The advent of community radio service was ushered in by the need experienced in many localities for providing a venue for expression, for forging stronger communal ties, and creating a channel for education and skills training opportunities. A form of mass communication…
ed definition as embodied in its draft Community Radio Order (Ofcom, 2004), community radio is defined by the core elements that comprise it, as its actual definition differs from place to place. Based on its key elements, community radio:
“is intended primarily to serve a particular community (either people who live or work or undergo education or training in a particular area or locality…’neighborhood’, or people who have one or more interests or characteristics in common… ‘community of interest’)
“is not provided in order to make a financial profit, and uses any profit produced to secure or improve the service or for the delivery of social gain to members of the public or the target community; and
These elements that comprise community radio render this service especially positioned to create unique benefits to the community, which have been recognized in Parliament during deliberations on the Communications Bill (Ofcom, 2004). These benefits include: training and work opportunities for the locality, contribution to local education, advancement of social cohesion, service to neighbourhood or interest groups, dissemination of knowledge about local authority and other services, establishment of access of local people to the project. These, in turn, foster a sense of truly belonging to a tangible community, imbibing residents in the locality with a sense of self-esteem, confidence and community pride. Invaluable is the exchange of ideas and the creation of a venue for voices to be heard, particularly those belonging to minority groups, who would usually have limited or no access at all to media (Günnel, 2008, p. 87).
While seen as competitors of each other because of overlapping citizenship, commercial radio differs essentially from community radio in many ways. Commercial radio is challenged by the need to maintain audience share vis-à-vis other media, meet demands for targeted audiences, and simultaneously provide sufficiently mainstream ...
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