Community Media/FAQs

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Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

Feel free to post your questions - we'll do our best to answer them!

What's the purpose for the Community Media node?

  • To build up and make recommendations for an accessible,
  • To develop a dynamic community media technical resource
  • To get more technical people aware of and linked into a community/web-resource for technical issues and resources
  • To identify appropriate individuals and existing resources and networks to build on
  • To encourage and support people to share tech specs, workarounds, innovations, lists, photos, etc.
  • To detail creative programming techniques and formats, interpretations of the Community radio policy, a

database stations etc.

  • To create a collectively-maintained, dynamic resource - that people can use, leverage and learn from

How can the Community Media node be used?

  • for developing Networking content using dial-up
  • Networking media producers and their content using telephony
  • Streaming and logging broadcast content
  • Sharing technical specs, photos, lists, etc on the tech wiki
  • Building up a web presence with resources and community members.
  • Strengthening collaboration within and external to the WikiEd community (i.e., adding a Community Media component to other areas)

How can I/WE get involved?

Please see the page: Outreach & Publicity, and add your voice and ideas.

Tell me about Community radio

Community radio has great potential - and we're exploring the interest / demand for both materials development (i.e., various aspects of the organisational development of a Community radio station (internal); technical resource support; as well as a global community of practice - to link up folks in Cr around the world. As well, the thinking is, that given the considerable number of Cr around the world (and the potential for development), there is a solid business case (read: economy of scale) for the development of such materials....

Why are you referring to Community Radio as Big "C", small "r"?

Because the Community is critical, the radio is the delivery mechanism, the format. In recognition of this, we are referring to Community as Big "C", and radio as small "r". Brent has provided a link to a neat story about this very fact. 'Community radio is 90% about community' - Here's an excerpt:

" As we drove with Zane and Trudy Kragtwijk, co-director of Baobab Development Services, the consulting service they jointly operate to assist poor communities, to the Khayelitsha Township in Cape Town, South Africa, he said it's less about radio and more about enabling community to develop, community with purpose. He told us community radio should create the conditions for a poor community to speak to itself so people can make informed decisions about their future.

"When you hear a program discussing gender issues and people talk about it to each other, that's community radio," he said. "It's the community talking to itself."

"Lose the radio part when you start out," he told us. "The first thing people start with is radio. That's technology. If you start with technology, before long there is a huge gap between the radio and the community,"

What are others doing....

Brent Simpson, New Zealand

I'm really just starting to learn about this myself as i'm in the process of helping set up a Community radio station at the moment where I live; you can take a trawl through the bookmarks i've been gathering for our station ( here:

I'd like the [Community Media node] page to possibly include more audio; podcasts from people about radio, interviews, how-tos etc... I also know we're looking for content to broadcast; real shows that are created by people then licensed for reuse on other stations. At the moment Radio seems the most likely of the traditional media forms for people in communities to gather around because its quite cheap to setup and producing content is easy with a computer and a copy of Audacity... When our Community radio station launches, I'm going to be exploring ways to integrate with educational aspects.

What are some of the Challenges?

  • Project level planning- what are the main steps involved before one starts broadcasting
  • Sustainability- how does one sustain programmatically, financially, socially, technologically?
  • Management- in India for example, the NGO is the license holder, so how does one ensure community based management within the framework?
  • Participation- What formats and planning can be done to ensure that programs are compelling and are user generated, and participatory?

In addition to this, some of the secondary issues but equally important, are:

  • What research systems can we put in place to ensure that community's feedback is considered, and programs are relevant?
  • How does one archive content (its a rule to keep an archive of last three months of content)
  • How does one use FOSS for radio stations to enable trouble free operations, as well as use innovative applications for radio?
  • Issues around content sharing- regional, national and international...
  • copyright issues for radio stations; legalities around content sharing as well

Community Radio (Technical Info)

What's the Open Source connection?

WikiEducator is a community rooted in freedom and openness - our decisions are transparent, and we use only open source software and free and open content. (links to be added here)... more soon.

The Community Media node is interested in exploring and documenting innovative models that integrate Open Source software for community radio stations. In the process, we'll come up with recommendations and hopefully some opportunities for demonstration. For example, there may be a potential opportunity for a 'radioactive' campus station in Bangalore.

What about maintenance / technical support for Open Source projects

For people who are interested in the open source model and are evaluating whether to go OS or MS, we are aware of your concerns for timely and cost-effective maintenance / support for either one. There is considerable breadth and depth in our Community - WikiEducator specifically, and the larger open source Community.

Is there an interest in Podcasting?

Yes. As an open community, we are interested in using and exploring the limits of many forms of community media technologies, including podcasting. Here is an interesting example of how to present technical information for podcasters:

Tell me about WikiEducator...

  • It is a self-standing initiative, supported in part by the Commonwealth of Learning
  • It is rooted in the open source, free culture movements - and subscribes to values of freedom and openness
  • It is a complex, self-organizing system - see this Journal Article by Randy Fisher, as a requirement for his Masters Program in Organization Management & Development for more info
Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg