This study examined the performance of Jimma University Community Oriented Radio (JUCOR) to identify
how it discharges its role as a platform to bring sustainable social change through community participation. The study chose Case study design as a method of inquiry. It employed in-depth interviews and secondary
document analysis as methods of data collection. The population of the study is JUCOR General Assembly
members, board members, station managers, journalists, and volunteers. Purposive sampling was used to select key informants. Of the 150 General Assembly members, eight were contacted, and of the board members, six were interviewed. Two managers, two technical heads, three journalists, and six volunteers working for the station were interviewed. The collected data were meticulously listened to, transcribed, thematically categorized, analyzed, interpreted, and discussed. Findings reveal that the radio‟s performance as a platform to bring about sustainable social change through community participation is very low. This was mainly due to problems related to the station‟s administrative structure, shortage of human power, financial constraints, and technical problems. These problems have significantly discouraged volunteerism and affected community participation in program production and presentation. The community‟s role in accessing, managing, owning, and controlling the station has also been significantly compromised. The finding indicated that the performance of the radio is not in line with the principles/characteristics of community radio; hence, the station did not fulfill its anticipated role of contributing to social change in/for the society in which it has been established. The study forwarded recommendations to improve the station‟s performance.
Keywords:/Communication for Social Change/Community Oriented Radio/Participatory