UNESCO publication highlights the role of community broadcasting in disaster response
Maraa (a media and arts collective) and UNESCO New Delhi jointly launched the publication titled ‘Metamorphosis: Community Broadcasting and Disaster Response’ on 13 December 2021.
This publication culminated as part of the project ‘Strengthening Community Media Crisis Preparedness and Response in India’ in the wake of COVID-19. The project is supported by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development Communication (IPDC) with a larger aim to promote free and pluralistic media in developing countries.
The learning sessions focused on three major issues – ensuring support to and accountability of local authorities; creating a network of local reporters from active listeners; and addressing issues of gender violence, emotional and psychological counselling and countering misinformation.
‘Maraa aur UNESCO ne yeh thaana hai, community radio ko aage badhana hai’ (Maraa and UNESCO have come together to support community radio) was the slogan chanted by one of the participants.
UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (2008) observe that while the media is a platform for democratic discourse, the proximity of community media to citizens often allows it to reflect social diversity more comprehensively than the mainstream media. Indeed, UNESCO’s interventions related to Community Radio are central to its efforts to strengthen media pluralism and diversity.