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Enriching community media

Mar 27, 2009

Internews has released a new guide: The business of changing lives. It focuses on the growing popularity of citizen journalism and integration of technologies in community media. The publication also talks of its role in meeting the MDGs.

The business of changing lives


Community media plays a substantial role today in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Governments across the world are acknowledging the contribution of community media to local government communications and service delivery, to education, to health and economic development.


Presently, community media is increasingly viewed as a small enterprise with a responsibility to survive and provide high-quality services.

The guide highlights four principles that are seen as pillars of community broadcasting:

  • Community ownership and control
  • Community service
  • Community participation
  • A non-profit business model

Community media is most sustainable where there is actual community ownership. The nature of governance and membership structures can be more important than the legal system.The report discusses the non-profit structure, to safeguard community media from pure commercial interests.

It identifies key concerns that need to be addressed in order to achieve financial sustainability.

  • What are your core costs and how much money is needed to cover them?
  • What are the best sources of income to cover them?
  • How much money do you want to raise from each source?

The publication brings up the convergence of digital media in the new age and the popularity of citizen journalism that are enabling more participation from the community. The capacity to forge and maintain partnerships also becomes vitally important for sustainability.

Source : Internews
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