Effectiveness of the Media in Lusaka as a tool for the dissemination of economic information for poverty reduction: A case study of The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation(ZNBC)
Ilunga, Mwape Marvin
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This study was aimed at determining the effectiveness of the media in Lusaka, Zambia as a tool for the dissemination of Economic information for poverty reduction using ZNBC Radio II and the main television channel as a reference point. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative research methods such as use of quantitative questionnaires, In-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The research took lessons from other sources with the hope of making a difference in the lives of Zambians, especially the poor and vulnerable, by availing them Economic information and education that would improve their knowledge, skills and attitudes. This would enable them to develop behaviour which is critical in making selective engagement with financial products, thereby assisting them to get the required knowledge to better their living standards. The majority of people on the African continent, and Zambia in particular, do not use formal financial services. At the time of this study, available statistics showed that only 37 Percent of the Zambian population has access to financial products, formal or informal. This lack of access to financial products is both a symptom and a major cause of poverty since the low income populations are not able to benefit from the savings vehicles, transaction functionality, risk management tools, and various wealth-building options offered by supervised financial institutions, thereby perpetuating financial problems. The study found that ZNBC was a major source of Economic information in Zambia. In response to a question on their source for Economic or financial information, 35 people representing 28.2 percent of respondents indicated that ZNBC radio and television channels provided them the most Economic information. This was the biggest source of financial information followed by The Post newspaper at 13.7 percent of respondents. However, the study further indicated that poor programming and lack of economic or financial reporting qualifications among journalists at ZNBC were hindrances to effective economic or financial communication. The study concluded that improved programming, like introduction of edutainment also known as financial education through drama by ZNBC could interest its audience in economic or financial education programmes, which would ultimately assist them access financial products to improve their livelihood. Recruitment of communicators who were trained economists was also recommended as a way to improve economic or financial coverage by the national broadcaster.