What is Community Media?
Paper delivered at Community Voices Conference, Media Institute of Southern Africa, October 6 -11, 1996, Club Makokola, Mangochi, Malawi.
      by Guy Berger, Oct 1996

Community media should not be defined in the abstract, but in relation to a particular purpose, particular social conditions and a particular ethic. It is the purpose that allows one to distinguish between the features both necessary and sufficient for the definition. This purpose in turn is always closely tied to particular social conditions and the ethics associated with them. This approach means we can define community media by both its difference and its commonality with other media, especially independent media, and highlight the distinctive characteristics and their comparative utility. The neglected aspect of journalistic mission, agenda, ethics and practice based on democracy, human rights and liberation as the most fundamental characteristic is singled out for special attention.



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