Best Practices of Community Radio and Sustainable Development Goals: A Handbook
Community radios as a third tier of broadcasting in addition to commercial and public radios, cover relatively smaller geographic areas but cater to a wider range of communities of interest. The hyper local and participatory nature of content creation in community radio has great potential to reduce the gap between the content creators and listeners making communities - especially the marginalized and vulnerable – active partners in the development process. Thus, community radios are well suited for providing new and unexplored opportunities for more inclusive sustainable development. In the time of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, community radio stations (CRS) have once again proved their mettle as sources of timely and dependable information and guidance, increased their listenership, and grown in stature as a valuable community asset. Time and again, the role of community radios has been lauded in making critical public information accessible to people be it about various government provisions that they can benefit from, national campaigns on health, mobilizing people to participate in the democratic process by exercising their right to vote, or providing life and livelihood saving information in times of disasters and natural calamities. That community radios can, and do, play a vital role in engaging people in the development process is no longer in doubt, even if this is in small numbers in pockets of their immediate reach. Hence, community radios can be an integral part of the task force of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all socially, economically, and environmentally.