UNESCO recognizes that Community-based media ensure media pluralism, diversity of content, and the representation of a society’s different groups and interests. Community media encourage open dialogue and transparency of administration at local level and offer a voice to the voiceless. They are established on the concepts of public access, sharing experiences and information.
A community radio station is one that is operated:
- in the community,
- for the community,
- about the community and
- by the community.
The community can be territorial or geographical - a township, village, district or island. It can also be a group of people with common interests, who are not necessarily living in one defined territory.
Consequently, community radio can be managed or controlled by one group, by combined groups, or of people such as women, children, farmers, fisher folk, ethnic groups, or senior citizens.
What distinguishes community radio from other media is the high level of people’s participation, both in management and program production aspects. Furthermore, individual community members and local institutions are the principal sources of support for its operation.