WHAT IS COMMUNITY MEDIA

Brief summary of activity

Different tracks from mainstream (public and commercial) radio will be played to the participants. Tracks from community radio (promos/adverts for programmes/special dates being broadcast by the station such as 16 Days Campaign, International Day Against Racism, specialist music, local sports programmes.). Participants will be asked to comment on diversity of content, accents, voices and whether these content or voices are reflected in mainstream media.

Aim of the activity

The aim of the exercise is for the participants to understand what community radio is using a practical and fun approach that would be useful for participants with vision impairment, blindness or literacy difficulties.

Expected Outcomes

The participants understand key principles of community radio, such as accessibility, diversity of content and equal opportunities.

experience and skills required

This is a discussion based exercise. The Trainer needs to be experienced in group facilitation. The trainer needs to be very clear on the expected learning outcomes to lead the discussion towards the expected outcome.As learning outcomes are associated to ethos of community radio, facilitator might find useful to be familiar with the AMARC Charter for Community Radio in Europe. http://www.amarceurope.eu/the-community-radio-charter-for-europe/

infrastructure, setting, resources

No special requirements

Length

Depending on the number of tracks and time given to discussion, it could be 30-40 minutes.

Materials

Recordings from mainstream and community radio (this could be programme promos, intros to programmes, etc) to allow participants to compare and discussAudio player equipment (i.e. laptop and speakers)

How the activity should take place

Trainer plays tracks from public media and commercial media. Ask the participants to discuss the tracks they have listening too as for• similarities/differences in tone and content, • presenter speaking accent, Trainers plays tracks from community radio. Ask participants to compare tone and content and presenter speaking accent to those of mainstream media.At the end of the discussion, trainer will summarise main conclusions and link them to the ethos of community radio.

Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio

10As this is a discussion based activity, one trainer should suffice for the group

Variations

• Choose specific recording according to participants. I.e. music programmes for younger people.• This activity could be adapted to research/media literacy by exploring the content of specific programmes. • Ask them to look for similar or different content on news bulletins from different mainstream radio stations and debate who is deciding what is news in mainstream media (news agencies, lobbying groups, authorities) vs. editorial freedom in community radio. Who is dictating the agenda?• Check where the information is coming from on one radio report and discuss sources of information, highlighting the use of ‘experts’ (academics, politicians, professionals) or secondary sources by mainstream media vs. people who experience the situation or primary sources by community media. I.e. migration issue, where politicians and academics are always invited to speak, but migrant voice is absent from the debate).

Tips for Trainers

Prepare well in advance, be familiar with the tracks and hint to those aspects that the participants will be missing (standardize use of language and similar ‘acceptable’ accents for mainstream media while community radio will use more diverse range of language and accents), etc.

Analysis and evaluation

Ask the participants to help you to summarise differences between mainstream and community radio at the end of the exercise, as to evaluate if they are now aware of the ethos of community radio.

Scheduling

Before research and interviewing or as part of Introduction to community radio.
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