Parliament radio as a tool for participatory communication and good governance: A case study of Mandevu Constituency
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In order to make Parliament responsive to the demands of multi-party politics, the Parliament of the Republic of Zambia embarked on an ambitious programme in 1993 to reform and modernize itself for good governance. Parliament Radio was born out of reforms to bridge the felt information gap between parliamentarians and the electorate. However, the question remains: has this station been a tool for participatory communication and has it helped to entrench the tenets of good governance? This case study of Mandevu Constituency is an attempt to investigate whether Parliament Radio has been an effective tool for participatory communication and good governance. Mandevu Constituency was selected because it houses parliament buildings and the radio station. This constituency therefore was within coverage of Parliament Radio from day one. The study used both quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection. Specifically, survey, content analysis and in-depth interviews were used to arrive at the findings. Results of the research reveal that although Parliament Radio is relatively well known among sampled constituents, its listenership is very low and its interaction with consumers of its products is dismal. The study therefore recommends that deliberate publicity plans be developed to engage the constituents in order for the radio station to become a better tool for participatory communication and good governance.