IPDC project priority: Community Media Development

The Malian media sector has undergone significant liberalization and development following the advent of democracy in 1991, with the country boasting some 241 private radio stations in 2010, according to a survey conducted by the media union, URTEL. However in spite of this apparently vibrant media environment, radio coverage is unevenly distributed across the country, with some communities continuing to be deprived of their right to access media and information sources. One such example is the rural commune of Sirakoro, which currently has no local radio, and only sporadic reception of...

Ghana's media landscape has witnessed a proliferation of media houses in the past twenty years, with the country now boasting over 130 FM radio stations, 16 TV channels and over 300 newspapers. Unfortunately however, many of these media houses are dominated by commercialism and political agendas, and tend to lack plurality in terms of content and orientation. Community radios by contrast, are not driven by profit and propaganda, and therefore have the potential to change lives through better and increased access to information of social significance. This project aims to provide the...

Although the war has now ended in many parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Sud-Kivu province continues to endure confrontation between rival groups, with women and young people among the main victims subjected to rape, mutilation and other acts of extreme violence. The absence of community media combined with the expense of other forms of media in this area mean that many of its largely impoverished inhabitants do not have access to information. This project aims to give a voice to these individuals by setting up a radio station capable of serving thirteen villages...

The Chama district is far away (more than 330 km) from Lusaka, Zambia's capital city where the media industries and institutions are located. The national radio signal barely reaches this province and newspapers: monthlies, weeklies and dailies are a rarity. Most of the citizens of this area end up listening to Malawian radio, even reading newspapers from the same country, which is not ideal for the building of a national identity. The illiteracy rate is very high because of the long distances to schools and the natural barriers like hills and rivers, which lead pupils to drop out of...

In Malawi, severe floods occur regularly in six river basin systems. The highest flood frequency has been recorded in the Lower Shire Valley, covering Nsanje and Chikwawa Districts. For the communities living in these areas, better information could considerably lessen human suffering: improved meteorological services giving accurate and timely information about the weather patterns can alert the population to be better prepared for the coming of rains, and hence enable them to move to higher grounds with their livestock to carry educational and medical equipment to safer areas. The...

The Chilean mass media, and particularly radio broadcasting stations, are well developed and perhaps exist in sufficient number to allow community members to have several options to choose from. However, they are almost all of regional or national reach and therefore not very useful for those who live and work in rural areas, because they do not correspond to the local reality and needs. These regional and national radios are mainly used to listen to music in those areas. The borough of Romeral although near to the provincial capital Curicó, consists of 71% rural area. Therefore local...

Thanks to its position and experience, Radio Nacional del Paraguay (RNP) is best suited to train community radio broadcasters on a regular basis. However, RNP's technical equipment is not sufficient to offer quality training courses. For this reason the training purposes require the purchase of additional studio equipment. In its operational planning objectives RNP declared to contribute to the improvement and democratic distribution of information and consequently joined forces with Asociación para la Educación y Comunicación Radiofónica (the association of broadcast education and...

While community radios are protected by Uruguayan law, legislation is less supportive in Argentina, where community radios are not licensed in many provinces. Although freedom of press is formally guaranteed in both countries, media concentration and commercialization represent common threats to true participation and plurality. Vocational training for journalists and media professionals, especially in community radios, is crucial to consolidate democratization processes. This is especially important in the border region of Salto (Uruguay) and Concordia (Argentina), where strengthening of...

While established and secure, the media industries in Jamaica see little competition from new or different organizations in their markets. In addition, there are very few local and community mediums to address relevant issues not covered by the major outlets. This is especially true in rural areas, such as Spring Village in rural St. Catherine. Jamaica is also currently experiencing an exponential rise in its use of and reliance upon computers and the internet. This trend has correlated with the embracement of several types of digital media that have until recently been associated with...

The main problems confronting Haitian community media are a lack of equipment; high cost of internet access in Haiti; the poverty of the communities; insufficient problem of electricity supply, especially in remote areas; training of young coordinators; and the lack of legislation on community media. The development and strengthening of a network of community radios in remote regions of the country would contribute to the creation of a pluralist society and to fostering equal access to information. Such a network would therefore constitute an essential and effective strategy for achieving...

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