Friday, January 25, 2019

C3 : A Model for Community Communications

Explaining the importance of communication is like explaining the importance of breathing! Communication is now the fourth basic need for the human being. We cannot think a day without communication; it may be inter personal or technology mediated. For me, the society has now divided into two categories -- ‘communication rich’ and ‘communication poor’. It is not related to effectiveness of communication. It is about the accessibility to communication and information. We often use the term in the academic discourses -- digital divide. But are we seriously thinking of the means to reach the last person of the society? Community Communications Centre (C3) may be an option to experiment with.

UNESCO has many models on community communication, such as Community Information Centres, Telecentres and Community IT Centres, Multipurpose Community Telecentres, Community Multimedia Centres, Community Learning Centres etc. C3 is a revised concept in the context of developing countries. My experience of an Indian village located in Upper Assam of the remote North East informs me that it will work.
C3 will be a common centre for the community, where minimum communication facilities would be available. It may be a medium size house located in the village but connected to the world. Established by the members of the community with financial assistance from the government, but not controlled and maintained by the government, C3 will serve as:
  • Community Information and Learning Service
  • Community Participatory Service
  • Community Archiving Service
The following facilities should be available under 3C’s services:
  • Community Information and Learning Service
    • Community library to read the must read books
    • Newspapers to know about the happening in the world
    • Radio to get information, education and entertainment
    • Television with the accessibility to digital video broadcasting
    • Internet broadband connectivity to access the Internet
    • Community screening hall, where videos produced by the community and important events are screened
  • Community Participatory Service
    • Weekly wall magazine, where the community members will contribute their literary creativity.
    • Monthly or bi-monthly community newspaper, which will be the compilation of the literary activities from the wall magazines and important local development stories.
    • Community radio with its power to improve the livelihoods of the community.
    • Community Video Unit, where the models of activism for development, co-learning, archiving, establishment of identity and information dissemination will be executed.
    • Community Television will be a model for sustainability of the C3 with the provision to distribute free to air channels and a community television channel through digital cable service on a minimum monthly rental.
  • Community Archiving Service
    • Community Visual Archive that will work as the best medium for archiving of the activities, major events, individual’s photographs.
    • Community Audio Archive that will preserve the audio recordings of the major events, folk performing arts etc.
    • Community Video Archive that will work to preserve video recordings of the community activities, traditions, rituals, folk performances etc.
    • Community Print Archive will preserve the rare manuscripts, community newspapers, wall magazines, important letters, wedding cards of the community members etc.
All the three C-services will maintain synergy and closely associate with each others. The entire C3 would be running on renewable energy. There will be a database on all the members of the community/ village. The screening hall will also be used as a meeting hall to discuss on common issues. Community video screenings and other public announcements from the C3 will be aired in the community radio. The Panchayat, schools, college/s, health centres, post office, village banking etc. may be directly associated with the C3. The district administration, police and government departments will also work with the centre for easy access to its members and save time in carrying out their activities. A public address system and a public call booth will help additionally. A steering committee representing all sections of the society will run and maintain the C3 on a rotation basis for a limited period. A website would inform the rest of the world about the activities of the C3. Implemented systematically, the C3 will act as the custodian of all public property on behalf of the society. The C3 will be an area full of development activities for a positive change in the livelihood of the members of the community. This model will make Digital India as per the vision of Indian Prime Minister, Sh Narendra Modi! 

Cite this article as:

Dutta, A. (2014, August 30). C3 : A Model for Community Communications. Community Communications.;


Dutta, Ankuran. "C3 : A Model for Community Communications." Community Communications, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, New Delhi, 30 Aug. 2014,; Accessed .............

(This blog was originally published at the web platform of Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, New Delhi at
Republished today on the occasion of Republic Day and the idea came to my mind on Independence Day of 2014. I am happy that the concept has been discussed in many platforms in last four years globally. Looking forward to execute the dream of a model village in India or any developing nation having a C3.)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Defining Community Radio

Community media is one that is operated in the community,for the community,about the community andby the community. As UNESCO defined, “Community media are characterized by their accountability to the communities they serve. They emerge as a result of popular movements that strive to attain an important space in citizen participation and demand the right to own and operate free from political or commercial interference.”[i]To make the concept of community media more easy and comprehensive, I developed a model called “DOLPHIN” in April 2016 [ii]and I feel very happy that the concept has been discussed and deliberated many places of the globe. With the concept of community media, we can very easily define community radio as a broadcasting tool of community media.  

As Bruce Girard (2007) stated, there are five (5) points to define community radio and they are-
„-Community-based (location, ownership and control); 
-„Independent (not relational but on the influence and transparency); 
-„Not-for-profit (but for sustenance),
-„For the community (social, economic and cultural benefits of the community); and 
-„Participatory (at all levels of programming, operation and finance). 

Based on many literature and practical experiences of running community radio station, we tried to define community radio in 2014[iii]in Indian or broadly South Asian perspective. I personally believe that this definition covers all the important aspects of a community radio. Let us have a look on the definition-

“Community radio is primarily a low power FM broadcasting service owned, controlled, managed and run by a particular community with a non profit motive for providing and sharing information, education and entertainment which may lead to eradicate digital divide, address identity crisis, remove socio-economic hindrance, promote local culture and resolve local issues resulting in overall development of a community” (Ankuran Dutta & Anamika Ray, 2014).

This definition tries to indicate the basic aims, objectives, functions and structure of a community radio. Discussions are appreciated to improve the definition to be the most comprehensive definition on community radio. There are many more definitions on community radio, for more definitions, the readers may go through the webpage of Management Resources of Community Media.[iv]

Cite this article as-

Dutta, A. (2019, January 24). Defining Community Radio. Community Communications. Retrieved ................, from

Dutta, Ankuran. "Defining Community Radio." Community Communications, Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust, India, 24 Jan. 2019, Accessed ...............

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