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Brazilian community communication initiatives in radio and TV digital switchover

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In Brazil, distinct movements have developed a critical discourse since the mid-1980s that aims to re-establish democratic communication public policies in different spheres, and to strengthen a social network made by people, groups and organizations. Actors in these networks come from many thematic particularities but share an understanding of communication as a tool for mobilization and empowerment. Ironically, this shared understanding has also become a considerable limitation to the affirmation of movement demands. On the basis of bibliographical and document research, as well as interviews with advocates and activists, this article focuses on contributions for social development by community communication initiatives. Many examples discussed are from the Brazilian context, but with reference to parallels and differences to cases in other countries. The article discusses cases of effective social appropriation of ICTs by community radio stations and community TV and other projects that increase the participation of many sectors to promote decentralized policy-making processes in the communication field. Special attention is given to the challenges and contributions of community communication in times of radio and TV digitalization. Community media are legitimized by their contribution to development, their own local situation and their relevance to society at large. These relationships are dynamic and ever changing. The perspective developed in this article aims to support community media against governments and corporate media attacks.

Keywords: civil society; communications policy; community communication; digital switchover; social appropriation of ICT; social development

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Fluminense Federal University, Brazil.

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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