THE ROLE OF RADIO PROGRAMS IN PROMOTING PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE; A CASE STUDY OF RADIO AMANI

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ABSTRACT
After the 2007/2008 post-election violence in Kenya, many organizations, institutions and government agencies arose seeking to contribute towards restoring the country through peace-building and reconciliation. The organizations which included the media came up with strategies that encouraged the affected communities to dialogue as a way of bringing about healing, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence. This study focused on establishing the role played by radio Amani call-in peace program in promoting peaceful co-existence among communities living in conflict-prone areas of Nakuru East and Nakuru West sub-counties. The study investigated the level of community participation in the peace program, assessed the relationship between the peace program and other peace efforts in the area in order to determine the role played by the program in promoting peaceful co-existence. The study was guided by two media effects theories of agenda setting and media uses and gratification. The study adopted mixed approach with data collected by interview method and questionnaires. The data collected was thematically analyzed and presented using narrative for qualitative and frequency tables and pie-charts for quantitative data. The study established that radio programs play a big role in promoting peaceful co-existence among communities living in conflict-prone areas. The programs provide a platform where communities can engage, debate and articulate local issues to help generate solutions to the problems that bring about conflicts among them. Additionally, the study established that radio Amani peace program complements other peace efforts by creating awareness on the initiatives and also linking the communities to these initiatives. It is recommended that government compliments such radio peace efforts as away of helping ease tensions in areas concerned. Media practitioners running peace programs need peace-building and conflict resolution skills in order to make their programs more effective.

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