ICT as an Engine for Community Participation: An Assessment of Uganda’s Community Media

ICT as an Engine for Community Participation: An Assessment of Uganda’s Community Media

Brian Semujju (Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda)
DOI: 10.4018/jicthd.2013010102
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This paper discusses two issues prevalent in community media: Information communication technology (ICT) and Community participation. While several studies have explored community media and ICT in Uganda (Nassanga, 2003, 2009a, 2009b), the view that ICT has changed the way media operate to an extent of reversing the agenda-setting role to the listeners (McQuail, 2006, pp. 38-39; Straubhaar & Larose 2002, p. 386) needed investigation. Using Kagadi-Kibale Community radio (KKCR), the paper shows how ICT is spreading in one Ugandan region and the relationship that technology has with participation in community media activities. Findings show that there is need to redefine the relationship between ICT and geographically defined community media as usage of ICT is dependent on forces that still require decades to harmonize. The paper therefore suggests that an alternative to community media, herein called Basic Media, is best suited to match the communication patterns of a developing world.
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Ict And Community Participation

ICT is the technology used in conveying, manipulating and storing of data by electronic means. It includes, but not limited to: satellite, internet, computer, and digital storage devices (Hang, 2005). In the West, where there is more advanced technology, Williams and Carpini (2004, p. 212) say that, the growth of ‘cable and satellite television, the internet and the World Wide Web, the availability of video cassette recorders and remote TV- controls’, and so on, now define what Marshal McLuhan’s 1953 article on Harold Innis (Peters, 2009, p. 16) and later in 1960 (McQuail, 2006, p. 36), called new media. In Uganda, with one in 12 people using the internet (UCC, 2012), there is a certain minority consuming media on-line especially print, as most newspapers in Uganda are online.

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