developed by communication scholars in their examination of media contents. McQuail 1994 (cited in Roba, 2012), states that the ideas of salience and framing provide frameworks through which the degree of issues can be examined and explained. In this regard, the concept of framing can be said to be a component of environmental communication theory, particularly in the study of the coverage of environmental issues in the mass media. The framing theory has been defined and explained by various scholars. Each researcher attributes functions and specific characteristics to frames according to the specific level of the communication where he thinks they are placed. The first level is the making and treatment of news, the production of the information by journalists and the media. The second level is the message in itself – that is to say the concrete contents of news and the third level is the reception of the message by the audience, the effect frames have on those who receive them (Amadeo, 2007).
In a nutshell, framing is a comprehensive theory that includes the news making process, the formal characteristics of the pieces of news as well as their reception by the audience. It focuses on underlying social values shared by journalists and their community, values that are either explicitly mentioned or suggested in the news. It explains the transfer, strengthening and modification process of the social set of values, symbols and norms from the mass media to society and vice versa (Amadeo, 2007).
Understanding of the framing role of local and national media helps the researcher to explore awareness creation and program formation of Jimma Fana F.M 98.1.
RESEARCH METROLOGY3.1. Introduction
The main objective of the study is to examine the environmental program of Jimma Fana F.M 98.1 which is produced by Forum for Environment nongovernmental organization. To meet these objectives, the study will employ both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
This research is both qualitative and quantitative. It is a result of triangulation of both qualitative and quantitative research methods that make possible the gathering of different kinds of data. The qualitative methods, allow a deeper understanding of the research subject to dig out the tones of measuring the use and effectiveness of radio in poverty alleviation in small scale farming communities. Quantitative methods will help to bring out empirical data that both complement and authenticate the qualitative analysis and conclusions. The basic assumption of all triangulation is that the weaknesses of each single method are compensated by the counter-balancing strengths of another. This being a case study research means that the research will be much more focused and limited in scope to be managed within the time allowed and resources available. The methods intend to provide an objective, unbiased evolution of data. Undertaken as a scientific and academic research, this research strives to be systematic, controlled, empirical and a critical investigation. It borrows from the basic tenets that distinguish scientific research from all other types of research as outlined by Wimmer and Dominick (2000:11) that it must;
Include information on sampling methods, measurements and data gathering procedures for other researchers to verify or refute a given report.
Allow for correction and verification of previous research findings.
Be objective- The researcher should deal with facts and not interpretations of facts.
Be empirical. Researchers are concerned with a world that is knowable and potentially measurable.
Be systematic and cumulative.
Jensen and Jankowsk (1991) contend “data collection in qualitative research involves a variety of techniques: in-depth interviewing, documents analysis and unstructured observation. It is these techniques that make up the qualitative component of this research. The following research procedures and methods will be explained in this chapter; sampling, case study, participant observation, qualitative interviewing, content analysis, audience research and questionnaire survey.
Sampling and Justification
3.5.1. Sample Size
The researcher will work with a convenient sample of 100 respondents (Small scale Farmers Listeners, Community Leader. Forum for Environment program director, Agricultural Bureau representative and Radio Producer/Presenter? for questionnaire survey). The reason for this will be to achieve the best results within the limited time, resources and scope of research in a manner that will accomplish the research objectives.
3.6. Sampling Methods
Two sampling methods will be relied on during the research in the field. The sampling methods depend on the research method that will be at a particular time. The two methods will be the most appropriate to quickly gather data from the field. The methods used will be; snowball sampling and convenience sampling.
3.6.1. Snowball Sampling
To be able to undertake qualitative interviews snowball sampling will be used. I will rely on Forum for Environment Communications to refer me to those people they worked with in their Radio program productions and development communication work who could give me informative interviews about the radio program. Through this sampling method, I will manage to draw a short list of my interviewees. Deacon, et al (1999:53) metaphorically defines snowball sampling as, “Like a snowball rolling down a hill, a snowball sample grows through momentum: initial contacts suggest further people for the researcher to approach, who in turn may provide further contacts.” The communities pass for what Deacon et al refer to as very closed or informal social groupings, where the social knowledge and recommendations of the initial contacts are crucial for opening up and mapping tight social networks. It is in such settings where snowball sampling is mostly used. The possible limitation of this method is the likelihood of having many versions of the same issue biased by the personal linkages of initial contacts and those they refer. This justifies why triangulation of methods is important. I will manage to go round these possible limitations through participant observation.
3.6.2. Convenience Sampling
Field circumstances already explained above, time, transport and financial resources demanded that only those most accessible people to be interviewed. Expedience, chance and opportunity rather than deliberate intent will determine the sample of respondents. Convenience sampling relies on what is available to the researcher. This sampling method was helpful in the questionnaire survey.
3.7. Research Methods
3.7.1. Case Study Method
In terms of research methodology, this thesis is a mix of audience survey program content analysis and a case study component. In general term the mythology largely tends to be qualitative. Yin (1984:13) says that case studies are the preferred method when the researcher has little control over events and when the focus is on answering the „why? and „how? question about a contemporary phenomenon within some real-life context.
A case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple evidences are used. (Yin. 1984:23)
The radio program is run by the Forum for Environment with the partnership of Fana FM 98.1. Forum for Environment also has a standing memorandum of understanding with the Fana FM to work in the farm communities. Without using the Forum for Environment radio program as a case study, researching the same and accessing the field will be going to be a nightmare. Taking the case study route also helped me to do the audience survey. Indeed, the overall research question being answered in this thesis is-radio “why” and “how”. To answer this question a real-life case study presents a good opportunity to study radio from a specific case and context.
3.7.2. Participant Observation
The researcher will participate in the program production to be able to peer into the inner sanctum of radio programming and working with the small scale farming population. For two days he spent the whole days as part of a production crew for the radio programs to be aired in the month March of 2018. The crew included communications people from Forum for environment radio program, a jimma fana FM 98.1 Journalist (producer/presenter) and the researcher . The researcher was privileged to be introduced to the small scale farming as part of the forum for environment volunteer producer. This allowed him an opportunity to see and dig out the most deep seated evidence and information needed to answer those research questions. It was much easy to ask anything the researcher wanted to know from the production crew and the members and representatives of the small scale population. Any informative documents about the radio program and Forum for environment `s work were provided at ease. The researcher was able to immediately verify what he was hearing from interviews during and before the fieldwork with what I the researcher was seeing on the ground.
Participant observation was therefore used to improve upon other research methods applying what Hansen et al (1998:44) say about participant observation as a method that deploys a number of methods including observation. Indeed as the scholars argue, “participant observation is the only method by which the normally invisible realm of media production can be recorded and made available for wider consideration.” It is predominantly a qualitative method. The researcher was able to assess community participation and the hidden truths of power dynamics, control and agenda-setting process involved in the radio program. The method of participant observation, although not without weaknesses, has the following strengths:
Records and makes the invisible visible
Counters the “problem of inference?
Improves upon other methods through triangulation
Qualifies or corrects speculative theoretical claims
Reminds us of the contingent nature of cultural production
Participant observation was further justified by the fact that “there is always a discrepancy between reports of attitudes gained through interviews and observation related to those attitudes.” (Jensen and Jankowsk. 1991:61). As a participant observer the researcher kept a detailed record of both objective observations and subjective feelings mostly on the spot and later whenever remembered something from the field.
3.8. Qualitative Interviews
In-depth interviews will be carried out with the following categories of people. The number of interviewees is limited so that they could be manageable.
Forum for Environment managers
Agricultural Bureau representative
The interviews will be structured. Informed consent of the interviewees will be obtained in advance and during the interview processes. Informed consent encompasses notifying the research subjects about the overall purpose of the research and the main features of its design, as possible risks and benefits from participation in the research project. Without this initial step, it would not be easy, if at all possible, to get interviews from people familiar with the sensitive issues. An interview guide will be developed containing rough and general topic to be covered by interview questions in answering the research questions. The interview questions will be designed in a manner that they promoted positive interaction. Keeping the flow of the conversation going and motivated the subjects to talk about their feelings and experiences, the guide will be common to all interviews (structured and unstructured) only to be segregated accordingly to be directed to appropriate interviewees during the course of the qualitative interviews. The structured interviews will be formal so that the researcher should introduce himself and the intentions to the interviewees. The unstructured interviews will be those that the researcher will carry out during participant observation in which the researcher does not tell the interviewees that a research is carrying out but simply and promptly start to talk to them in natural conversation.
3.9. Content Analysis
In order to examine the environmental program of forum for environment in Jimma Fana F.M 98.1, the inclusion of content analysis to the methods is imperative and supportive. Contents of series of episodes of the produced program and documents will be used as object of analysis for the study. The texts are selected randomly to do the quantitative analysis.
Quantitative content analysis is an empirical method used in the social sciences primarily for analyzing recorded human communication in a quantitative, systematic, and inter-subjective way. Material for such analyses can include newspaper articles, films, advertisements, interview transcripts, or observational protocols, among others. Thus, a quantitative content analysis can be applied both to written and audio material.
When measuring the news documents that will be used in this research, the authenticity and credibility would not be questioned since almost all news documents are to be collected from their original possessors.
3.11. Research Instruments
A questionnaire will be designed to interview the audience who listen to the radio program. Structured interview questions will be drafted for the following people; community Leader, Forum for Environment managers, Agricultural Bureau representative and a Radio Producer/Presenter. The strength of this research lies in the fact that different research methods, both qualitative and quantitative will be applied to gather data. This will allow complementarily of the methods such that weaknesses of one method are compensated by another method. The quantitative methods are the only means to undertake audience research and to pick out the issues of priority to the small scale farming population for deeper content analyses. Qualitative methods present an open ended opportunity to gather deep seated information, which allows for more informative analysis and conclusions.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the results of the study after exploring respondents’ reactions to questions regarding to effectiveness of the forum for environment radio program of Jimma FM.98.1 in creating awareness about environment among the audience.
It provides data analysis and interpretation of results on respondents’ reaction to the relevance of environmental protection based agricultural content broadcast on radio, and its influence in changing farming practice. The researcher used triangulation, a method that combines both quantitative and qualitative data to achieve the objectives of the study. The data collection methods were varied; the researcher used structured questionnaires, in-depth interviews with key informants and focus group discussions. Selected quotes from the respondents involved in the study are also presented. Data from farmers was gathered using structured questionnaire, while agriculture experts and radio producers were interviewed using a questionnaire guide.
Studies indicate the potential for significant yield increases as the environment is well protected. To make these potentials a reality, farmers need access to information on environmental protection and sustainable technologies. The Government of Ethiopia has strong commitment to build green economy and to this end, it has designed policies on climate change. Moreover, the Government of Ethiopia has indicated its commitment to helping small-scale farmers overcome challenges of climate change and improve their productivity.
Farmers need to gain knowledge of climate change and environmental protection. To bring this into a reality, a mass media-based communication strategy that regularly shares knowledge with and among farmers and helps farmers voice their needs and interests is needed.
Though radio ownership is not universal in rural Ethiopia, radio remains the cheapest alternative to transmit information as it is the best medium that reaches majority of farmers in their own language in and unconstrained by illiteracy. Forum for environment project came up with an approach to address the need for knowledge of environmental protection with more effective way and provided a model of a communication strategy that can be scaled to large populations and evaluated for effectiveness.
The study focused on different categories of respondents: farmers, the program, Forum for Environment, and agriculture experts (extension officers) and program producers and directors. The research sample was composed of 93 farmers and farming related respondents, the initial respondents were drawn from Jimma zone through convenient sampling; ensuring they are farmers and were indeed listeners of Jimma Fana FM 98.1 and listeners of Forum for Environment program.
A total of 107 questionnaires were distributed to respondents in Jimma, where 93 were listeners of the station particularly, the radio program under study, Forum for Environment. A decision was taken to go forward because the data gathered was found excellent in its representation for the part of content analysis. These respondents are from surrounding 5 rural kebeles and 2 suburban small holder farmers.
Three respondents were selected randomly from each of the four years bringing the total of respondent to 93.
Out of the 93 respondents, 61 were male (65%) while 31 (33%) were female while 2(2%) of the respondents are un known.
Demographic Characteristics of Respondents
Table 1 presents demographic information pertaining to participants of this study who filled out the questionnaire. Data pertaining to the demographic characteristics is dealt under the table.
Table 1 – Distribution of the farmers based on socio economic characteristics
S.N Items Responses Frequency Percentage
1 Gender Male 61 65.6
Female 31 33.33
Undermined 1 1.07
Total 93 100
2 Marital Status Married 79 85
Divorced 3 3.2
Widowed 2 2.1
Unknown 9 9.7
Total 93 100
3 Age group 18-30 years 21 22.6
31-42 31 33.3
43-54 24 25.8
55 years and above 14 15.1
Unknown 3 3.2
Total 93 100
4 Educational attainment Adult education 7 7.5
Primary education 45 48.4
Secondary education 10 10.8
Illiterate 31 33.3
Total 93 100
Sources field survey, 2018
According to the previous table, participation of women in Forum for Environment is great this finding is a reflection of the important place the women have in agriculture sector and their use of mass media.
Out of the total 92 respondents who tallied the gender boxes, 31(33.3%) were women. This finding confirmed the surveys of other scholars who have concluded that the use of radio, like all ICTs, is gender neutral. However, it is evident that women can have access to radio than men which is exactly in contrary to Myers (2008). Myers earlier survey in Eritrea (2004) revealed several factors that affect rural women listeners, namely: men’s ownership and control of radio sets, women’s lower levels of education (and lack of knowledge of languages other than their mother tongue), and women’s higher and more constant domestic workload which left them little time to devote to radio listening is reversed in the case of Forum for Environment radio program. Radio is the best way to reach rural women given they account for two thirds of the world’s illiterates.
In addition, information access and listening habits for men and women were different. The timing and mix of programs became important for radio stations. AFRR would argue that to ensure that both men and women were able to listen, broadcasts (and repeats) were aired at different times. The best time for women to listen to the radio is the evening, as most of the household and fieldwork is done in the morning.
Table 1 finding revealed that about 22.6% of young people listen to Forum for Environment agricultural radio program. This Study has shown that Forum for Environment Jimma Fana FM 98.1 audience increasing above 42 years of age while fewer young people attend to mainstream media and have a preference for FM stations whose format emphasizes entertainment. This finding is in agreement with different former literatures like a report on the Forum on Communication for Development & Community Media for Family Farming Rome-Italy, 2014 as it observed that Agriculture is not an attractive opportunity for youth that are not willing to take up farming as a profession. From the in-depth interview with the researcher understood that there are other reasons for lack of interest in agriculture among young people. It is attributed to customary social systems that are so oppressive or restrictive, youth are also aware of urban-rural inequalities and aspire to standards of living not typically associated with agricultural livelihoods in Ethiopia and some African countries like Tanzania, for example, young people reportedly regard farming as a dirty activity„ without proper facilities, while in South Africa teenage girls point to the low status ascribed to farm children compared to children living in towns and villages.
Attainment of education was found to have a positive relationship with the individual1`s attitudes towards change agents and as such favorable attitude to innovativeness. the findings in the Table 1 showed that most (48.4%) of the farmers had primary education, while (31%) of the farmers have some education in informal ways, or rational education .the finding implied that almost all farmers had attained one type of education or the other from this table we can deduce that level of education was found to affect his or her access, compression and adoption of modern agricultural practices.
Table 2 Distribution of the farmers according to source of agricultural information and radio ownership (N=93)
Items Response Frequency Percentage
1 Source of environmental and agricultural information Radio 88 94.6
Others sources 5 5.4
Total 93 100
2 Do you own a radio? Yes 88 94.6
No 5 5.4
Total 93 100
As shown in Table 2, majorities of (94.6%) of the respondents access information regarding environmental and or agricultural issues via radio programs while (5.4%) of them access through other means. This indicates that majority of the respondents in the study area relied on radio as their sources.
Radio as an important type of mass media played a vital role of enlightening farmers about government agricultural policies and disseminations of agricultural information to farmers. Based on this, many farmers like having transitory radio through which they are able to listen to both agricultural and non agricultural information .Table 2 of the finding showed that majority (94.6%) of the respondents had radio sets while (5.4%) did not owned a radio sets. This implied that most of the farmers had access to radio, which is termed a step forward towards having access to information .this also in accordance with farm radio international studies that the ownership of radio set by farmers is an important factor that indicates the physical availability of the medium and exposure of the audience /farmers to radio agricultural program.
Table 3 Distribution based on radio program (Forum for Environment)
S.N1 Frequency Percentage
1 Listening radio program Yes 88 94.6
No 5 5.4
Total 93 100
2 Why not
No promotion about the program 88 94.6
Batteries problem 5 5.4
Total 93 100
3 Dissatisfaction on the radio program The environmental program is not educating 88 94.6
No interest in environmental program 5 5.4
Total 93 100
Sources field survey, 2018
As shown in Table 3, majority (94.6%) of the respondents were found to have listened to Forum for Environment radio show while (5.4%) did not listen to the show. This is an indication that a greater percentage of farmers in this study area had access to environmental information according to them.
The finding in Table 3 also revealed that out (5.4%) of the respondents replied that they did not listen to the environmental radio program in their context. The findings of the study imply that clear promotion of the show and attractiveness would make the farmer to realize how a particular how is being demonstrated step by step.
Table 4 – Distribution of the farmers based on the format of Forum for Environment agricultural radio program (N=93)
Item Response Frequency Parentage
Format Discussion 52 55.9
Interview 42 36.7
Drama 2 2
No response 5 5.4
Total 93 100
Sources field survey, 2018
In order to arouse the interest and create awareness among the farming listeners, radio stations normally presents their program in diversified formats. As indicated in Table 4 of the result, majorities (nearly 56%) of the respondents view that the format of the radio show they listened to was presented through presentation or discussion by an expert and or an extension worker while (2%) of the respondents expressed that the radio show they listened to was presented through dramatic presentation. The rest (42%) witnessed that they listened to an interview format. This implies that majority of the farmers listened to Forum for Environment agricultural radio show that were presented through discussion or in dramatic format which is more attracting the framers to listen. This finding is in line with the Forum for Environment radio program content analysis which is dominated by the format the farmers liked most per the table 4 finding. According to Forum for Environment core values the program is in accordance with audiences choice at the same time the program is predetermined as the agency agenda setting in such a way that agricultural radio program in question is set as entrainment communication because performances such as storytelling interview and drama could facilitate development of agricultural extension program through the rapid diffusion of new technologies.
Table 5 Distribution of respondents based on the time of listening to Forum for Environment agricultural Radio program (N= 93)
Items Response Frequency Percentage
Time of listening to Forum for Environment
radio program Morning 16 17.2
Evening 77 82.8
No Response 0 0
Total 93 100
Sources field survey, 2018
4.11 Convenience time for listening to Forum for Environment Radio program
Rural farmers were mostly found to have been engaged with either farm or domestic activities all the day long. Primal time to listen to any agricultural program is very essential but time sacrificing .therefore, any environmental or agricultural radio program that needs the attention of farmers has to be aired at farmer’s primal time. As indicted in Table 5, majority (82.8%) of the farmers listened to Forum for Environment agricultural radio program is during the evening hours, while a little over 17% of the respondents wanted to listen the environmental radio program in the morning .This finding is in line with Forum for Environment that the program that aired in the morning would be repeated in the evening, thus the Forum for Environment radio program does not miss its audience in any case. This primal time issues in agreement with the Jimma Fana FM 98.1 core values in such a way that the listening group determines their primal time at the same time the station they want the program be aired on.
Table 6 Distribution of the Respondents based on the knowable gained through Forum for Environment agricultural radio program (N=93)
Knowledge gained Appropriate and correct application of fertilizers 12 12.9
Agricultural practices 38 40.9
Prevention of post-harvest losses 16 17.2
Appropriate treatment for various animal diseases 15 16.1
Access to agricultural loans and credit 10 10.75
No responses 2 2.15
Total 93 100
Sources field survey, 2018
Knowledge Gained from Forum for Environment radio program aired
The main essence of using radio to diamante information to farmers is to create awareness and convincingly demonstrate to farmers on how such an improved technology could be practiced. The demonstration could be made in diversified format with he aim of attracting the attention of the farming community and ultimately make conducive environment for them. So that they can change their attitude and adopt the technology, knowledge, practices disseminated. The findings in the Table 6 indicated that (40.9%) of the respondents in the target group gained knowledge of agricultural practices through Forum for Environment agricultural radio program aired and (almost 13%) of them gained knowledge on appropriate and correct application of fertilizer, again (16%) acquired knowledge of treating for various animal and plant diseases. The finding also showed that (a little over 10%) of the target audiences got information about agricultural and credit facility issues and still (17%) got issues in relation to post harvest losses while (2%) did not get any type of knowledge different from their former practices. Despite this all the respondent said that they have big problem in their market linkage which I would say time missed market in this radio program.
Table 7 Distribution of the farmers according to adoption of Forum for Environment radio program (N=90)
Item Response Frequency Percentage
Adoption Yes 90 96.7
No 2 2.2
Missing 1 1.1
Total 92 100
Sources field survey, 2018
Adoption of information aired through Forum for Environment radio Program
The main essence of creating awareness through radio program is to make the small farming community aware and convincing through appropriate attracting format which would persuade the farmer to adopt the innovation as indicated in Table 7 of the findings, the majority (almost 97%) of the respondents adopted the new practice disseminating through gained knowledge from the Forum for Environment agricultural radio program. Farmers in the study area adopted the environmental protection disseminated through radio due to the availability of the media sources as well as its portability and the format in which the program was aired. Drama as a rational means of information dissemination permits diversified possible endings by enabling audience participation which is aimed at changing the attitude of participants of such means of communication.
Table 8 Relevance of Forum for Environment agricultural Radio program (N=93)
Item Response Frequency Percentage
Relevance of the radio
Program Highly relevant 30 32.2
Very relevant 26 28
Partially relevant 15 16.1
Relevant 17 18.3
Not relevant 5 5.4
Total 93 100
Sources field survey, 2018
Table 8 of the result indicated that (32%) of the small farming in the study area ranked Forum for Environment agricultural radio program as highly relevant in relation to their agricultural activities, 28% of the respondents expressed their view that Forum for Environment agricultural radio program is very relevant while 16% of the small scale farming confirmed as the Forum for Environment agricultural radio program is partially relevant to their issues of agricultural activities .furthermore 18% of the respondents have the opinion of Forum for Environment radio program relevant in their life, while only 3% of the respondents said that Forum for Environment radio program were not relevant in their agricultural activities.
Table 9 The distribution of small farmers based on the effectiveness and importance of Forum for Environment radio program in awareness creation (N=93)
Items Response Frequency Parentage
Effectiveness of Forum for
Environment radio program Strongly agreed 30 32.2
Agreed 58 62.4
Not decided 0 0
Disagree 5 5.4
Total 93 100
Importance of Forum for Environment radio program Yes 88 94.6
No 5 5.4
Total 93 100
Sources field survey, 2018
The Importance of environmental Radio Program
The core value of airing environmental radio program by a given mass media is to sensitize and educate farmers about improved ways of environmental protection and uses needed to be adopted .as shown in Table 9 of the result ,the majorities (94.6%%) of the farmers audience were of the onion that the Forum for Environment radio programs were very important to them in their agricultural practices while only (5.4%) of the respondents have the view of the program as it wasn’t important to their agricultural business life. This indicates that the larger number of the study area communities valued the Forum for Environment radio program as very important and relevant in their agricultural life. From the in-depth interview and observation they improved their level of income and got access to good nitration values, at the same time this finding is in agreement with Forum for Environment survey of 2011 that most of those who access the Forum for Environment radio program adopted new ideas and shared knowledge which made increased their level of income.
Table 10 – Forum for Environment radio program participation
Item Response Frequency Percentage
Participant in the Forum for Environment radio program Yes 88 94.6
No 5 5.4
Total 93 100
Sources field survey, 2018
Table 10 Ethiopia has widespread extension support for small-scale farmers, so this finding is not surprising. But friends and neighbors and radio were also very common sources of information. This is important because radio and word of mouth (via friends and neighbors) have been demonstrated in several life studies 95% of the Forum for Environment listeners participate in the program . This finding is in line with the model itself indicating that the program is audience participatory. This suggests that a well-produced radio program combined with extension support and word of mouth can reach a good proportion of farmers with accurate and timely agricultural information. It also suggests that radio can act as a catalyst and that, as mentioned above, the total impact of radio programming is greater than its impact on direct listeners.
In this case the researcher made deep interviews with the radio program producer , management men
CHAPTER FIVE – DISCUSSIONS, CONCLUSION, AND ECOMMENDATION
Agriculture Knowledge to Farmers is Significant
The findings of this study confirm that respondents’ need for environmental information is very important.
Information is a core determinant of success inhuman endeavor such as storage of farm produce towards food security, (Sokoy et,al. 2014). Rural communities which depend mainly on agriculture rely on indigenous knowledge for innovation and adoption. Indigenous knowledge, however, is insufficient if the farmers are expected to increase environmental protection for sustainable development. This means that formal and informal knowledge and innovation must therefore be linked to accelerate sustainable agricultural development.
According to International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI 2009), knowledge is not the preserve of science and new knowledge but an interactive, bottom-up, social process (EIP 2013). The IFPRI policy briefs define knowledge as organized or processed information or data is fundamental in the pursuit of innovation, and innovation as the means putting ideas, Knowledge and technology to work in a manner that brings about a significant improvement in their Product quality. Farmers on their own part need to know how to protect their environment and increase their yield, how to use new techniques and the findings of contemporary environmental protection and how to operate in changing market and credit situation (Lucky and Achebe 2013:12). Perkins (2012:15) observes that many agricultural innovations have been developed by researchers and by small-scale farmers themselves that, if adopted on a wide scale, would make a significant contribution to increasing food security and reducing poverty.
It is a fact that information has the power to turn around the fortunes of farmers around the Africa In general and that of Ethiopia in particular . This is because agriculture is the backbone of African economies being the largest employer and contributor to wealth creation and poverty alleviation.
Radio is the most Accessible Medium to Farmers
The second major finding of this study is that radio is the most accessible medium to farmers aged over forty years, majority of respondents listen to radio compared to television and Newspapers. Even in the fast changing world of communication and emerging of new ICTs radio has proved difficult to replace because it is ?in constant expansion (UNESCO 2001). Radio is as a mass media channel is repeatedly finding itself the preferred medium for communicating information about agriculture innovations as its reach far exceeds any other mass media channel, and as such a powerful tool for information dissemination and access especially for hard to reach rural audiences (Myers 2008:5).
Radio is used extensively as a communication medium in developing countries to support educational program in teaching, health, literacy training, nutrition education, and the Promotion of changes in farming practices to improve agricultural production (Nwaerondu & Thompson, 1987).
The rationale for using radio in extension and advisory services came from an understanding that radio is an excellent, cost-effective means of sharing knowledge, building awareness, facilitating informed decision-making and supporting the adoption of new practices by small-scale farmers (FRI, 2007). According to Sharma (2008), radio is the reliable medium that can cover wider area and can reach to the large number of people. The strength of radio as the medium of communication is that it is cost effective in terms of transmission, presentation and portability (Khanal 2011).
An effective method of dissemination of agriculture innovations to farmers remains a challenge to Africa’s agricultural sector such that some scholars have recommended new concepts for Communication with farmers and researchers where radio plays a central role. (Spurk et al. 2013) is yet another reason for turning to radio. Radio is considered important because regular transmission of radio programs related to agriculture gives valuable information about new farming methods (Khanal 2011:201). Such successes have been recorded by the Agricultural Information Resource Centre a division in the ministry of agriculture in Kenya and other African countries which are charged with the responsibility of promoting information on agriculture innovations to farmers, agriculture extension experts trained in radio package agriculture program are aired on the public as well as private stations (Kiplag„at, 2003:6). Radio has continued to influence food production and food security of farmers through transmission of relevant content however the challenge is for agricultural communicators today is to develop and package messages and content that appeal to their target audiences the farming constituencies (AFRI 2012).
Farmers Voices in Environmental Programs are More Desired
The research findings revealed that farmers prefer to listen to fellow farmers they could identify with, this is because the farmers speak in a language they can understand. While interviews with specialists were welcome they found them too technical and hence the need to integrate with farmer interviews for better understanding.
The participation of rural farmers makes the programs more interesting and effective as the message and information easily gets through creating a sense of ownership (Khanal 2011:202). According to McRoberts & Frankie, few farmers decide to adopt a novel farming technique solely based upon information received from mass media or extension officers. External factors may create interest in and awareness of innovations, but the actual decision to adopt a new technique is usually not taken by the majority of farmers until information and practical experience from peer-farmers is received. This statement is supported by David and Asamoah (2011:26) who observe that the use of local facilitators creates a sense of ownership and adds to the credibility of technical messages participation then becomes an effective communication tool as farmers can identify with them and consider change of behavior. Radio producers of Forum for Environment said when they interviewed farmers they were more likely generate interest and feedback from the listeners with requests for more information, the farmers also receive calls for further information from fellow farmers known to them after such interviews are aired.
While inclusion of farmers in environmental programs is desirable by both the audience and the radio producers at the stations there are challenges that hamper inclusion of farmers „voices in the programs. Andrew Moemeka (1980:44) observes that there is lack of interaction between Producers and consumers of programs before the programs are planned, produced and broadcasted so most of the programs though seemingly relevant are not always based on
firsthand identification of urgent needs as indicated by the audience concerned. Moemeka (1980:4).
Resource challenges of radio have made radio rather than engaging its audience it has become predominantly concerned with the search for larger audiences Girard (1992:2). This situation leads to a passive audience depicted by Kevin Williams (2003:172) as passive recipients of media messages with little or no say in how they interpret them a situation he perceives as providing the audience with the power to resist. William (2003:64).
With effective capacity support radio stations and their personnel, broadcasters can produce high-impact radio programs and phone-in shows, facilitate and record community discussions and debates, document the experiences of individual farmers and other value-chain actors, put farmers„ questions to subject specialists, The need to harmonize availability of services by stakeholders with environmental information is important as was depicted in the case in which farmers asked why wood products were promoted without ensuring that a seedling system was in place MEAS (case study # 8 February 2014). The involvement of small scale farmers in programming is effective as revealed by FRI in their comprehensive Participatory Radio Campaign (PRC) approach that includes Understanding farmer information needs and in the entire program design such that the uptake of detailed knowledge of specific environmental protection among small scale farmers, adoption of protection and sustainable usage , such that on average one in five households living in the passive listening communities actually introduced environmental protection
The power and potential of radio use for advocacy and communication has been demonstrated and is recognized in this research. The quantitative audience survey has revealed that radio is more popular in rural community . The major determinant for this position is that the program was produced and aired in the language and culture they understand . This radio has showed its greatest ability to cut across literacy levels, reaching the literate, less-literate and illiterate people, be they rich or poor. However, looking at it from the point of view of the small scale farming case study, this power of the radio is limited at natural resource that he has surrounded by . The lack of organized value chain of others stakeholders or structured listening limits the impact of the programs, although this research has tried to do so with limited success. More people also expressed during the audience survey that they prefer the radio programs to continue broadcasting in the local language, which makes it possible for them to feel more like the program is theirs.
Based on the findings of the study , it could be concluded that Forum for Environment radio program is an effective means of communicating agricultural to the small scale farmers and as such an effective tool in creating awareness about improved agricultural information most especially among small scale farmers in rural areas .The findings revealed that the majority of farmers that listened to environmental program were more males within the active productive ages of 31-42 relatively with a good number of women participation and of course with less number of young population . All the farmers were found having one type of education or the other more especially informal type of education and with good number of primary education.
It was also observed that almost all the farmers received information on the protection of environment from Forum for Environment radio program and most of the information disseminated through the Forum for Environment radio was aired through discussions (talking) by the radio programmer or an expert on the field based on the findings of the study ,knowledge of certain environmental practices such appropriate and correct application of seedling preparation ,nursery preparation, saving the place from were obtained. The study reveals that knowledge obtained through Forum for Environment radio program were very important, highly relevant and effective in solving farmer’s environmental protection problems.
According to table 7 only developing the best program content doesn’t make the listening good but also program format. The finding clearly indicate that to create awareness through radio program for the small scale farming community the stations need to develop a convincing and appropriate attracting format which would persuade the farmer to adopt the protection per this study, the majority (97%) of the small scale farming adopted the environmental protection disseminating through gained knowledge from the Forum for Environment radio program, due to the availability of the media sources as well as its portability and the format in which the program was aired. Drama as a rational means of information dissemination permits diversified possible endings by enabling audience participation which is aimed at changing the attitude of participants of such means of communication.
As indicated in Table 8 (32%) of of the small farming in the study area ranked Forum for Environment radio program as highly relevant in relation to their environmental activities ,27 % of the respondents expressed their view that Forum for Environment agricultural radio program is very relevant while 16% of the small scale farming confirms as the Forum for Environment radio program is partially relevant to their issues of agricultural activities .furthermore 17% of the farming communities have the onion of Forum for Environment radio program relevant in their environmental information life, while only 3% of the respondents said that Forum for Environment radio program were not relevant in their agricultural activities. From this diversified onion of relevance issues it can be for granted that the need of agricultural radio program is demand driven innovation both for the individuals and community at large.
95% of the Forum for Environment listeners participates in the program. This finding is in line with the model itself indicating that the program is audience participatory. This suggests that a well-produced radio program combined with extension support and word of mouth can reach a good proportion of farmers with accurate and timely environmental information. It also suggests that radio can act as a catalyst and that, as mentioned above, the total impact of radio programming is greater than its impact on direct listeners.
The audience survey brought out audience preferences that show the potential and suitability of radio as a medium of communication to the small scale farming community population. However, this should not be taken to mean that the radio strategy is the most sustainable. The sustainability of the radio program is determined by the Forum for Environment and Jimma Fana FM 98.1 marriage of convenience and financial and technical resources to bring radio more to the people. Broadcasting in the local dialect language and the accessibility of radio sets and waves compared to television and newspapers, makes radio popular and more suitable. What remains to be done is e informed actions. Then to adapt the radio medium to more participatory approaches that will take radio down into the people?s hands as a technology for community media. Despite the limitations, this research arrives at a conclusion that radio remains a suitable mass medium for community development. Although it is not an answer to poverty and deprivation by itself, it is a potentially helpful starting point for cutting back the border lines of human suffering.
Based on the findingsof the studywould be necessary tosuggest the following recommendations:
Environmental focused radio stations should be established within the reach of the farmers.
There is need for effort in providing more environmental information program to farmers through radio especially in the primal time of the leisure times of the farmers in general and that of women and youth in particular .
The public and Non-Government, civil societies in general and organization who have development programs should sponsor environmental programs particularly those have strong capacity to innovate farmers environmental protection practices.
Environmental radio program practitioners should develop relevant and attractive program format in such a way that they can attract the youth
The researcher recommends that station managers invest in agriculture programming and should consider building partnerships with organizations in the environmental sector for both technical and financial support for sustainability
The findings of this study emphasize the centrality of knowledge in environmental protection and that farmers rely most on radio to get information about environmental protection while extension remains the most trusted source despite its challenges. There is need to integrate extension services with radio agriculture programming in order to effectively serve rural farming communities. It is imperative that environmental protection institutions and radio stations form partnerships to overcome challenges that both sides experience.
Radio is repeatedly the most preferred mass media channel easily available to rural farming communities. It is cost effective in terms of transmission, presentation, and portability (Khanal 2011); qualities that enable farmers to receive information and to bring change in farming methods and applying new techniques .
Radio producers and stations need to find sustainable ways of packaging innovative programs; .partnerships with environmental protection institutions in producing programs would be more sustainable compared to donor funded Programs. Extension agents ought to be aware of the weakness and opportunities that radio offers and ensure they employ a multi-sectored approach in communicating environmental protection information to farmers.
The voice of the farmer in radio programs enhances the credibility of the programs and encourages the adoption of environmental protection for farming audiences thereby increasing productivity.
Radio stations need to invest more in the participation of farmers in the programs if they are to be effective and sustain listenership as intended.
As critical players in the agriculture sector the youth have a right to information about agriculture innovations for their complete and meaningful engagement in environmental protection. From the findings it is obvious that few young people listen and interact with agricultural radio program. A new approach to attract young listeners to environmental programs is recommended, the producers ought to consider ,Youth Radio which broadcasts programming that is produced by or for young people Shipler (2006). Young people are known to be versatile in their use of ICTs, such Programs should have a multi approach in the use of ICTs; which combines radio, social media, and the mobile telephony.
Ethiopian Government ought to see its environmental protection policy because model has been criticized for being a model characterized by =top-down„, =linear„, =rigid„ approaches were criticized for their reductionist perspectives and the passive role of farmers (Taye 2013) and neglect of societal actors as contributors to innovation, and for considering only one source of legitimate knowledge (Lewis 2004; Knickel et al., 2009). This method was abandoned in the 1990s (Zhou) and now a more inclusive
approach to sharing knowledge has been adopted, working Collaboratively, national agricultural research institutes, international research centers, farmers, and extension services have already produced numerous research results that have led to increased knowledge and environmental protection (IFPRI 2009).
Other development sector in Ethiopia should come to the rationale for using radio in extension and advisory services understanding that radio is an excellent, cost-effective means of sharing knowledge, building awareness, facilitating informed decision-making and supporting the adoption of new practices by small-scale farmers (Farm Radio International, 2007).
Ethiopia need to see the strength of rural radio as an extension tool is widely regarded to lie in its ability to reach illiterate farmers and provide them with information relating to all aspects of environmental protection based agricultutre in a language they understand; Radio is affordable, accessible to the illiterate, can use local languages, and can give voice to end-users critical for effective agricultural extension and environmental protection and advisory services FRI (2007).
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ANNEX 1: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR FARMERS and related
STUDY ON THE IMPACT OF RADIO AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMMES ON SMALL SCALE FARMERS
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR FARMERS
Date of interview: Name: (Optional)
Region: __________ Zone ________ Woreda : _______Kebele: ___________
SECTION 1: DEMOGRAPHICS
1. Gender : Male Female
This questionnaire is for a study on the impact of radio “Forum for Environment program
on small holder farmers in the fulfillment of my MA degree in Journalism and Communication. Your consent will be highly appreciated. Your answers will be held in confidence and used only for the purpose of this study.
2. Age: (a) 18-30 ( b) 31- 42(c) 43-54 (d) 55- and above
Marital status mark (x)
Level of education:
(a) None(b) Primary(c) Secondary (d) Graduate (e) informal education
How often do you access;
i) Weeklyii) Bi-weekiii) No access
What is the reason for your weekly access (of your preferred medium)?
LISTENERSHIP TO FORUM FOR ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM
Do you listen to agriculture program on Oromiaradio ?
Can you rate its relevance
A. relevantB. highly relevantC. low relevantD. not relevant
Is Forum for Environment radio program educative ?
If not why:…………………………………………………………………………………
At what time do you listen to the program?
MorningeveningNot at all
When type of format do you like listen to the program? Mark (x)
What is Sources of agricultural information? mark (x)
Do you have radio? YesNo
Are the topics addressed in the program relevant to your agriculture activities?
What knowledgedid you get from the program content? mark (x)
Aappropriate and correct use of fertilizer Bagricultural practices
prevention of post –harvest losses
appropriate treatment for various animal dieses E access to agricultural loan
Have you been able to practice what you heard in the program?
How helpful (if at all) did you find what you heard in the program to your farming activities?
What aspects of the program would you like to be improved?
ANNEX 2: GUIDE FOR AGRICULTURE EXPERTS
STUDY ON THE IMPACT OF RADIO AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMMES ON SMALL SCALE FARMERS
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR AGRICULTURE EXTENSION OFFICERS
Date of interview: Organization:
What is the number of farmers you serve? This questionnaire is for a study on the impact of Forum for Environment radio agricultural program on small holder farmers. Your consent will be highly appreciated. Your answers will be held in confidence and used only for the purpose of this study.
a) How do you mostly communicate agriculture extension information to farmers?
166179530099000343217527686000Have you ever used radio to communicate agriculture information? YesNo
What are the advantages of radio?
What is your experience of using radio programs to communicate agriculture? information? (please discuss the radio programs format you have been involve in)
Are the topics addressed in the program relevant to the information needs of small scale farmers ?
How do you know you are reaching the farmers with agriculture information when using radio?
What is the impact (if at all) of radio programs on agriculture in improving farming practices of small scale farmers?
What are the limitations of using radio in communicating agriculture information?
How can radio programs be improved to effectively communicate agriculture information?
ANNEX 3: GUIDE FOR RADIO PRODUCERS
Name of Radio Station
Title of Radio Program
Duration of program
The period the program has been on air
8.Program format (i.e state if it is a magazine, use of interviews, call-in or pre-recorded
What issues are covered in the program.
.How the topics the feature in the program selected?
.Who/what (institutions and experts) are your sources of information?
.What is the feedback system used in the program? ie SMS, letters etc
.How you respond to issues raised by the audience?
.How do you determine the impact of the program to the audience?
.How do you ensure fairness, balance, and use of accuracy in your programming?
. How do are you equipped to handle agriculture issues which are mostly scientific?
Comment on the challenges you face in covering agricultural issues and how you Overcome them.