THE ROLES OF COMMUNITY RADIO BROADCASTING

Community radio broadcastingCommunity radio broadcasting is a special media broadcasting company that is independent from the ownership of oligarchs or any government ownership or shares. Community broadcasting is defined as a broadcasting outlet with the principles of serving the community and its people.

It should be independent in order to avoid the bias from certain oligarchs such as politicians or any government public figures. It takes no prejudice or bias thus, promotes neutrality and on the side of the people whom it wish to serve. Its interest is not for profit but in service for the civil society. That is why it is called “Community Radio Broadcasting.”

Here are some basic ideas of what a community broadcasting company should be like:

Grass-root Oriented

When a broadcast company should be grass-root oriented, it simply means that this community based company should take the side of the people and the community. The news that is being broadcasted should be based on the experiences and situation of the civil society. You will often hear a lot of different issues in community broadcasting that tackle and discuss about the human rights of the people, the labor workers’ rights, women’s rights, the advocacies of the students, and the voice of the commoners or those from the informal sector. The community’s participation in these programs re very much highlighted and encouraged since this is a broadcast company established for the people who belong in the middle class and those from the low lying sectors in the community.

Independent

Almost all of the broadcast companies claim that they are independent. However, there is a lot of meaning behind independence. This only shows that a genuine independent company should be free from the control of the people who belong in a higher or highest social strata. With this independent principle, the programs that are on air in the radio station would not take bias especially for those oligarch families. The bias is not for those who belong with the bureaucrat capitalists, but those for the masses.

Social Benefit and not for Profit

This kind of principle for community broadcasters comes along with the first two descriptions of what a community radio broadcast media should be. It is probably self-explanatory since this defines how important it is for this broadcasting media institution to do not go after the money but for programs and activities that would support and help the community to participate. Those who often listen to the radio news come from the sectors. Therefore, the media should get their interest by making programs that would catch their attention. For instance, a good example would be having different discussions that will have a great social impact for these listeners who are directly affected by the issue.

 

Community radio broadcasting

So here are some more brief characteristics of a community radio broadcasting company to enlighten you more about it:

1. SELF-DETERMINING  AND SELF REGULATING

This means that the broadcasting company should be free from the government and of any commercial, profit-oriented organizations; this shows its independence from the controlling class or ruling sector. It is free from the control of the powerful in the mainstream society. The ruling class in this institution are the civil society or the people itself.

2. SERVE SPECIFIC COMMUNITIES, EITHER GEOGRAPHICAL OR COMMUNITIES OF INTEREST;

It should have a principle of serving specific communities which are highly afflicted by the local or national issues. Coming from its name itself, this is essential to become grass-root oriented and knowledgeable of the problems of the locality in order to come up with programs and activities that would truly serve their interest.

3. HAVE OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THAT COMMUNITY;

A representative from the community or from the locals should have the right to intervene and to have a “say” in the programs of the company.  Their ownership is already there in the sense that it should not be governed by those coming from the higher order of social strata. Therefore, the people or the locals have the authority in this kind of institution.

4. OPERATE FOR PURPOSES OF SOCIAL BENEFIT RATHER THAN PRIVATE FINANCIAL PROFIT;

This is not after of the profit, therefore, it should serve its moral purpose and obligation for the people whom it wishes to serve and protect. There are a lot of social benefits that people can get from these kinds of programs. For example, in dealing with the cases of the middle class that they often undergo with especially in judicial processes. There are a lot of laws that can be tackled in the program to give a head start and idea for the people wherein they can learn a lot from.

5. ENABLE PARTICIPATION BY THE COMMUNITY IN PROGRAM-MAKING AND MANAGEMENT

The programs are for the people. Hence, the participation and the involvement of the people from the different sectors would be a great contribution for the company to succeed. The direct and indirect support from the people would surely be the basis of success for this community-serving institution. Their partaking and help is the greatest parameter of whether it has succeeded in achieving its goal or whether it has defeated its purpose of existence as an institution which aims to help others and be after the social morals and service for the civil society.

 

However, there are a lot of legalities that should be considered when it comes to community broadcasting companies. Just like other mainstream media institutions, it has to undergo legal mechanisms to legitimize the validity of this community broadcasting company. It should be under the law and its due processes or procedures. Since this is a platform where it tackles different issues that are scientific and even discuss matters on legal processes such as in human rights cases, then it is a must. Therefore, the need of assistance from different legal experts should be taken into account.

 

Community radio broadcasting

 

So if you are interested in creating and starting your own community based radio station, then do not hesitate to contact a Harrisonburg attorney to have a safe and easy transaction on doing the needed and required procedures.

 

 

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REMARKS AND CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR COMMUNITY BROADCASTING

 

 A good practice in media and radio broadcasting can really contribute a lot for its listeners especially those who are coming from the remote local communities whose only access to the outside world is through radios. To set a new standard of delivering local and or national news for media reform, the good practices should always be kept in mind and it should always be seen in the performance of radio broadcasting.

 

But there are quite plenty of problems that might be encountered with alternative media or community radio broadcasting. In some circumstances, there are a lot of media practitioners who did not undergo the correct licensing procedures. There are some absences of blatant codified legal and regulatory procedures and frameworks. It is important to take note that this will only delegitimize the legality and the dignity of community broadcasting companies. Therefore, seeking for the right person to legalize these legal mechanisms is very much needed and it is a must. These institutions should consult an expert to do these things in the correct and legal procedure. 

Setting an objective to create an alternative media is important. Therefore, it is indeed a good thing to fix such problems right away. There are some areas which such cases still happen. For example, in Spain. There are a lot of media practitioners who broadcast on the radio without having a legal permit to broadcast. There is somewhat a lack of regulatory procedures, but it eradicates the legality and the legal authority of these broadcasting media companies.  

Meanwhile, in some places in India, there is a correct regulatory arrangement, however, these are not being properly implemented which makes it less effective and less valued as a community broadcasting institution. The company might have a risk of losing its dignity to its listeners which make it unreliable for real news. 

There are actually a lot of challenges in community broadcasting that lies ahead. In order to encourage and not confine the growing and developing the community of broadcasting, political will should not be forgotten in implementing legal procedures and regulatory provisions to have a successful alternative media that would serve the interest of the civil society and different communities. 

On the other hand, there are challenges for the world of broadcasting itself as there are a lot of different platforms that can deliver news on the different issues about the world today. The deterioration rate of radio broadcasting companies is now skyrocketing because of the improvement of technology. Radios are now being disregarded as the technology rises with the new release of different gadgets such as high technological televisions, computers, tablets, and even cellular mobile phones. These are just some of the factors which downgrade the number of listeners in radio broadcasting. This is why a lot of broadcast companies over the radio are threatened to be extinct in no time. 

On the other hand, the problem that goes on for decades about the extra-judicial killings of journalists or media practitioners and radio broadcasters are still at its hype. Throughout the decades, there are thousands of broadcasters who are killed for delivering reality and truth. Up until now, these cases are not yet resolved. This often happens to the broadcast media journalists in third world countries such as Mexico and the Philippines. 

 

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