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Information Relevance

May 05, 2009 | Comments: 0 | Views: 146

Availability of information means nothing if the same information is of no use to the intended audience. For information to be relevant and be of any help it needs to be produced by people who have knowledge about the area as well as the dynamics of the community. Relevant platforms should be used to disseminate this information, what is the use of communication if it cannot be accessed by those in need. Information should be about enabling people to learn and apply the knowledge in their daily lives for it to make a difference. In our companies as well as our local governments we have a tendency of disseminating information, without finding out the needs of the recipients. This leaves people at ground level with no option but to ignore the messages because they are not part of their inception and you can never know what people need until you find out from them.

When developing a newsletter, newspaper or electronic media content, it is important to find out the needs of the target audience because they are the consumers of the content and they will vote with their feet if the content does not meet with their information needs. Community media, in this instance community radio can be the most relevant tool to get communities not only participative but excited in taking part in creating their own content and ensuring that it is relevant to them and their specific needs. Letting the ordinary community members run the stations empowers them with skills, the ability to think as well as development. There is a high rate of unemployment in South Africa today. This is partly due to lack of skills, illiteracy levels and basically low levels of education, companies need those for them to consider people for employment. Communities are forever complaining that the government is not doing enough for them. But one cannot help thinking that some of the things that the communities expect from the government, they could do themselves. It is not fair on the tax payers to pay for everything that our communities need, people within those communities could come up with ideas as well and meet the government halfway. Resources such as the community media could help empower people with knowledge that could be translated into skills they can use to empower and develop themselves.

Access to information is the key to taking a step about one's situation and relevant information makes it even easier for people to take a stand and get a move on towards the right direction.

Taken from: Community participation as an empowerment tool in community radio stations: the case study of Fort'e community radio pilot broadcast. February and August 2004.

By Thandiwe Mapi

Source: EzineArticles
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