#CommunityBroadcastAfrica: "Community Media Born From Need To Advance Communal Development" – Tom Mboya, Kenya Community Media Network
Tom Mboya, the National Coordinator for Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET) and Board Member at World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), has expressed his passion for community radio during a BMA's chat.
Ahead of the forthcoming Online Forum on Understanding Effective Regulatory Framework for Community Radio Broadcasting, Tom shared his hope that the online Forum would understand and appreciate the different legal environments that exist within the community radio sector in Africa. Tom also hopes the event will assist in bringing knowledge about the basics of operating a community and the principle of community broadcasting.
Below is an excerpt of the conversation Tom 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?
Tom Mboya: I am a firm believer in freedom of expression and the right to access information. I also believe that no one can tell a people's story well and accurately as the people themselves, and as such, they need to have forums and or platforms where they can exercise this right. The forums can never be forums out of reach for the communities, and forums that the community and the community can only be a community media outlet. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us who are the proponents of community media service to safeguard the gains that have been made and continue to advocate for policies and legal frameworks that will facilitate progressive growth of the sector. As such, I take this Forum to be very useful in that regard.
BMA: In your opinion, how do we advance the field of Community Radio Broadcasting?
Tom Mboya: By safeguarding the gains and advocating for a conducive legal environment, encouraging and promoting community broadcasting initiatives, strengthening community media outlets and associations, building strong networks of community media practitioners and putting in place community media support strategies, including funding.
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?
Tom Mboya: Community broadcasting is not profit-driven, and as such, it is born out of a communal need to have a forum for them to advance their development in all spheres of their lives. So the process must be communal driven.
BMA: Could you please tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry event?
Tom Mboya: I hope that they will understand and appreciate the different legal environment that community radios in Africa are operating in; they will also learn the basics of running a community and the principle of community broadcasting, among other things.
About Tom Mboya: Tom Mboya is a C4D enthusiast, activist and human rights defender with experience of over 20 years in community organising, community media/broadcasting and advocacy for social transformation. Tom will be speaking at the Online Industry Forum under his capacity as the current National Coordinator at the Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET), Member of the Steering Committee of the Kenya Media Sector Working Group (KMSWG), Board member of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcaster – Africa Chapter (AMARC-Africa) and Team Leader at KOCH FM – Community radio station in Korogocho, Nairobi City County.