ERIC Number: ED334618
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Organizing Community-Based Popular Radio: Coming to Terms with Some Inevitable Problems.
Hochheimer, John L.
As more locally based community media emerge to reflect more popular participation in the creation of communication systems, media planners and activists, as well as scholars, must confront inevitable problems of organization. Ideally, management of a community radio station should comprise a democratic structure. Yet, inherent in the difficulties of attempting to establish and maintain democratically based media is the problem of defining and practicing "communicative democracy." The problems of an alternative, democratically constituted radio station, such as new stations in Eastern Europe, include such questions as: (1) Should the station serve its constituents, or should the communities act as resources for the station? (2) Who speaks for which community interest, and who decides which voices should be heard? (3) What happens when the interests, needs, or political agendas of newcomers are at odds with the founders? and (4) How should decisions be made within a democratically constituted hierarchy? Alternative media stations, which fashion themselves as "democratic media organizations," are different from bureaucratic organizations along eight dimensions: authority, rules, social control, social relations, recruitment and advancement, incentive structure, social stratification, and differentiation. These eight criteria are ideals which cannot exist in totality. There are also costs and constraints to constituting a community radio station in this manner: time, homogeneity, emotional intensity, nondemocratic individuals, environmental constraints, individual differences, and the non-reflexivity of broadcast time and resources. While the media of communication can be no more democratic and egalitarian than the people who create them, they can help point the way for more democratic community praxis in the future. (Forty-two references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Community Radio; Local Control; Media Characteristics; Public Access
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (41st, Chicago, IL, May 23-27, 1991).