News by any other name: community radio journalism in India

Bridget Backhaus


Community radio journalism is a cultural resource that offers a voice to local communities and works to democratise media landscapes. Despite its indisputable value, community radio journalism in India faces a unique set of challenges: the foremost being that, officially, it does not exist. According to government policy, community radio stations are prohibited from broadcasting any news and current affairs content. The situation is further complicated by the presence of a development discourse underpinning the entire rationale for the sector. Instead of serving their listeners, community radio stations are beholden to a nebulous ‘development’ agenda. Under such circumstances, it is unsurprising that community radio journalism in India is relatively unexplored in the literature. This paper aims to address this gap by exploring how community radio practitioners in India source content and work around their restrictions in order to provide their listeners with relevant information and news.


Community radio, India, news, journalism, development, social change

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