Measuring the Impact and Ensuring the Sustainability of Community Radio Practices

What is the impact of community radio and are sustainable practices possible? Community media institutions, like community radio stations, provide locally-owned infrastructure for accessing media production and broadcasting. By community media, we mean non-profit, participatory media institutions that are largely volunteer-run and provide a service to a specific community. Community radio stations worldwide are mandated to empower audiences and facilitate participation in community life. Thus, the perspectives of listeners are vital to ascertain how effective community radio stations are in facilitating political learning environments that motivate listener engagement in the station and in the community.

This workshop is based on ten-weeks of data gathered among listeners and staff of Radio al- Balad 92.4FM, Jordan’s first community radio station. Drawing on these data, this research scrutinizes the station’s goal to “exercise democracy” in Jordan by revealing how listeners and participants evaluate the station’s presence in and service to the community based on their experiences. The first qualitative study on the impact of community radio in the Middle East, this workshop will reflect upon how community radio, from the perspective of Radio al-Balad 92.4FM listeners and members, offers a transformative experience by providing a participatory platform for media and political education, broadcasting programming that raises civic awareness, and providing space for autonomous collective action through which audience members can increase their access to political power as well as opportunities for social change.

This interactive presentation will also consider the practices that can help sustain community radio. Participating stations will be asked to critically reflect on the challenges for cultivating sustainable community radio in the MENA region. Based on this workshop at the WSF, we will produce a radio documentary about community radio in the region, focusing on sustainability issues. This radio documentary will build upon the experiences documented in one doctoral fieldwork at Radio al-Balad in Jordan and as such will offer a new understanding on the problems and possible solutions for creating sustainable community radio in the MENA region. We will draw on this documentary in the concluding chapter of my dissertation. To be presented in conjunction with the WFFM and AMARC.

Convergence Assembly on communications rights

Le droit des peuples et de toutes les personnes de communiquer est fondamentale à la construction des sociétés justes, libres et démocratiques. Aujourd’hui, par contre, l’exercice de ce droit est médiée par le pouvoir économique, soumis aux intérêts du marché et, dans de nombreux pays, refusé par les gouvernements totalitaires. Le niveau d’accès aux médias et aux ressources technologiques, ainsi que les conditions dans lesquelles ils sont offerts, sont des facteurs déterminants de la participation populaire dans la société contemporaine et de la sensibilisation de la population aux luttes qui y ont lieu. Le message “un autre monde est possible”, qui provient des luttes et des alternatives rencontrées dans le processus du FSM, dépend du plein exercice du droit à la communication pour faire partie des débats aux sein de la société. Par conséquent, ce droit à la communication est indissociable de toutes les luttes sociales. En comprenant ce défi, les associations membres du Forum Mondial des Médias Libres (E-Joussour, Ritimo, Ciranda, STRL, Institut Panos, Novact, Amarc, Intervozes etc), dont la quatrième édition se déverrouillera du 22 au 28 mars à Tunes, invitent tous les mouvements et militants préoccupés par cette question et attachés à la défense de la liberté d’expression, d’un internet libre et à la promotion de médias libres de participer à l’Assemblée de Convergence sur le droit à la communication. Ce sera un moment pour bâtir des stratégies communes au niveau international pour faire face à des défis similaires dans différentes régions du monde. Au cours de l’Assemblée, sera lancée et adoptée la Charte Mondiale des Médias Libres.

Participez à la construction de la Charte:

MED NET Civil Society and Media Development – Société Civile et Développement des Médias

The Conference will bring together organizations from Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Italy and the International Association for Community Broadcasting AMARC, already partners in the framework of the MED NET regional project, to discuss priority issues to the Mediterranean area such as freedom of association- freedom of expression – freedom of information and the relation between civil society and independent, free media as a channel to convey the struggle for a more democratic and free speech environment in the target countries. More partners and organizations as well as independent and mainstream media journalists will be invited to attend and bring their contribution to the debate in view of a common regional strategy. A position paper will be prepared and presented to introduce the above issues: report about: the status of freedom of expression, the real participation and role of CSO in the political agenda, the status of the democratic reforms; describe good and bad practices realized by CSO and institutions; identify the common situations affecting the target countries and, in general, the South Mediterranean countries; define strategies, objectives, methodologies and programs, to be undertaken at regional level, aiming to increase the role of CSO in advocacy and work for freedom of expression, participatory processes and democratic reforms. The Conference recommendations shared with all participants as a first step to build a regional frame for policy making and advocacy actions.

Workshop to improve capacity and abilities of community radio journalists for better quality radio productions

Training of Trainers: Communication for Development (ComDev) and Interactive online tools to ameliorate the production of Community Radio (CR) – Platform YenKasa, Tunis, March 24-25, 2015.


• Increased participation in radio programs of citizens, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations.

• Embedding knowledge sharing mechanisms in participating community radios to increase their social sustainability.

Specific objectives:

• Gathering information to define the production of series of programs with NGOs on specific topics (ComDev, food security, etc.)

• Skills development in interactive radio formats such a hosting open-line discussions, virtual consultations.

The workshop is part of activities of the project “Empowering the poor and marginalized to fight poverty through Community Radio” supported by BFTW. In order to maximize its effects and foster cross fertilization processes, It will take place in coincidence of the Fourth Free Media Forum (FMML), March 22-24 and the World Social Forum (WSF), March 24-28 in Tunis. The two day intensive hands-on Training-of-Trainers workshop for Representatives of 8 African national networks on community radio and Internet Communication Technologies (ICTs) seeks to enhance community media capacity building. The workshop will address content production, infrastructure development, and introduce participants to some emerging technologies that couples mobile telephony and web interfaces.

Workshop attendees will learn how to use these technologies to participate in online knowledge sharing projects developed by AMARC in partnership with FAO, and in particular the Yenkasa platform. Underlying every aspect of the workshop will be participatory organizing and community development. Several case studies illustrating the considerable impact of participatory projects over their mainly technology transfer focused counter parts will be considered. The workshop will be run in a participatory manner.

Day 1: Horizontal Organizing and developing solidarity and networking relationships. ICT tools and radio programming, information sources, how a platform like Yenkasa can facilitate knowledge sharing and improve radio programming

Day 2: Tech day. Building media production and distribution skills through the interaction of different technical tools, with other Civil Society Organizations and African Social Movements.

tags: FMML , mednet , news , Tunisia