Wednesday, January 16, 2008

UNESCO releases guide to community radio

United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has released a user guide for conducting of interviews for community radio in developing countries with focus on India, reports UGOCHI NKWOCHA.

Tagged, “Community Radio: A user’s guide to the technology” is a guide to technical parameters of community radio in India.

Produced for potential community radio operators, UNESCO said the technical manual takes into account the intention of the government of India to establish 4000 community radio stations by 2008.

The publication, which aimed at interested organizations in the demystification of each piece of equipment usually found in community radio stations, its role and function within a wider social context, advantages and disadvantages of its usage. For others, who dare to be technically more adventurous, detailed notes on equipment were also provided.

Champion Infotel recalled that in November 2006, the Indian government announced a new Community Radio Policy, which permits Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other civil society entities to own and operate community radio stations.

This new policy has brought a flood of questions from prospective community radio applicants/operators and in particular: what equipment do you need to set up a community radio and how much would it cost?

While there are many solutions that are available off the shelf, the main line of advice that the manual provided was “costs depending on the context of the community radio station you are trying to build.”

Further, the manual recommended to being small and grow inch by inch with the community.

Equally, the publication offers the information on the different options open to community development specialists in sourcing, maintenance and operation of the equipment that is most suited to their individual needs.

“It has been designed keeping in mind the knowledge levels of the end user and is packed with illustrations, photographs, cross references and a list of organizations who can further assist in technical and social aspects of community radio,” UNESCO said in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel.

It noted that through localisation not only of content, but also of technology that the community radio movement in India could be accelerated making, therefore, the intentions of the Government a live reality.

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