Recommendations from UNESCO seminar on community media sustainability

Recommendations from UNESCO seminar on community media sustainability

UNESCO hosted a major international conference on community media sustainability that brought together a wide range of community radio stakeholders, representing governments, regulators, practitioners, civil society, academics, and other experts, from all regions of the world last 14-15 September 2015 at its headquarters in Paris.

The seminar participants agreed on 37 recommendations aimed at four different sets of actors, namely Governments and Regulators, Community Media Outlets, UNESCO, and the International Community. The recommendations address the legal, financial and administrative measures to achieve a free, independent and pluralistic media environment, with due consideration for relevant international human rights treaties and obligations.

The recommendations (downloadable here) are based on an understanding that:

  • airwaves are a public resource that needs to be used in the overall public interest
  • community broadcasting is an important use of this resource, particularly in the light of progress towards the range of Sustainable Development Goals, including the target on public access to information and fundamental freedoms
  • community media as a whole rely on an environment in which a free and vibrant civil society sector can flourish, including groups which promote and support community media

Moreover, the recommendations are of particular importance for two main reasons. First, they represent the consensus of a wide range of stakeholders from different sectors, including strong representation of government and regulators. And second, they are broader and more comprehensive in scope than earlier sets of recommendations since they are directed at a wide range of stakeholders, including governments and regulators as well as the sector actors, UNESCO, and the international community.  

To download the background paper, the adopted recommendations and additional information about the seminar please visit UNESCO dedicated page

Photo credits: Jessica White

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