What is Community radio service? FLV Players and Converters Collection: What is Community radio service?

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is Community radio service?

Community radio is a type of radio service, that offers a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial and public service. Community stations can serve geographic communities and communities of interest. They broadcast content that is popular to a local/specific audience but which may often be overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters.

Community radio stations are operated, owned, and driven by the communities they serve. Community radio is not-for profit and provides a mechanism for facilitating individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own diverse stories, to share experiences, and in a media rich world to become active creators and contributors of media.

In many parts of the world, community radio acts as a vehicle for the community and voluntary sector, civil society, agencies, NGOs & citizens to work in partnership to further community development as well as broadcasting aims.

There has been significant legal definition of community radio as a distinct broadcasting sector in many countries such as France, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and Ireland. Much of the legislation has included phrases such as social benefit, social objectives, social gain as part of the definition.

Community radio has historically developed differently in different countries and thus the term has somewhat different meanings in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

In Ireland, Community Radio has been active since the late 1970s; however, it took until 1994 for the Independent Radio and Television Commission to establish an 18-month community radio pilot project to explore and evaluate the potential offered by community broadcasting in an Irish context. This project went operational in 1995 when licenses were issued to eleven community and community of interest groups across the country. Community radio in Ireland encompasses both Process (the participation by communities in the creation of programming) and Product (the service provided to the community through the programming supplied). The mix of the process and product is determined by the needs of the community and implemented through a management structure controlled by the community. Stations in Ireland are both geographically and community of interest based.

In the UK, the idea of community-based services can be traced back at least as far as the original concept for BBC local radio in the early 1960s. Thereafter various land-based unlicensed pirate radio stations (such as East London Radio, and Radio AMY: Alternative Media for You) developed the idea further. As pirate stations proliferated during the late 1970s and early 1980s, these stations were joined by those broadcasting specific to minority immigrant communities (Afro-Caribbean and Asian etc.), particularly in cities such as London, Birmingham, Bristol, and Manchester. Although "community radio" remains synonymous with "pirate radio" for some people in the UK, most minority immigrant stations focused purely on specific musical genres and were operated (theoretically at least) on a for-profit basis. Community radio services in the UK are operated on a not-for-profit basis with community ownership and control built in to their structures. Following an experiment started in 2001 by the former UK broadcast regulator The Radio Authority, since 2005 some 200 such stations have been licensed by the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom. Most such stations broadcast on FM, typically at a radiated power level of approximately 25 Watts (per-plane), although there are a few that operate on AM (medium wave), particularly in more rural areas.

In the U.S., community radio stations are non-profit, community-based operations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission for broadcasting in the non-commercial, public portion of the FM band. These stations differ from other public radio outlets in the U.S. by allowing community volunteers to actively participate as broadcasters.[1] Pirate radio is virtually unknown in Australia because of the strictly controlled allocation of broadcasting frequencies, and the likely application of severe, legislated penalties, including jail, for offenders.

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