The UNESCO Chair on Community Media at the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad has been renewed for a further period of four years, until December 2019.

The Chair was set up in 2011 to promote community media through research, policy advocacy, capacity building, and knowledge dissemination.  Led by the Chairholder, Prof. Vinod Pavarala and with the support of a core team consisting of faculty fellows, Prof. Kanchan K. Malik and Prof. Vasuki Belavadi, and research assistants from the Ph.D. programme at the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, the Chair has endeavored to fulfill this mandate since its conception.

Follow this link for a detailed four-year report of the Chair’s activities from 2011-2015.

 

These activities occurred in the gap between the four-year report submitted for renewal purposes and the activities for 2016.

Capacity Building for Sustainability and Continuous Improvement of Community Radio in East Africa: Prof. Vinod Pavarala, Dr. Kanchan K. Malik and Dr. Vasuki Belavadi coordinated and conducted the sessions for this workshop in collaboration with East African Community Media Network (EACOMNET) in Tanzania from October 01-08, 2015. The workshop had participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

Community Radio Training in Bhutan: Prof. Vinod Pavarala, Dr. Kanchan K. Malik and Dr. Vasuki Belavadi (Chief Trainer) coordinated and conducted the sessions for this workshop which was organized by the Royal Government of Bhutan and UNESCO in Bhutan from November 15-26, 2015.

Overview

Major outcomes, results and impact of the Chair through our activities during the calendar year 2016 can be summarized under the following heads:

Education/Capacity-Building/Research:

  • Contributed to teaching community media at the post-graduate level and guiding doctoral students.
  • Built capacities of over 50 UNICEF staff members from 17 countries in C4D, especially in participatory research techniques and using community media for social change.
  • Created awareness about the potential of community media in rural development to rural development professionals from the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Continued training of about 25 young, tribal school children in Central India in participatory video through our project on using video tools for articulating issues of social change. An online YouTube Channel called Sangawari Khabariya has been created to share their video films.
  • Built capacities of participants in Sri Lanka in participatory video and community storytelling.
  • Trained representatives of community radio stations in Bangladesh to become peer reviewers in using Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit (CR-CIT).
  • Launched a project on mapping community media in South Asia, as part of our involvement in the South Asia Network for Community Media (SANCOM).
  • The CR-CIT, a self-assessment and peer review toolkit for community radio developed by the Chair through a series of participatory research workshops with community radio stations, has now been adapted and is available for use in India (English and Hindi), Bangladesh (Bengali), Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi (all English), and Germany (German).

Knowledge-Sharing:

  • Organized national/international workshops, conferences and meetings in collaboration with UNESCO, RMIT University, and Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC).
  • Organized lectures by visiting scholars and practitioners at the University of Hyderabad.
  • The Chairholder and faculty fellows have presented papers and made presentations at national and international conferences, seminars and workshops. They also delivered opening speeches, plenary lectures, and keynote addresses at major academic events.
  • The Chair continues to publish CR News, a newsletter that tracks developments in community radio in the South Asian region and elsewhere in the world.

Networking/Policy Advocacy:

  • The Chair has been instrumental in setting up the South Asia Network for Community Media (SANCOM), with assistance from UNESCO.
  • The Chair has been building collaborative links with organizations such as: International Association for Media & Communication Research (IAMCR), ORBICOM (the network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication), UNESCO, UNICEF, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific, and the Bundesverband Freier Radios (BFR), Germany, BNNRC Bangladesh.
  • The Chair has secured a UNESCO IPDC grant to hold a national consultation on community radio in India to strengthen the policy environment for community radio.

Detailed Activities

Training
  • NIRD-CIRDAP International Training Programme on ICT Application for Rural Development: The Chair Team conducted a two-day module on Community Media as part of the international workshop on ICTs in rural development which was organized by the Council for Integrated and Rural Development in Asia Pacific (CIRDAP) and the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad and hosted in Hyderabad, India from March 5-6, 2016. There were 18 participants from 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Day One incorporated a visit to the Deccan Development Society (DDS) and Sangham Community Radio Station with an interactive session comprising the team behind DDS. Day Two boasted of presentations by the Chair Team surround community media and could be related to the previous day’s activities.
  • Adolescent Engagement Using Media Tools (AEMT): Children As Media Producers (CAMP), an initiative of the Chair continues its engagement with children in Chhattisgarh on participatory video. Children have so far produced 32 videos. In December 2016, Anjali Nag, a participant with CAMP won a national award at a competition organised by NIRD. Further, five of the 20 children who were trained in PV have been made mentors to train 5 children each.
  • Capacity Building for Participatory Video and Community Storytelling: Mr. Vasuki Belavadi was the chief trainer for about 25 participants at this event organized by the Sri Lanka Development Journalists Forum and the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture (PGIA), University of Peradeniya and hosted from February 7-10, 2016 in Sri Lanka.
  • Training of Peer Reviewers in Bangladesh for using CR-CIT: Prof. Vinod Pavarala, Dr. Kanchan K. Malik and Mr. Vasuki Belavadi coordinated and conducted the sessions for this workshop in collaboration with the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad and BNNRC, Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh from May 10-14, 2016. The workshop had 32 participants from 16 CR stations in Bangladesh.
Research

Prof. Vinod Pavarala

  • 2014-2017 (on-going) – Evaluating C4D: Supporting Adaptive and Accountable Development, in collaboration with RMIT University, Australia. Supported by Australian Research Council.
  • 2015-2016 (on-going) – The ODF Campaign in Nadia district of West Bengal, in collaboration with RMIT University, Australia and UNICEF.

Taijrani Rampersaud, Doctoral Student (University of Hyderabad), Editorial Assistant (SANCOM) and Research Assistant (Chair)

  • 2014-(on-going): As part of the doctoral work, Mapping Community Media in South Asia, as well as for SANCOM, a framework for mapping the community media initiatives in South Asia was developed.
Conferences and workshops
  • The UNESCO Chair on Community Media, supported by the Australian Research Council Grant, organized an International Workshop on Evaluating C4D with participants from India, Australia, Vietnam and Spain in Hanoi, Vietnam from February 15-19, 2016. Prof. Vinod Pavarala was one of the coordinators for the workshop.
  • Collaborated with UNESCO New Delhi to organize World Radio Day with focus on role of community radio in disaster mitigation, February 16, 2016, New Delhi, India.
  • The UNESCO Chair on Community Media, in collaboration with the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, organized a research roundtable with Prof. Jo Tacchi, Director, Research and Innovation at RMIT, Spain on “Communicative Ecologies as Concept and Method” at the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India on February 16, 2016. The event was attended by faculty and M.A. and PhD students of the department.
  • The UNESCO Chair on Community Media, in collaboration with the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, organized a lecture series with Shubhranshu Choudhary, founder of CGNet Swara, Chattisgarh, on (1) “Listening to the Disenfranchised”; (2) “Digital Activism”; and, (3) “The Journey of a Journalist” at the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India from March 2-4, 2016.
  • The UNESCO Chair on Community Media organized a research roundtable with Prof. Pradip Thomas, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia on “International Politics of Media Development” at the University of Hyderabad, India from April 8-10, 2016.
  • The UNESCO Chair on Community Media organized a discussion with Mr. Sanjoy Ganguly, Jana Sanskriti, Kolkata, India and the Chair Team and faculty members of the Department of Theatre Arts on “People’s Theatre Movement and Potential for Community Radio” at the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India from April 20-21, 2016.
  • The UNESCO Chair on Community Media organized, in collaboration with UNESCO, New Delhi, a brainstorming meeting to discuss the National Consultation on CR in India in New Delhi, India on April 21, 2016. The meeting was attended by the Chairholder, key UNESCO staff and CR stakeholders from Delhi, India.
  • Organized a meeting with the BNNRC team to address the future activities of SANCOM in Dhaka, Bangladesh from May 10-14, 2016.

Apart from organizing and hosting the above conferences and workshops, the chair team attended and/or participated in various activities both in India and internationally.

Networking
  • The Chair is a member of ORBICOM, the international network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication.
  • Collaborated with the Community Radio Forum (CRF) of India for various policy-related interventions in the country.
  • On-going partnership with Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communications (BNNRC) for the adoption of CR-CIT in the Bangladesh context as well as for training of peer reviewers.
  • In 2015, the South Asia Network for Community Media (SANCOM) was launched in New Delhi on February 13 (World Radio Day). This network is housed at the UNESCO Chair on Community Media and is supported by UNESCO New Delhi, with Prof. Vinod Pavarala as the Convenor and a Steering Committee consisting of members from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
  • On-going partnership with the East Africa Community Media Network (EACOMNET). The Chairholder had a meeting with Mr. Njuki Githethwa, President of East African Community Media Network (EACOMNET), Nairobi, September 23, 2016 and discussed possibilities for further cooperation on capacity-building and knowledge-sharing.
  • The Chairholder had a meeting with Mr. Jaco DuToit, Advisor, Information & Communication, UNESCO Regional Office, Nairobi on September 19, 2016 and discussed the status of community media in the region and explored possibilities for contributions by the Chair.
  • The Chairholder had a meeting with Alexander Vojvoda and Sebastian Lasinger, working with community media in Cameroon and Sierra Leone respectively, on their efforts to promote a West and Central African Community Media Network.

Virtual Platforms: The Chair engages in networking and knowledge dissemination through the many virtual platforms it administers:

UNESCO Chair on Community Media

  • Main Website – operates as the centre for information distribution with links to all other platforms connected to the Chair.
  • Facebook Page – information about community media worldwide are shared on this platform, often times with links to either the CR News Blog or SANCOM’s blogs in addition to other organizations.
  • CR News Blog – stories from CR News newsletter are uploaded to this blog as well as announcements from the Chair.

Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit Community of Practitioners

Children As Media Producers (CAMP)

  • Main Website  – information sharing platform about CAMP related activities.

South Asia Network on Community Media

  • Main Website – operates as the centre for information sharing concerning the network with links provided to blog articles.
  • Facebook Page – information about community media in the partner countries of SANCOM and general announcements are shared here.
  • Blog – all updates concerning community media in the member countries are provided via this platform.
Publications/Multimedia Materials

Journal Articles

Newsletter

CR News a quarterly newsletter on Community Radio in South Asia brought out by The UNESCO Chair on Community Media team. Editors: Ashish Sen & Dr. Kanchan. K. Malik (Faculty Fellow); Design and Layout: Dr. Vasuki Belavadi (Faculty Fellow) and Taijrani Rampersaud (Doctoral Student/Research Assistant)

  • CR News, Quarterly, Volume 7, Issue 1, Apr-Jun 2016
  • CR News, Quarterly, Volume 7, Issue 2, Jul-Sept 2016

News/Web Articles

  • Malik, K. K. (2016). Building peace: Community Radio in Cameroon. CR News, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, Apr. – Jun. 2016.
  • Malik, K. K. (2016). Q&A: Community Radio in Cameroon. Radio World International Digital Edition, March 2016 ISSN: 02748541.
  • Pavarala, V. & Malik, K. K. (2016). ‘Community Media is making the media landscape of South Asia more pluralistic’. CR News, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, Apr. – Jun. 2016.
  • Raghunath, P. (2016). Communicating during disasters: The Philippines experience. CR News, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, Apr. – Jun. 2016.
  • Rampersaud, T. (2016). When will India’s first emergency radio get a permanent license? CR News, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, Apr. – Jun. 2016.

Other materials (training/capacity-building)

  • Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit (CR-CIT) developed by the Chair is now available in English and Hindi in India, in Bengali in Bangladesh, and in English in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda.
  • The Bundesverband Freier Radios (BFR), the German federation of free radio stations, has recently adapted the toolkit for the German context and translated it into German. Available on their website in PDF for download by free radio stations in the country: http://www.freie-radios.de/mitteilungen/14329-toolkit-zur-selbstevaluation-freier-radios.html.

Chair featured in the media

Other

Visitors to the Chair

  • Jo Tacchi, Director, Research and Innovation at RMIT, Spain on Feb 16, 2016
  • Shubhranshu Choudhary, founder of CGNet Swara, Chattisgarh, India from March 2-4, 2016
  • Pradip Thomas, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia from April 8-10, 2016
  • Sanjoy Ganguly, Jana Sanskriti, Kolkata, India from April 20-21, 2016
  • Bridget Backhaus, Ph.D. student at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia from November 20-25, 2016.

Other Distinctions

  • Vinod Pavarala appointed to the International Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Alternative & Community Media published by Griffith ePress, Griffith University, Australia.
  • Vinod Pavarala nominated to the International Board of Radio, Sound and Society, a new online journal published by the Radio Research Section of the European Communication Research & Education Association (ECREA).

The UNESCO Chair on Community Media will continue to work for the next three years with the following objectives, as envisaged in the original agreement:

  • Research and document best practices in community media
  • Strengthen community mobilization and participation
  • Conduct and enable participatory monitoring and evaluation
  • Set up open access repository of information on community media
  • Make available key information on licensing, policy and technology
  • Build community capacities on media production and management
  • Engage with policy makers for a more democratic media landscape

More specifically, the Chair would like to take up fresh activities or intensify on-going efforts in the following areas:

 

Research/Publications

  • Undertake short-term research projects in various aspects of community media, and seek to publish the research outcomes.
  • Develop the special focus on ‘Women in Community Communication’, an area in which the Chair has already started some preliminary work.

 

Knowledge Dissemination

  • Expand the focus to encompass community media in totality through increased focus on video, newspapers, mobile telephones, online forums.
  • The framework developed for mapping community media in South Asia will be used to create a database of initiatives, which will be available in a consolidated document online, once completed.

 

Capacity Building and Sharing

  • Explore the possibility of using the CAMP framework in West Africa.
  • Establish a Community Media Centre in Chhattisgarh as a means of sustaining the Adolescent Engagement Using Media Tools (AEMT) Project.
  • Build networks for capacity sharing in West Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives for both community radio and CAMP.
  • Continue using CR-CIT as the core platform around which capacities will be built on community radio stations in different parts of the world for continuous improvement and self-assessment of their performance.

 

Networking

  • Build alliances with different social movements so that the potential of community media for social change could be explored more productively.
  • Utilize SANCOM as a platform for expanding on advocacy, policy intervention, CR training and self-improvement in the South Asia region.

 

Policy Advocacy

  • Produce periodically working/position papers from the Chair on various pressing issues facing the community media sector
  • Continue to use the range of media resources available to articulate the need for a pluralistic media landscape around the world, especially for enhancing citizens’ access to media tools. These interventions will complement face-to-face interactions with governments, regulators and civil society actors.