Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sharing of Airwaves for Community Radio

The concept of sharing a same frequency/ spectrum can be adopted for the growth of Community Radio sector in developing countries. For example, in India only three frequencies are available for community radio. A considerable number of applications have been rejected in the country because of non-availability of frequency. Sharing of spectrum will not only help in utilizing the natural resources properly, but also in making the stations financially sustainable. Community Broadcasting Law Uruguay and Argentina allow equitable sharing of the airwaves for Community Broadcasting sector.

I have conducted a desktop research among 122 CR stations of India with the help of the Community Radio Compendium*, 2014, which reveals that 68.9% of CR stations utilize 10 hours or less for broadcasting through their respective stations. About 50% of the CR stations utilize only eight hours or less for broadcasting. Only 9% CR stations utilize the spectrum for more than 20 hours. I can understand that how difficult to generate contents for a community radio. But at the same time, we cannot waste the valuable natural resource.

The sharing can be possible in two ways- i) Use of the same infrastructure for two or more community radio stations and ii) In the license it should be mentioned the time sharing for two or more stations having the same frequency in a particular place. 

*To read and download the Community Radio Compendiums of India, please visit-

Cite this article as-
Dutta, A. (2014, November 22). Sharing of Airwaves for Community Radio. Community Communications.

Dutta, Ankuran. "Sharing of Airwaves for Community Radio." Community Communications, 22 Nov. 2014, Accessed ..........

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Who are the Volunteers in Community Radio?

When I rendered my service at Jnan Taranga, the first Community Radio of North East India as its Station Manager, I tried several times to involve a few volunteers in programming. I was inspired by the experience of four community radio stations based in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, where I visited in 2011. But the attitude of community members to become volunteers of community radio station is different in India and Bangladesh from the western nations.
Volunteers are the integral part of any community radio station of the world and they are the working force that ensures the community participation. But who are the volunteers? Are they persons used to spend their times for the community radio or who have a clear aim or objective to serve a community using any media of communication?
"Or there are some other gains or motives for a person to get involved like to gain experience or pre-service training."
Or simply a volunteer is an unpaid labour?  Can we define volunteer as individual, organizational or in the community as a whole?
The concept of volunteerism in the developed and developing countries are different from the point of view of involvement, expectation and accountability. The issue ‘involvement’ refers to the engagement of the volunteers in different activities of a CR station. Volunteers may be involved in programming, management (technical or general administration) and policy decision. Expectation may be analysed from both the perspectives- expectation of the management and expectation of the volunteer, particularly in the context of developing countries. Among the various parameters, accountability or broadly responsibility of volunteers is also an essential area of discussion. "There is an urgent need to assess current status and provide better understanding of volunteer behaviour, motivations, attitudes expectation and other related issues to all stakeholders in the field of CR especially in the developing nations." 

Cite this article as-
Dutta, A. (2014, November 9). Who are the Volunteers in Community Radio? Community Communications.

Dutta, Ankuran. "Who are the Volunteers in Community Radio?" Community Communications, 9 Nov. 2014, Accessed ............

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