So how is Community Radio doing?

27 Aug,2018

 

Executive summary extracted from: https://mib.gov.in/sites/default/files/AMS%20Report%20on%20CRS.pdf

 

Community radio stations (CRSs) are an important part of the media landscape in many countries. They make up one part of a three-tier system of radio, the other parts being public and commercial radio.

 

They were set up to provide a platform for communities to communicate between themselves and with their governments without interference. In many ways the sector entrenches the democratic process in which freedom of communication and speech plays a central role.

 

Wealthy sectors of the society have many media choices but community radio stations often represent the only space where poorer communities can discuss the issues that affect them. Community radio has been defined in multiple ways by scholars and media institutions. Tabing (2002)1 , defines community radio as “one that is operated in the community, for the community, about the community, and by the community”. According to the author, ‘the community can be territorial, or geographical-a township, village, district or island and can also be a group of people with common interests who are not necessarily living in one defined territory’.

 

Hence, it has been built around the ideals of access and participation. Run by locals with active participation of community to serve local audience, community radio stations have the distinct advantage of offering their listeners a variety of content that is usually neglected by the largescale commercial radio stations.

 

Various definitions and legislation with respect to community radio have included phrases such as “social benefit”, “social objectives” and “social gain” as important aspects of radio. Realizing the vast potential of CRS as an instrument for positive social change and as a tool for community empowerment, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) seeks to assess the extent to which these stations have been delivering the desired benefits to the community.

 

In this context, the Ministry has mandated the conduct of a study to assess the listenership, reach and effectiveness of CRS in India by way of tangible and intangible, direct or indirect benefits to the community. Academy of Management Studies (AMS) has been commissioned by the MoIB to undertake this study. This report documents the key findings of the study which can be used to design future initiatives and strengthen the CRSs of India.

 

The full report can be accessed at: https://mib.gov.in/sites/default/files/AMS%20Report%20on%20CRS.pdf

 

 

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