Radio 786’s approach remains unique. It serves both the educational, informational and cultural needs of the community. It has positioned itself as an alternative station, always striving to consider and approach issues in a fresh and interesting way, while also entertaining the diverse views and opinions of the community it serves.
Apart from simply reporting on issues, Radio 786 tries to understand the sociological matrix in which events occur and thus to inform the listeners of the solutions to those challenges. Radio 786’s credibility enables it to secure interviews with personalities and organizations that hold influence and can contribute to addressing those challenges.
Instead of placing its primary emphasis on audience ratings, the station strives to maintain a high standard of thoroughly researched programmes, which are produced and presented in consultation with specialists and experts from the community. Radio 786’s news and actuality, social welfare and other programmes therefore do not rely on sensationalism to achieve its goals.
Two examples illustrate this approach:
- A father in Bonteheuwel committed suicide by throwing himself and his two children in front of a moving train. Radio 786 covered the story by exploring the social circumstances that led to this incident. The station’s reporter retraced the path taken by the man as he made his way to the station, before committing the act, while considering the surrounding circumstances that could have played a role in his decision.
- The reporter also placed the event in a historical context, looking at the makeup of the family structure and general surrounding in the said community. The incident formed the departure point for further discussion on suicide, handling and finding rational solutions to the aforesaid circumstances, security and protection for children, children’s rights and the responsibility of communities to provide help during times of need. All of the resulting angles were dealt with by experts in their fields.
- During the gang violence in Hanover Park and the surrounding areas, Radio 786 sent its reporter out to the affected regions, Radio 786 spoke to individuals, community organisations and the local community policing forum to establish the exact circumstances that led to the flare up in violence. These groups kept Radio 786 updated on the situation and fed tip-offs to the station.
- In addressing the situation, Radio 786 hosted interviews with the Provincial Police Commissioner, Mzwandile Petros and the Director of Policy Formation for the Department of Social Services, Sharon Follentine. The interviews explored issues related to gang rivalry and their impact on law-abiding citizens, the effect this has on children and youth, what policies are in place or being developed to protect youth from becoming involved in crime and what is being done to improve the situation of the communities living in gangster-infested areas.
- The role of the media in covering such issues was also explored, while the psychological impact of gangsterism and crime were also addressed. Listeners were further allowed an opportunity to interact and pose questions to the guests and propose solutions to the problems.
Radio 786 strives to maintain this approach in all of its programming, covering issues as holistically as possible. It has developed itself a niche market in this regard.