|Occupation:||Community Media practitioner|
Ramnath Bhat- Founding Member- Maraa, a community media collective in Bangalore, India
Born in June 1981, New Delhi
Studied Media Studies in Manipal Institute of Communication, Manipal, Karnataka, India
Worked as Media Head, VOICES from August 2004 to March 2008
Founded Maraa, and currently working full time for Maraa
Community Media Experience
- Worked as an Ethnographic Action Researcher for Namma Dhwani (Our Voices) community radio station in 2004 (I understand Ethnographic Action Research only now, which leads one to ask, what the hell was I doing in 2004? haha)
- Worked on production and capacity building for using community radio for campaigns like Universal Birth Registration and Legal empowerment
- Set up Kalanjiam Samuga Vanoli Community Radio station in terms of technical set up, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation
- Set up community video unit at Kalanjiam Community Radio Station, facilitated technical set up, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation
At VOICES, I have worked in theatre, video and print, although at a minor level, helping others in my team. More of a learning experience for me than anything else.
- Contracted by UNESCO, New Delhi to conduct ICT and radio training for specific projects in Sri Lanka (Kothmale Community Radio station), Bangladesh (Sitakund Community Multimedia Centre) and some community media projects in India as well.
- Member of AMARC, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, representing Namma Dhwani community radio stations. Unfortunately, none of the folks at Namma Dhwani know English, so I had to represent them!
Member of Community Radio Forum, India, and heading the Technology Options Task Force, although I must admit that the CRF was only recently registered as a society and that the Task Force hasn't done much at all, although well intentioned.
At Maraa, we are a group of people who believe in reclaiming the media space for communities. Monopolized by either government agencies or by the private and commercial sector, we hope to get some of the precious and increasingly lucrative media space back for people, where it rightly belongs! Also, at Maraa, we believe that development communication is a bit passe, and tends to treat communities as one dimensional cardboard cut outs who only have problems. Therefore all media on communities must only talk about problems and issues. We hope to break these stereotypes and bring out creative aspects of people who have something to say. Creative expression is as important for development as is issue based content, and Maraa is committed to building bridges between these seemingly two distant areas.
Right now, we are involved in documenting and facilitating best practices of Community Radio in India, as a part of the IPDC (International Program for Development of Communication). This has kept us so busy that we are yet to begin our other projects. But we will start soon!
An avid reader, and user of the internet, my interests lie in culture studies, media and community media, FOSS, and research. I am slowly beginning to get interested in education and training. After spending some time in the social sector, I have added traveling to this small list of interests as well!
Send me a line on ram at maraa dot in