LRC FUTURE PLANS
OVERVIEWThis five year Strategic Plan is a result of the major prioritizing joint venture with a common objective. Lutheran Radio Centre (LRC) is an institution or centre of media communication available in Tanzania since the early 1960's. Like other media communication, RVOG is also subjected to change due to technological, socio-economic, political, cultural and religious changes. LRC was established and built in l963. The main objectives of LRC were the proclamation of Christ in his world. The Radio enjoyed its broadcasting signal all over East and Central Africa, Middle East and the Far East in 1960' and l970's. The broadcasting was then made possible because the recorded programmes produced (prepared) here in Lutheran Radio Centre Moshi were shipped to LRC in Addis Ababa Ethiopia for re-transmission to various areas as mentioned above. Notwithstanding all such achievements, it did not last long. This was because the Marxist Ethiopian Government of Mengistu Haile Mariam nationalized LRC in 1977. Therefore, Lutheran Radio Centre Moshi suffered a huge set back until it shifted to FEBA Radio in the Seychelles in 1978. It later obtained a franchise at Trans World Radio (TWR) in Manzini Swaziland in 1979. LRC has since then been broadcasting programmes of one hour and fifteen minutes. The airing of this programme is very expensive. In fact RVOG had to pay over Tshs. 75,000,000/= (seventy five million Tanzanian Shilling) to TWR annually. Since 1994, LRC did improve her broadcasting by launching her FM stereo transmitter. Yet the radio cannot meet the great demand in the Communication media market of the area. Currently, there are FM transmitters located mostly in the Northern Zone of Tanzania that include Manyara, Arusha, Meru, Kilimanjaro and Tanga Regions. That is, the coverage is only reaching a population of five million out of a desired number of over 100 million in East Africa. Moreover, the present facilities are not satisfactory in meeting the needs. The buildings of RVOG Moshi were built in 1963/64. Being old buildings, they need renovation as well as re-modelling in order to accommodate modern facilities. Many of the studio and radio equipment and other related facilities are worn out needing modernisation, repairs and rehabilitations.
LRC IN ENHANCING THE EXTENSION OF THE GOSPELLutheran Radio Centre is here to stay because of its functional arm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. That is to say, in extending the Gospel of God as revealed in Jesus Christ to this God's created, but troubled world. In so doing, RVOG provides good opportunities for the development of skills and talents especially of young people, and utilize then in carrying the mission of the Church in the World. RVOG creates a place where many can be heard and provides opportunities for bringing the Church of Christ much more closely too many people of all walk of life. Through the LRC course, the Church teachings and preaching are more effectively, efficiently, and easily extended and channelled to more people than when done only within Church buildings, or Church gatherings. The society as a whole is comforted and even healed by God's teachings and preaching, especially through Church music aired by LRC. It is now true that in these days of globalization RVOG is much more needed because of the following reasons:- · Our society all over East and Central Africa is becoming more secular and spiritually going astray. This is so due to circumstances of interactions of peoples as they relate in economical, political and social activities and engagement. · Our society in the area of East and Central Africa is more pluralistic in character, at the same time going through lot of life upheavals. Within the society, there are Christians of different backgrounds and traditions. Worse, there are Muslims of different sects of whom some are more radical than others. However, a large section of the population in East and Central Africa remains traditionalists. On the other side, the differing of political ideologies enhancing multi- partyism democracies and civil wars have affected the lives of many people to a great deal. While economically, more people are getting poorer year after year, socially, many people have life grievances. Therefore, all need good news to comfort and console them. · There are so many radios and other means of media communication that have brought a lot of impact on people's lives, which leave much to be desired day after day. · Instability and insecurity within the society tell us how much the society is fragile and therefore need a strong support in addressing such problems. · The modernization processes undergoing within our society due to globalization influences, calls for old and new issues to be addressed and dealt with. · It is quite normal that each new generation of Christianity needs to hear anew the Gospel of God revealed in Jesus Christ. This is their right for God "Abba" of Jesus Christ desires to come to everyone for each generation in all and places.
FINANCIALCONSTRAINTSPresently, LRC needs about TZS 8,000,000,000/= in oder to implement its strategic plans gearing proclaiming Jesus Christ into His Woorld via modern media transmission channels by year 2010.
The financial constraints facing LRC is one of the major threats which as a result, has made it difficult for LRC to purchase modern equipment. The situation also makes it difficult for RVOG to employ people with modern skills. For that matter, RVOG ends up being a training ground for others thus cannot compete with other radios. The other threat is the high and unpredictable taxation system involved in licences and other related government revenues. This problem is certainly evident when it comes to commercial programmes. Poor salaries and benefits have led to potential staff to leave the organization. LRC is rather stagnant in many aspects. For example, the geographical and programme coverage is very small compared to the public needs and the coverage of other radio stations. Low coverage directly means less customers and income.
Some of the national and international economic policies have direct or indirect implications to RVOG. For example, the national taxation policy exposes an individual or institution to many taxes, which at the end of the day becomes a heavy financial burden, thus a setback to institutional or individual development. The same applies to Government policy on salary scale increases. It is important to note that salary increase has to go hand in hand with the institutional income increase. The main customers of LRC are Christian groups and evangelists. Most of the customers in this group are economically weak. Therefore, they cannot afford to pay high fees for the radio services provided by LRC. The other reason is that they prefer using the services of other radios, which currently are of high quality compared to those provided by LRC. Modern equipment is expensive; therefore, with the current income it is not easy for LRC to purchase machinery and facilities abroad. At the same time, the amount of donor grants is declining all the time. Therefore, it is not easy to import radio facilities and imports using donor grants. So far LRC has not been able to sell effectively its products and services due to a number of reasons explained above i.e. unskilled personnel, lack of promotion unit, old equipments, inability to compete in a liberalized market, unmotivated staff etc.
Historically, LRC has a good image and popular in the society. It addresses day-to-day common spiritual, moral and social issues. It provides spiritual answers and alternatives to people of all classes, categories and peer groups. The LRC brings together people at family and community levels and people from all sorts of backgrounds. LRC has proved to be a good tool for providing education to as many people as possible at one given time. However, the opportunity has not been fully exploited.
Currently LRC uses FM signal. This technology is limited and expensive. For radios that use FM, signal system to expand its geographical coverage it has to construct many boosters. Therefore, any time the radio wants to expand, it has to construct more boosters. The other technological option is using the satellite technology, which is very expensive and difficult to control. However, it is possible for LRC to have satellite adventure through TWR. g living-hope to all.