Why is community media important and what is it? Yorkshire Families

Community Media is a buzzword at the moment with so many people relying on good quality citizen-driven journalism to inform, empower and entertain the communities they are from. We at Yorkshire Families blossomed out of our own adversity, and are now powered by community reporters from a range of backgrounds. And we hope to inspire more to join our mission to MAKE YORKSHIRE ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL.

But what exactly is Community Media? I hear you say…

Community media are any form of media that function in service of or by a community. It is the rise of all kinds of alternative, oppositional, participatory, and collaborative media practices that have developed in the journalistic context of ‘community media,’ ‘we media,’ ‘citizens media,’ ‘grassroots journalism’ or any radical alternative to on and offline mainstream journalistic practices.[1] In other words, it is having access to or creating local alternatives to mainstream broadcasting,[2] like local community newspapers, radio stations, or magazines.[3] Community Media aids in the process of building citizenship and raising social awareness. “Participation” and “access” are a large aspect in the rise of community media. Those who create media are being encouraged to involve themselves in providing a platform for others to express views. Community media is often given parameters when being defined by groups but often challenges these boundaries with its broad yet narrow structure.[4]

Community media is important because it gets people out in their community and allows people who broadcast things to do this to a smaller audience who may be under-represented for example migrants or marginalised communities.  

Community media is different from other media as community media is all about people’s communities and where they are. 

Five interesting facts about community media are: 

  • Tell people news about their community e.g. what’s happening and issues of interest to that community.
  • The Council of Europe recognises the value of community media as a source of local content, cultural and linguistic diversity, media pluralism, social inclusion and intercultural dialogue.

It endorses the commitment of community media to media and information literacy, through the development of critical and creative thinking and active participation in media content production. https://www.coe.int/en/web/freedom-expression/community-media

  • Community media put the tools of communication into the hands of people in hundreds of communities, particularly women and marginalised groups, allowing them to create their own means of cultural expression, news, information and dialogue. Community media projects are run on a not-for-profit, democratic basis and are based on voluntary participation in program making and in management by members of civil society. http://europeanjournalists.org/mediaagainsthate/what-is-community-media/
  • Tell and share truthful stories too  
  • With the rise of fake news over the pandemic, community media is more important than ever 
  • Creating content to serve your community
  • Community media is to empower the community not those in power
  • It is the ‘new power’ approach with its bottom-up system to share voices from the community

There are different types of community media such as: 

Community TV and YouTube 

Community podcast/radio 

Community magazines and newspapers 

Community sites on social media and websites 

Community TV and YouTube 

YouTube is a video sharing platform where people can post all kinds of videos on there. 

Community TV is a form of mass media in which a television station is owned, operated or programmed by a community group to provide television programs of local interest known as local programming. Some examples of community TV are: 

LeedsTV 

Community podcast and radio  

Community podcasts and community radio are based in the community of where people are. 

An example of community radio is Rhubarb Radio which is based in Wakefield and goes out to Wakefield District and South Leeds.  

Penistone FM is for the South Yorkshire area. 

Some examples of community podcasts are: 

Podcasts – Community First Yorkshire 

The Squarepeg Podcast – SquarePeg 

Non Profit and Community Podcast – Community Possibilities — Community Evaluation Solutions 

Community magazines and newspapers are magazines and newspapers aimed at communities rather than general public. 

some examples of community magazine are thecommunitymagazine.co.uk  

Local focus magazine – localfocusmags.co.uk 

Community sites on social media and websites are sites where people can post things to just their community e.g. selling things etc. 

Some examples of community sites on social media are: 

Stuff for sale in Normanton – Stuff For Sale in NORMANTON | Facebook 

The Yorkshire Business Networking Group 

One example of community websites is yorkshirefamilies.co.uk 

Can you think of any more that I’ve missed? 

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