#CommunityBroadcastAfrica: "Sector Prioritise Community In Content Generation," Says Thabang Pusoyabone - NCRF
Thabang Pusoyabone, the General Secretary at the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF), believes that community broadcasters must prioritise community participation in content generation, driving the local economy and education. In an interview with Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) ahead of the forthcoming Online Forum on Understanding Effective Regulatory Framework for Community Radio Broadcasting, Thabang urged stakeholders to collaborate and ensure challenges such as statutory compliance issues are resolved.
Below is an excerpt of the conversation Thabang had with the BMA on the forthcoming Forum where he is a featured speaker and panellist:
BMA: What influenced your decision in agreeing to take part in the Online Forum on Understanding Effective Regulatory Framework for Community Radio Broadcasting?
Thabang: Community Radio is encountering various challenges that require collaboration with all stakeholders to create solutions for many of these challenges. The challenges include statutory compliance, sustainability, content generation, technological advancement, skills development and many other challenges that require sector bodies, regulators, grantmakers and others to rethink the development of community broadcasters.
BMA: In your opinion, how do we advance the field of Community Radio Broadcasting?
Thabang: Community Broadcasters have a definite and distinct function of facilitating access to development information. This role must consistently be highlighted through platforms that speak to decision-makers so that their attitude reflects proper understanding when regulations are developed and when funding decisions are made.
BMA: Do you have any advice for individuals and organisations new in the broadcasting and media space, especially those who would like to enter the community broadcasting arena?
Thabang: The workers and leaders within the sector must always prioritise community participation in content generation and decide on the leadership/boards of the station. The station must play driving public education, art development, safety issues, etc. Community Radio has the potential to be central to all developmental activities happening within communities; it offers access to information, can direct and redirect communities to information and opportunities and, in the final analysis, act to strengthen the local economy and education.
BMA: Could you please tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry event?
Thabang: The importance of exercising proper oversight and control. The importance of participating in the development of regulations ensures that a conducive environment exists for community radio to exist and flourish. The importance of creating good content that can be supported by grantmakers and which in turn will bring meaningful development to the local people.
About Thabang Pusoyabone: Thabang Pusoyabone is an experience community media practitioner. He spent his adult working life on the radio. He has gone through the ranks from being a presenter, newsreader, journalist and occupying almost all strategic management positions in a community radio station until he was called upon to be the Station Manager. He is a driven and professional mentor to many of his peers in the radio sector. Thabang has worked in the radio industry for almost 20 years. He started his radio journey in 2001 on Riverside Community Radio in the Northern Cape as a presenter and newsreader. He took the positions of Programs Manager, Technical Manager and Marketing Manager of the radio station before being appointed as the Station Manager in 2005.
Thabang will be speaking at the Online Industry Forum under his capacity as General Secretary at National Community Radio Forum.