Community Media Sustainability – Policy Series

A new resource is available, reports Birgitte Jallov, EMPOWERHOUSE and Member of the CMFE board, for community radio regulators – and all of us advocating for enabling legal community media environments: In September 2015 UNESCO called on community media stakeholders, representing governments, regulators, practitioners, NGOs and experts from all regions of the world to come and pool their experience on the challenges when wanting to support Community Media Sustainability – with a focus on policy and funding. Read more here.

The resulting recommendations are addressed to Governments and Regulators, to Community Media Outlets and Associations, and to UNESCO – the UN organization with the mandate on media, and to the international community.

The first section focuses on what it takes to ensure an enabling legal, policy environment, and this has been addressed in a great source on the web: The Media Sustainability Policy Series. As UNESCO says in the introduction to the resource:

“Community broadcasters are a crucial part of a healthy, pluralistic media sector. They are independent and not-for-profit, and are governed by and in service to the community they represent. The UNESCO Community Media Sustainability Policy Series has been created to assist media regulators and government institutions provide a regulatory environment that recognises the value of community media and supports its long-term sustainability.”

The resource covers: Definition of Community Broadcasting; Formal Recognition; Licensing Systems; Reserving Spectrum; Providing Public Funding; Access to Private Sources of Funding & Support; as well as Digital Terrestrial Transition & Digital Distribution Method. The resource ends with a Policy Checklist as well as a section with ‘Bibliography & Useful Resources’.

The Policy Series has been developed by the Centre for Law and Democracy who works “to promote, protect and develop those human rights which serve as the foundation for or underpin democracy, including the rights to freedom of expression, to vote and participate in governance, to access information and to freedom of assembly and association”. In 2013 they presented the important publication “Tuning into development. International Comparative Survey of Community Broadcasting Regulation”, which also covers Europe.