Community radio is basically the third model of radio service aside from the commercial and public broadcasting kind. It’s primarily intended to serve the interests of people in a designated geographical area that is also funded or operated by members of the community. What makes community radio so essential is that it is meant to be immune from the self-serving agenda that is present in the other two models.
Now, it’s worth noting that in many places, community radio actually has a legal definition that is enforced by law. By their very nature, such stations are intended to have “social benefit” or “social good” attached to them. Depending on the country or area where the model developed, it could also come with different meanings with differing standards of acceptance. You’ll notice that the next time you go on an Amsterdam Top Sightseeing tour.
A Model Difference
Generally speaking, the two well-known models of radio are commercial and public broadcasting. The former is operated by corporate entities that work for other companies via advertising and sponsorship. This makes them very susceptible to being influenced by special interests or at least the appearance of special interests.
Public broadcasting, on the other hand, is generally operated by or on behalf of the government. The information that is often shared using this model include public service announcements, coverage of legislative developments, or relevant issues on a national level. Suffice it to say, the details that this model can share with the public can be quite limited.
A Legal Definition
Obviously, with the nature of community radio, there’s a significant amount of trust that people would place in it. As such, there’s also a substantial level of interest in actually benefiting from this trust in some way, or at least there was. This is why countries decided to come up with actual, legal definitions of which stations can be considered community radio.
The laws surrounding such definitions are mostly intended to make sure that community radio is treated as separate from the other two. As such, there is a certainly level of attention being given to who the station is supposed to cater to and that is only the community.
The legal language used might be different depending on the place but the only beneficiary should be the community. No one else. If you hear anything about when you Shop Online Using Discounts from a community radio, you’ll want to be careful about it.