Prof. Kanchan K. Malik and Prof. Vinod Pavarala, both professors in the Department of Communication at University of Hyderabad, have published a new book that they have co-edited, called Community Radio in South Asia: Reclaiming the Airwaves . Published by Routledge in international as well as South Asia editions, the book brings together distinct contributions from academics and practitioners on the state of community radio in different parts of South Asia. The volume has 16 chapters, including one each by the editors, covering the community radio scenario from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The formal chapters are interspersed with boxed excerpts featuring community voices and perspectives from advocates of community radio in the region.
Prof. Pavarala, who occupies the UNESCO Chair on Community Media at UoH, and Prof K. Malik, who is a faculty fellow with the Chair, are pioneering researchers in this field, having previously published the much-acclaimed, Other Voices: The Struggle for Community Radio in India in 2007. The latest volume offers conceptual frameworks and outlines the socioeconomic and historical contexts for understanding the evolution and functioning of community radio, a significant independent media movement that began in South Asia about two decades ago.
The book provides a ring-side view of how in an increasingly globalised media environment various countries in the region have formulated policies that enabled the emergence of this third sector of broadcasting (public and private being the other two), rendering the media ecology more pluralistic and diverse. The subjects covered in the book include community radio policies; NGOization of community radio; spectrum management and democratization of technology; community radio and disasters/emergencies; gender issues in community radio; sustainability; and community radio and conflicts.
This volume should be of value to anyone interested in the South Asian media landscape, especially to those focused on independent, community-based media systems. Scholars of community media will find the book offering fascinating insights into third-sector broadcasting in one of the most demographically diverse and politically vibrant regions of the world.
This is the first such volume that offers insights into community radio in the South Asian region. Drawing from the online newsletter, CR News, published by the UNESCO Chair, it provides brief vignettes (supplementing the more academic chapters) of community radio stations, policy developments, and key persons involved in the community radio movement in the region.