The Ethnic Imperative: Community Radio as dialogic and participatory and the case study of XK FM

Brillant Mhlanga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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This study is based on an assessment of XK FM as an ethnic community radio station for the !Xû and Khwe ethnic communities of Platfontein, in Northern Cape province. Various political undercurrents and factors are examined in this paper, namely the refusal to accept the two groups as separate ethnic communities and the anomalous creation of XK FM as a community radio station operating under the auspices of the SABC. These factors form the basis for our understanding of expectations of community radio. Most of all, a new phenomenon of ethnic minority media exist, giving five models that exist according to Stephen Riggins (1992): integrationist model, economic model, the divisive model, the pre-emptive model and the proselytism model. Further, the SABC-sponsored anomaly has created an ambiquity of deciphering the dialogic and participatory nature of community radio. It has also aggravated the need for answers on what a 'community' is within a community radio station, especially given the fact of two, often antagonistic, ethnic communities are beneficiaries of one radio station, which is also owned and managed by the public broadcaster. What were the historical and present complexities encompassed in considering the !Xû and Khwe as a single 'minority ethnic media community' and awarding them a radio licence? What is the nature and governance of community radio in general?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Citizen in Communication
Subtitle of host publicationRe-visiting traditional, new and community media practices in South Africa
EditorsNathalie Hyde-Clarke
Place of PublicationClaremont
ISBN (Print)9780702177781, 0702177784
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Broadcasting, community, ethnic-minority media, governance, participation, public service broadcasting


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