Category Archives: Participatory Media

Who are you calling helpless!

In the Information Age, where new media has stolen the spotlight, old media such as radio are left unnoticed. However, if we want to be realistic, radio, and particularly community radio is sometimes the only means people have to communicate and receive news and information. Pieterse (2005) contends that “media such as community radio allow more local input and have greater outreach and development potential than the fancy digital media” (p.23). The case I will depict in this post is a collaboration between the BBC and a community radio in the Bihar and Uttar Pradesh states in India to raise awareness about bonded labour and human rights. Continue reading Who are you calling helpless!

India: The World’s Oldest Profession Meets New Media

It is not a secret that prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. In fact, prostitutes are the people everybody loves to hate. They are diabolized, criminalized, and assaulted in many communities. So, what does the “network society” have to offer those who are marginalized in their own society in countries like India? I would say a lot!  Continue reading India: The World’s Oldest Profession Meets New Media

Amplifying the Voices of the Poor

Participatory video (PV) is a great way for a community to explore issues or voice their concerns by creating their own film. I found Tamara Plush’s talk at the ORECOMM Festival on “The Reflective Lens: How Participatory Video Practitioners Experience their own Agency in Raising the Voice of Others” very fascinating. Plush was giving insight into how participatory video can be used as a tool for communicating social change to reinforce citizen engagement efforts in the international development sector. PV as a method can enable citizen voices of people living in poverty within an international development context.  Continue reading Amplifying the Voices of the Poor

Community Media – Key Words

This blog aims to highlight the centrality of the role of community media to questions of participation, democracy, and social change. It is thus important, as an introductory step, to provide a basic definition of concepts such as community, civil society, and community media as they figure in Ellie Rennie’s book Community Media: A Global Introduction.


According to Rennie, community is not a static, uniform entity, but rather an ongoing process shaped by interaction and communication. It is a relation that is frequently negotiated. Community does not only denote a geographical location, but also figures in “terms of interest, language, cultural or ethnic groupings”. Although it is thought to be “pre-political”, unplanned, and dependent on a sense of belonging, community can be a type of governance through furthering political aspirations.  Continue reading Community Media – Key Words