Thursday, May 29, 2008

Media and Community Building

Community building can be defined as any local action taken by local individuals to build their community and provide opportunity for people to exercise their rights granted by the constitution. The powerful influence of Media on people and technological convergence help empower communities and reach social goals, engage citizens in contributing in public policy and shaping democracy.
Educated citizens are essential to a functioning democracy; they can actively question corporate power and mobilize resource to help establish social justice and fairness by engaging citizens in building a healthy society through the influence of Media.
For citizens to be engaged in democracy, they need to be critical thinkers, self expressive so that they can understand and contribute to public discourse and make informed decisions to the issues, opinions and ideas which matter most to them.
Community media help community members communicate, learn, create, connect together and share information. The purpose of Media and community building is to:
• Tell, share and preserve the community stories
• Better understand the community differences
• Discuss the community challenges and develop solutions
• Encourage and exercise the free exchange of ideas
• Practice inclusiveness and empowerment
• Promote and enable social change
• Build collaborations and partnerships in pursuit of a better community.
Media and communication technologies have contributed to building healthy, dynamic communities. Some of the tools that can be used in the service of community building are the following:
• Independent local Journalism that fully informs the community and acts as a watchdog to protects citizens from distorted news and provides a professional journalism.
• Newspapers, television and radio stations, local broadcast channels operated by multiple, diverse, and independent owners that compete vigorously and employ a diverse workforce.
• Radio and television programming produced by independent creators that is original, challenging, controversial, and diverse.
• Programming, stories, and speech produced by communities and citizens.
• Internet service provided by multiple, independent providers who compete vigorously and offer access to the entire Internet over a broadband connection, with freedom to attach within the home any legal device to the net connection and run any legal application.
• Public broadcasting insulated from political and commercial interests that is well-funded and especially serves communities underserved by privately-owned broadcasters.
• Regulatory policies emphasizing media education and citizen empowerment, not government censorship, as the best ways to avoid unwanted content.
• Media That Use The Public's Airwaves To Serve The Public Interest
Digital convergences extend human abilities and shrink space, it allows every user to connect anywhere, anytime and be able to have access to adapted and high quality content and communication services in a safe an accessible environment. Digital convergence empowers communities by allowing them to become active users, communicate and share information easily.
In the constant search of improving the quality of life and economic growth, technological convergence has served in developing and increasing effectiveness of communication, radically changing the way of doing business (online business), human interaction and social life (blogs, wiki, online dating, 2nd life, facebook, myspace). Indeed technology creates and develops new ways of communication; different ways of social interaction giving citizens power to become producers and contribute to establish democracy. Access to information is becoming easier than ever, because media plays a crucial role in shaping up various types of development in society: in changing opinions and actions. Through Media convergence, communities are able to empower citizens by using various technologies to inform and share information and building a better community.
Media also can help communities facing cultural exclusion, low-literacy, language barriers and/or disability by mobilization and education of community members and engage them in intervening to improve their lives by making services and education available to citizens by utilizing local newspapers, local broadcast, local website and emails and reaching out to citizens to advice them and provide local help, to educate them and allow them to express their voices and communicate their worries as a community.
To summarize, when building communities through media, active media citizens need not to control the message, deliver content with integrity, honesty and transparency, allow participation and share information to build value for the community and that by knowing the community dominant needs and providing solution to their problems, inspiring citizens and keeping them motivated and engaged.


Aron314 said...

Nice Job :)

Aron314 said...

Would you like me to post this on the Wiki for you?

YDC said...

GREAT job on this! :o)