The idea here is to try to gather different strands of community media practice, examine some, recommend others, and hopefully be of some use to people who are building the fabric of our sector.
I don’t claim to be an expert. I’m just lucky to have worked in an area I love, community radio and television, for the last 15+ years. I’ve learned that I don’t know things, and I’ve learned a lot about listening. And I’ve learned to be skeptical of pronouncements.
One of the first lessons I learned was about authenticy of voice. I’d been trained in broadcasting and journalism, but my friend Michele Flannery taught me to value the real creativity that resides with every person who dares to make media. She didn’t talk about it in quite those terms, and I think we could have been talking about SubPop releases or the radio program put together by a local architect who simply loved the Kinks. Encouraging the universal creativity of everyone seems like a utopian dream, but it lies at the heart of most of the best community media practices I’ve run into.
Another way to slice it is as a desire to humanize the culture we receive, and turn it into the culture we make. And I think that may translate to commercial, non-commercial, print, video, audio, hyperlocal or transnational practices. Let’s see.