Community radio: For Social Change

There is much discussion about the effect on local cultures of the increasingly globalized commercial media output with its well-tried and standard – if not banal – entertainment formats. But one thing is clear: they can never respond to the socio-economic and development needs of the countries they reach, let alone those of marginalized communities within those countries. Hence, globalized media and community media do not compete. The former provides irrelevant entertainment, while the latter deals with local issues in the local languages and cultural context, relating to local problems and concerns, and aiming to help the community develop socially, culturally and economically. The principal functions of community radio are:
To reflect and promote local identity, character and culture by focusing principally on local content. Culture is how the people of a community talk about their past and their cuture. It is what they care about. Like life itself, culture is infinitely variable and constantly evolving. Community culture is also artistic expression through local music, dance, poetry, theatre and story telling. Local performers are encouraged to go on air uninhibited by considerations of the ‘professional standards’ they may have acquired from mainstream media. Culture is also language, so programming includes the languages of any minority groups in the community.
• To create a diversity of voices and opinions on the air through its openness to participation from all sectors. Some discord is present in all communities, but the acknowledgement of con-flict is necessary for democracy and for democratic communities. Community radio tries to air objectively all sides of a discussion without itself taking sides.
To encourage open dialogue and democratic process by providing an independent platform for interactive discussion about matters and decisions of importance to the community. In essence, the core of democratic process is the ability of people to hear and make themselves heard.
To promote social change and development. In marginalized communities people all have their individual perceptions about their situation, but what is required for change and development is a collective perception of the local reality and of the options for improving it. This collective perception can only be achieved through internal discussions to analyse specific problems, identify possible solutions, and mobilize the appropriate people or groups for action. Community radio provides the perfect platform for this internal discussion.
• To promote good governance and civil society by playing a community watchdog role that makes local authorities and politicians more conscious of their public responsibilities. The marginalized and the oppressed normally have no way to complain when authorities take advantage of them, but community radio gives them a voice to air their grievances and obtain their due rights.
Some other functions of community radio include: sharing of information and innovation; giving a voice to the voiceless, especially to women and young people in some societies; and providing a social service as a replacement for the telephone.

ACTIVISM AND MOVEMENT

-MEDIA ACTIVISM  and SOCIAL MOVEMENTS-

(WEEK 8)

Before I start to talk about media activism, I want to unfold what activism means and what social movements are and then I talk about this issue behalf of alternative media.

Activism is quite simply taking action to effect social change; this occur in a myriad of ways and in a  variety of forms. Often it is concerned with ‘how to change the world’ through social, political, economic or   environmental change. This can be led by individuals but is often done collectively through social movements. (http://www.permanentculturenow.com/what-is-activism/)

Social movements  are purposeful, organized groups striving to work toward a common social goal and social movements happens not only in one country but also actualizes from country to country, region to region, culture to culture, social issues in terms of political, economic, educational and they are categorized with local, state, national and global. In addition to this, social movements are examined under four types which are called ‘Reform Movements’ . Aim of this movement changes social structure. ‘Revolutionary Movement’ which wants to change every aspect of society. The 1960s counter movements are exampled by link which I examine because 1960s movement is anarchist movement. ‘Religious/Redemptive Movement’which aims is to provoke spiritual growth in individuals. The last one is ‘Alternative Movement’ which focuses self-improvement and change individuals behaviour. (I summarize these informations from this link: http://cnx.org/content/m42945/latest/?collection=col11407/latest )

These are firstly I underline activism and social movements so activism and social movements doesn’t appear now it comes from past because people who encountered problems, and wanted to propagate in order to defend their own right, in order to promulgate their voices through protest for organizing collectively. If I give example from history, ‘Anti-consumerism’, ‘Arab-spring’, ‘Ecology movement’, ‘Human right movement’, ‘Women’s Liberation Movement’ were some examples of how activist people took an action for creating social movements .( I take some names of  social movements from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_movements)

Now, I want to take hand that how alternative media makes a contribution behalf of social movements and activist people. Especially, in social media, which are modern version of terms of Habermas (public sphere). My first example is avatar activism. In this activisim is conducted for serving guy rights in USA in 2009. What social media users is that they change their avatars at the same time for showing logo of guy rights. Its effectiveness were argued because it didn’t measured but this shows that how people take an action for guys and make contribution for enlarging their rights to take attention of other people to their rights. (I drew upon this informations from http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/us-news-blog/2013/mar/27/social-media-gay-rights-avatar-activism)

On the other hand, in this link, writer who talks about higher percentage of  using social media since 2008. Yes, the writer talks about how American people especially adults who has posted links about political issues and he gives statistical information about portion which started with %33 and then increases %69 online population and the crucial point which writer want to take attention of readers is ,that social media users  in USA who participate political meeting around Interned and talk about problesm, higher education and their economic condition is so good than non user of social media to talk about political matters. (I benefited from this link before I summarize information (http://www.nextgov.com/technology-news/2013/04/social-media-activists-are-wealthier-more-educated-and-rise/62789/)

Lastly, I give crucial information from article about ‘Social Media Activism from Malaysia and Pakistan’ behalf of social media activism particularly taking hand of Twitter. In this esay, what writer want to examine is to see behaviour of social media activists and sharing issue of media activist from different regions of the world. Writer who take hand 70 Malaysian twitter and 118 Pakistani twitter. What writer did is that looking for content of twitter, retweeter of tweeters.In addition to this, writer aim is to show how people share and talk about political issues and their interests and at the end of the statisques they see that how Malaysian and Pakistani people share same issue through Twitter . As I read this paper, I want to combine theoretical terms of Marshall McLuhan which time space compression. What I mean is wherever people live, they have chance to share and have an idea about what other people thing about different issues in terms of dissimilar topics without boundries. (Link : http://www2012.wwwconference.org/proceedings/nocompanion/wwwwebsci2012_qureshi.pdf)

In conclusion, social movements, activist people which hold a place world which we live because people organized for resisting something for rights, for laws, for political issues, for socio- economic application, justice and education . All these issues happens in our inner life  but every day many things happen and people try to adapt something or against them. Particularly,  with the media people start to awake and want to have an idea about every issue. They search , they take place in the Internet what other people think, how they make a contributions about dissimilar issues. Before movements actualize, they organize, establish contact with them in an easily way because they build networks to take an action collectively and create democratic environment according to their benefits so this is positive and general perpective todays life behalf of media activism, alternative media activism but the question comes to my mind are they effective, are they draw a conclusion as they want to because in behalf of alternative media activism, issues are temporary because people make an effort in a short time, they express their points of view in a freely way , they support movements which available their lifestyles, their ideologies,their political views and they react but I think that many of them don’t mirror their reactions physically in spaces or how many of them take responsibility in a seriously way and because of this reason there is an artifical environment and the effectiveness of movements open discussion.

 

REFERENCES:

1-http://www.permanentculturenow.com/what-is-activism/

2-http://cnx.org/content/m42945/latest/?collection=col11407/latest

3-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_movements

4-http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/us-news-blog/2013/mar/27/social-media-gay-rights-avatar-activism

5-http://www.nextgov.com/technology-news/2013/04/social-media-activists-are-wealthier-more-educated-and-rise/62789/

6- M.Atif Qureshi, Arjumand Younus, Lay Ki Soon, Muhammad  Saeed, Nasir Touheed, Colm O’Riordan and Pasi Gabrielle

http://www2012.wwwconference.org/proceedings/nocompanion/wwwwebsci2012_qureshi.pdf

Alternative Media

First of all, in order to discuss about alternative media, it is needed to indicate why this type of media are categorized as “alternative”. Name on it, alternative media are the ones which do not belong to mainstream. In this sense we may ask, what is mainstream media and why people need this alternative media concept?

Mainstream media are accepted as they serve to general interests of a society, mainly. However, mainstream media can be used as a manipulative instrument to direct people accordingly to the purposes and intentions of those who have the media tools. Fuchs (2010) points out that “Content and form of traditional media are ideological. Content is strictly defined by what is considered as popular and sellable. The drive for profit can result in a lack of quality, complexity, and sophistication (as e.g. yellow journalism that simplifies reality and is focused on singular examples, emotionalism, and sensationalism)” (p:179).
This shows us that media owners can pick up the news or arrange and edit them accordingly to their intentions and change people’s mind as they want. At this stage, audience could be considered as passive, because they do not take place in choosing their agendas actively; they just take what is given to. On the contrary, alternative media provide space for people to express their ideas in an active way. Not only to express but also to choose what they wish to hear and be informed about.

In my opinion, mainstream media have started to lose importance; correspondingly, alternative media have started to become a major tool to keep up with the latest events. As indicated above, thanks to alternative media tools, people are now able to discuss about the latest events and trends free from mainstream control mechanism. Certainly, developing communication technologies play an important role in this stage; thanks to these technologies, people are now able to contact with each other no matter how far they are (time and space compression). That brings us to the “Global village” concept which was conceptualized by McLuhan. As we know, there is a huge transformation in communication technology. Almost everyone has a smartphone, and these devices provide people chance to stay in contact with each other. These technologies goes hand in hand with software technologies. The last decade, social media become so popular that there are 1 billion of social media users estimated; in other words, there is a huge network of users has been established around the world. Thus, there are no more spatial distance between people. These people share their ideas and opinions for a particular issue with the others just in a second. I can say that, communication technologies allowed Habermas’s “public sphere” concept worldwide. The reason for this, people are so connected to each other that they can discuss about the events without leaving their homes; they are no longer have to meet phisically like it was used to be so in the past.

Modernity connection with The West and The Rest

Modernity process has been occuring in east side countries with the domination from west countries. “The West and The Rest” term is a well known description in this problem through years.

 Mostly, as we have mentioned,  media play a great role to create these similar worlds between different countries. I want to give an example which is about a photo taken by National Geographic reporter in Afghanistan years ago. We all know about this young girl natural photo. Years later same reporter went to Afghanistan and found same woman, but suprisingly she did not never ever see this photo or cover before. She had hard life and has never been interact with media. In Turkey, we all know this photo. So in the end, we get the idea that there are still reagons which are never interact with media as us. They live in their small world with several suffers.


Another side of the problem is, effected countries from the West. I can give an example again from television serials and reality shows which Turkey always imitate and implement these ideas and visuals. People in Turkey act like American actors, juries and competitors. People who view these shows feels like them. We are all motivated by American culture and entertainment culture without question.
These are two well designed books about this topic which i want to recommend.

1. Civilization: The West and The Rest: http://www.guardianbookshop.co.uk/BerteShopWeb/viewProduct.do?ISBN=9781846142734

2. The Media and Modernity: A Social Theory of the Media : http://www.amazon.com/Media-Modernity-Social-Theory/dp/0804726795