The role of ZNBC radio one in influencing rural populations: a case of political communication on democracy in Katuba ward ,Central Province of Zambia
This study is set out to investigate the role of ZNBC Radio One in influencing rural populations: A case of political communication on democracy in Katuba Ward, Central Province of Zambia. Descriptive research design method was used. 100 self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 100 respondents and a semi structured questionnaire was administered to 11 employees at ZNBC Radio One. Three headmen from Shamwinda, Manyama and Selengwe villages of Katuba Ward in Mungule area were interviewed. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in collecting and analysing data. This allowed the researcher to triangulate the information provided. Quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and was presented using pie charts, frequency distribution tables and bar charts. Producers at ZNBC Radio One said did not broadcast programmes to educate the rural populations on politics and democracy in 2014. They said programmes which are of democratic and political nature were only broadcast upon being sponsored by other organisations. Producers at ZNBC Radio One said the radio station does not carry out public opinion polls in an election year or any given time nor does it give equal coverage to all candidates involved in an election. The respondents said they did not receive sufficient information on politics and democracy. 49 percent of the respondents who participated in the research said they get information on democracy and politics from headmen who are opinion leaders and not the media. 81 percent of the respondents are illiterate as they cannot read and write while 26 percent were not up-to-date with general knowledge on national issues. The study recommended that management at ZNBC Radio One needs to re-organise its programme schedule to ensure that it starts broadcasting programmes to educate rural populations and communicate matters on politics and democracy. ZNBC should consider to formulate a policy that will allow it have responsibility over its programming even for those programmes that are produced by sponsors. There is also need to ensure that programme scheduling is based on public interest and not in the interests of sponsors and advertisers. Additionally, government should reduce interference on ZNBC Radio One in order to allow it fulfil its mandate as a public service broadcaster.