Prof. Vinod Pavarala delivered the keynote address at the three-day long European community media conference conducted by the Community Media Forum Europe, between October 6 and 8, 2013. Speaking at the opening plenary, Prof. Pavarala said, “Community Media is not only about content delivery, but also about local participation and citizen interaction. Governments need to recognize community media as a distinct media sector and provide funding and equal access to the different distribution platforms.” Reflecting the diversity and plurality of society is, he said, a key role for community media, but one that is typically less-well-provided-for in Eastern Europe as compared to elsewhere on the continent. “Hazy and restrictive regulatory environments” were often a key problem to overcome, he suggested. At a practical level, he also mentioned that the so-called “digital dividend” should provide proper opportunities for community radio broadcasters and that FM radio broadcasting spectrum should be protected and continue to be available for use by such operators.

Find out more about the conference and the issues discussed here.