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Youth Audiences and Social Media Integration in Community Radio Stations in South Africa: A Case Study of Zibonele FM and Bush Radio

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Converged Radio, Youth and Urbanity in Africa

Abstract

Digital media applications have significantly reconfigured power relations between journalists and youth audiences, with the latter increasingly taking centre stage in news production ecologies. Using the concept of participatory journalism, this chapter examines the appropriation of digital media technologies in micro spaces of community radio stations in South Africa and how it is reshaping the production of radio programmes aimed at South African youths. The study focuses on two community radio stations in the Western Cape province of South Africa: Zibonele FM and Bush Radio. The study employs a qualitative approach consisting of in-depth interviews with station managers, producers, and journalists and selected social media posts from the stations’ Twitter and Facebook accounts. The data collected using in-depth interviews is further triangulated with participant observations and qualitative content analysis data. The study’s findings show that community radio stations in the Western Cape have embraced social media applications into the news production process. This has enhanced participatory journalism by allowing youth audiences to influence news production in the community media space in South Africa.

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Correspondence to Trust Matsilele .

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Matsilele, T., Makwambeni, B., Nkoala, S., Bulani, G.J. (2023). Youth Audiences and Social Media Integration in Community Radio Stations in South Africa: A Case Study of Zibonele FM and Bush Radio. In: Tsarwe, S., Chiumbu, S. (eds) Converged Radio, Youth and Urbanity in Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-19417-7_8

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