Community Broadcasting and Social Change

CBAA News, 19th November 2011
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CBlogger JB reflects on community engagement and the concept of communities of social change:

At the CBAA Conference 2011 delegates have been discussing the concept of “culture and content” in Community Broadcasting and the discussions have been lively. Margaret Simons began the conference with a reminder of how media plays a vital role in democracy and how the role of citizen journalists and community content makers will become more important as media making business models settle.  Other sessions have covered the topic of engaging the community and engaging our audiences in what we do.

Connecting with these other media makers has reminded me of the common ground that community broadcasters all share. We (as Community Broadcasters) are a community of social change. Whenever we create content as community media makers we are agents for social change. You might think “how does my dodgy little community radio show change the world you wanker?”, but it is the fact that you represent communities, voices and perspectives that are heard nowhere else that makes you an agent of change. When you create community media you engage new conversations and new perspectives that noone else will cover – this is the nature of Community Broadcasting. Australia, as a country, is better for providing platforms for all Australians to contribute to our conversation – whether that be music, arts, politics or culture – Diversifying those who are part of the conversation is a vital part of social cohesion.

At the CBAA Conference it is inspiring to see so many diverse communities come together under the banner of Community Broadcasting and change the world in their own little, big and sometimes quirky ways. Australia has something very special in its Community Broadcasting sector and that should be fostered and preserved to ensure all Australians can be supported to have a voice.

 

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