Community media, their communities and conflict: A mapping analysis of Israeli community broadcasting groups

Hillel Nossek, Nico Carpentier


Community media organisations are famously difficult to define, as this media field is highly elusive and diverse, even if there is a certain degree of consensus about a series of basic characteristics. One key defining component is the objective to serve its community by allowing its members to participate in self-representational processes. Yet this component raises questions about what ‘community’ means, and how the community that is being served relates to other parts of society. This article studies a particular social reality – Israel – where community television is the dominant model, community television production groups are separated from the actual distribution of the produced content and different configurations of ‘us’ and ‘them’ characterise political reality. Following the methodological procedures outlined in Voniati et al. (2018), a mapping of 83 Israeli community broadcasting groups was organised, allowing us to flesh out the different ways in which these community broadcasting groups deal with their community/ies and the ‘other’. The analysis shows that many of these Israeli community broadcasting groups have fairly closed, singular-community articulations of ‘their’ communities. They rarely engage in interactions with other communities (limiting internal diversity) and their external diversity is even more restricted, with only one Arab–Israeli community broadcasting group able to be identified. The analysis did, however, identify a dozen groups with more open approaches towards their outer worlds, and thus the potential to assume a more conflict-transformatory role.


Agonism, collaboration, community television, Israel, mapping analysis, multi-voice, peace-building

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