CMFE’s secretary Urszula Doliwa just published the first book on Community Radio in the Polish language: Radio społeczne – trzeci obok publicznego i komercyjnego sektor radiowy (Community radio – the third along public and commercial radio sector), Olsztyn 2016, 332 pp.
We are of course very proud and happy to provide you with a brief description in English below and the link to the original:
Community radio as the so called third radio sector, along public and commercial, is an important element of the media systems and societies in several countries. According to the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) – organization that aims at increasing the importance of this sector in the European debate and decision making process – the estimated number of such stations in Europe in 2012 was around 2500. High expectations regarding combating the globalization and commercialization on the air are related to this sector. But still, especially in the Central and Eastern Europe, the community model of broadcasting remains often unknown.
Taking into account the fact that this subject matter was almost totally absent in the Polish academic discourse, in the book Radio społeczne – trzeci obok publicznego i komercyjnego sektor radiowy the author decided to point out some key issues important in the community media context. These are: the role of community radio in democracy, social participation, providing access to the media, the role of community radio in building a community, emancipatory potential of these kind of stations and social inclusion of different groups, also those marginalized in other media, as well as the function of diversifying media content – and they were described in the first chapter. The participation was analyzed as the accelerator of the positive social changes without which it is not possible to talk about truly community model of broadcasting.
Chapter II focuses on the historical and organizational context of community radio, including the most important documents, regulations, financial resources of the sector as well as the influence of technological innovations on the development of small non-commercial stations.The book also presents the situation of community media in Western as well as in Central
and Eastern Europe, where it is not so developed.
An important part of the book is a presentation of the third radio sector’s situation in Poland. Starting from the socio-historical context the author shows that the environment for the development of this sector in the Polish reality is very poor. In Poland, however, we can observe growing awareness that the Polish model of social broadcasting is not efficient. This is underlined by the analysis of different documents, including especially those prepared by National Broadcasting Council, the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the examples of the grassroots social movements aiming at the improvement of the situation of community broadcasters.
In subsequent chapters the analysis centers around how the initiatives existing on the Polish air that seek to fulfil some socially important objectives show similarities with the model of a community station. An important part of the study are interviews with representatives of student stations, those run by NGOs and religious broadcasters functioning independently, outside the
networks. The study made among Polish religious, student and NGOs broadcasters showed that they are trying to implement some non-commercial, socially important objectives. However, the fact that they are not explicitly assigned to the third media sector makes it difficult to define them as unambiguously community oriented.