Enhancing a Community Media Association Research Network

Hi All, at the CMA conference on 15th September I will be making a short presentation, along with Katie Moylan from the University of Leicester, about the CMA’s aim to enhance and support research associated with community media practice in the UK. The aim is to be able to enhance collaboration and partnerships that supports CMA members ability to apply for funding, access resources and evaluate the activities that are undertaken based on their social impact.

I’ve identified a preliminary form of words to start some discussion, and would welcome any comments and input from CMA members and supporters, the academic research communities who work in these areas, and those who are developing community related training and services associated with community media.

We are lucky to have some long-standing supporters of the CMA’s work in the academic and research communiity, both here in the UK and internationally, so reaching out to them and simultaneously opening out our networks is one of the priorities of this process.

Any thoughts and comments will be very welcome.

Regards, Rob

Community Media Association Research Network

The Community Media Association (CMA) recognises the value of research that supports the evaluation and development of community media practice in the United Kingdom.

The CMA is committed to supporting and promoting the development of professionally and internationally recognised research and evaluation.

The CMA will seek to act in partnership with researchers and practitioners who are recognised and valued as researchers who understand and want to promote the social impact of community media, and the role that community media plays in social and community development.

The CMA will seek to identify, bridge and provide support for networks of established and emerging researchers, academics, community development practitioners, community media practitioners, policy makers, civic engagement providers and funding bodies.

The CMA aims to support research and evaluation using accounts of social impact, and practice as evidence to support understanding in the Social Sector of the potential role of community media as a contributing activity for social engagement and community development.

The CMA will act in partnership with established research communities to develop resources for the sharing, discussion and evaluation of practice-based community media work, including the work of research communities, practitioners and training providers as they seek to assess and corroborate the social impact of community media.


Support and promote the activities of the CMA, as defined by CMA charter.

Build and support a collaborative network of academics and researchers who share a commitment to understanding and promoting the social value of community media.

Promote the right to self-determination in media through access to self-produced media platforms that are accountable to their communities.

Foster the CMA’s credibility as an advocacy organisation for community media, community development and community engagement practitioners, etc.

Foster the CMA’s credibility as an advocacy organisation with government, NGO’s, social-impact policy organisations, etc.

Ensure commitment to independent, evidence-based research, and link with established and emerging research groups and networks, both nationally and internationally.

Develop, disseminate and support research models and evaluation tools for community media practitioners and advocates.

Bid for collaborative research funding from multiple agencies.

Focus on:

  • Social impact of community media.
  • The role of community media as a practice-led activity.
  • Evidence-based models that test the strengths and weaknesses of community media practices, organisational models, and regulatory approaches.
  • Producing supporting toolkits that support practitioners and advocates in developing evidence for funding bids and co-development support.

Dear Rob,
Greetings for Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication BNNRC)

BNNRC represent the community electronic media sector to Government, Industry, Regulatory Bodies, Media, Academia and Development Partners from 2000. BNNRC is supported by contributions from different development organizations worldwide who share a commitment in building a free, independent and pluralistic community media of voices for the voiceless.

BNNRC is in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accredited with World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) of the United Nations and UN WSIS prize winner 2016 and Champion 2017.

We would like to congratulate you on initiating Enhancing a Community Media Association Research Network.
We would appreciate if you allow us as a member of the Community Media Association Research Network.

In Solidarity,

AHM. Bazlur Rahman-S21BR | Chief Executive Officer |
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
[Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations]

House: 9/4 Road: 2, Shaymoli, Dhaka-1207| Bangladesh|
Phone: +88-02-9130750| 9101479 | Cell: +88 01711881647
Fax: 88-02-9138501 | E-mail: ceo@bnnrc.net | bnnrcbd@gmail.com |


Hi Bazlur, many thanks for this. It’s great to see that there is a global interest in community media, and that we can learn from each other as we address issues that are relevant locally, but which relate across boundaries. I’m looking forward to finding out more about the work that you do, and the impact that it has.


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Dear Rob,
Thank you very much for your response! I am sending herewith my work and the impact of Community Media in Bangladesh for your kind perusal.

The Ministry of Information Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh has declared Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation Policy 2008, which was the citizens’ expectation since the year 1998. Accordingly in April, 2010, Ministry of Information has approved 32 Community Radio Stations to operate for the first time in the country.

After the approval of license Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has allocated frequency and then the Community Radio stations started broadcasting from 2011 in line with National Frequency Allocation Plan. BTRC has already reserved 5 frequency for Community Radio Operation like 99.2, 98.8, 98.4 etc.

Now 17 Community Radio Stations are on-air in the country, aiming to ensure empowerment and right to information for the rural community. They are broadcasting altogether 135 hours program per day on information, education, local entertainment and development motivation activities. Around 100 Youth Women & Youth are now working with those Stations throughout the country as rural broadcasters. Another 15 Community Radio will start broadcast by end of this year.

These programs are quite supportive to the activities reflected in 6th 7th 5year plan of Government of Bangladesh, UN World Summit on the Information Society (UN WSIS) Action Plan, and UN Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs).

In 2012 Ministry of Information has declared National Strategy for Community Radio to support implementation of Community Radio Installation, broadcast and Operation Policy.

Potentials of Community Radio in Bangladesh

a. Community Radio has created scope for the poor and marginalized community to raise their own voice; it becomes the voice for the voiceless. This neo-media outlets opened scope to establish their rights of Information and communication in social, political, cultural and environmental arena.

b. Scope widened for poverty reduction and sustainable development because of the rights to raise voice of the community and accessibility to knowledge and information.

c. Scope opened for exchange of dialogue between local elected representatives, govt. and NGO professionals for the sake of establishing good governance.

d. Direct linkage established between the community and the main sectors reflected in SDGs and 7th 5-year plan.

e. Scope created for Social debate, inclusion and preservation of cultural diversity by ensuring the inclusion of the marginalized community.

f. Community Radio is now able to play more active role in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) due to establishment of effective linkage between the govt. departments and local/rural community.

Apart from this, Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in Bangladesh is a challenging field of media development today. Citizens of rural Bangladesh cannot easily access relevant information and voice their concerns, and education levels are generally low. Already the Community radio programs have been widely accepted among the local community.17 community radio stations presently covers more than 6.18 million listeners.

Media literacy also helps people to manage content and communications, and protect themselves and their families from the potential risks associated with using these services.

  • Accessing media and information : technical skills for accessing suitable media and information sources
  • Using media and information : content decoding skills and responsible strategies for applying content to one’s daily life
  • Evaluating media and information : ability to judge the credibility, accuracy and objectivity of sources
  • Creating media and information : critical attitude and skills in how to construct media and information

Participating in media : critical attitudes and knowledge of where and how to interact with journalists and editors of media, as well as with other citizens via old and new media

  • Knowing how media work : knowledge about media and information systems, organizations, routines and effects
  • Demanding media quality and rights : critical demand for and defense of good media and information sources

Community radio in Bangladesh is a two-way process that empowers people to identify problems and create solutions. It enables the most vulnerable to participate in decisions for positive change in their lives. Access to media and ICT should not be viewed as an end in itself but as a means to the ultimate goal of social inclusion. Community radio helps the remotest communities to integrate into national and global economies.

The Community Radios are becoming an active ground for organizing dialogues at rural level. These dialogues will help the rural mass to find out their own voice and ensure leverage their free opinion in respect of social, economic, political ,cultural and environmental issues.

With best regards,


AHM. Bazlur Rahman-S21BR | Chief Executive Officer |

Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)

[Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations]

Policy Research Fellow , Shaping the Future of Media, Information & Entertainment

in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution(4th IR)

House: 9/4 Road: 2, Shaymoli, Dhaka-1207| Bangladesh|

Phone: +88-02-9130750| 9101479 | +88 01711881647

Fax: 88-02-9138501 | ceo@bnnrc.net | bnnrcbd@gmail.com |