Recognising the growing impact of the Community Radio phenomenon as a powerful medium of community engagement and empowerment, UNESCO set up the first ever Chair on Community Media at the Department of Communication, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad, India. Established for an initial period of four years in 2011, the Chair serves as a knowledge and resource centre delving into the various facets of Community Media.
The specific aims and objectives of the UNESCO Chair on Community Media are to:
- Research and document good community media practices in the country, and provide inputs based on research feedback to stakeholders on issues such as community participation, community mobilization practices, financial and social sustainability, appropriate content, participatory monitoring and evaluation;
- Establish an open access repository of media content online, which would provide key information related to licensing, policy, production of content and technology options to community-based organizations around the country;
- Build capacities of community members to operate media; provide ongoing training on community mobilization, content development, programming, and management of community media outlets in India; and,
- Engage with policy-makers and practitioners to sustain a democratic and citizen-friendly community media landscape in India
The prestigious Chair comes in recognition of the extensive work carried out by a team led by Prof Vinod Pavarala from the University of Hyderabad in the field of Community Radio over the last decade. He serves as the first chairholder.