Posts etiquetados ‘Community media’


El CMFE – Community Media Forum Europe recoge, en su boletín mensual dedicado a mujeres en medios comunitarios europeos, un breve artículo mío acerca de mi experiencia en la radio comunitaria de A Coruña Cuac FM. En este artículo (en inglés) abordo el reto de los medios de comunicación participativos para ampliar el número de mujeres en su base social y, especialmente, en sus espacios de decisión y liderazgo. 

Podéis leer todo el boletín del CMFE en este enlace 

Today’s story – leading up to our CMFE newsletter on March 15 – comes to us from Isabel Lema Blanco (CUAC FM, AMARC-Europe) and the Spanish Community Media Network: Community media are wonderful, experimenting learning communities – but we need more women to be really egalitarian, diverse and plural alternative media! 
My beginnings in Community media are linked to CUAC FM, the Community Radio placed in A Coruña (Galicia, Spain). According to my experience, running a radio show allows young women to have a voice in the issues that matter. But Community Media is much more than radio, it is also an opportunity to be involved in social innovation processes that, in Spain, aiming to challenge and democratize the current media ecosystem, contributing to building a more plural and diverse media ecosystem.
Women’s movement and community media have always walked together. Our discourses are aligned, and Spanish community radios have coordinated relevant projects in the past to disseminate and visualize the important role of women in media.
In my personal experience, I have never noticed any difficulties or barriers to participating and taking a leadership role in our movement. But I realize that as any media, community radios are neither free of gender discrimination nor paternalism, and we still see a majority of males as leaders or spokespersons of the community projects.
I was the president of CUAC FM when I was 22 years old. It was a pleasant and unforgettable experience I feel very proud of. Community radios are spaces in which we build meaningful relations, make many friends and voluntary work is aligned with social and political goals, which is highly fulfilling. However, in my experience, institutional interaction is difficult sometimes, especially when you are a young woman. I felt that males sometimes patronized me or treated me with a certain paternalism, and I had to fight double to be taken into consideration.
I believe that things have changed in the last decade. However, there are still challenges facing related to gender issues in community media. Community radio stations make a particularly important effort so that women can construct their discourse and spread it through the media. I think community media are very accessible, but we must do even more to understand why there are groups of women who do not participate in community media.
What can be the causes? Maybe it is a matter of lack of media competence or maybe there are other perceived biases, such as spaces “dominated” by other social groups in which they perceive not to be welcome. In my experience, Community media are learning communities where to experiment, develop new abilities and feel empowered.
Women must have more presence in the alternative media system in order to be more egalitarian, diverse and plural



On Saturday 7th October 2017, I was invited by the European Community Media Center  Aarhus (EUCMC Aarhus),to give a lecture about how the community media movement approaches to media literacy in Europe. The lecture was part of the European Conference: MEDIA LITERACY: STEP TO INCLUSIVE SOCIETY”, held in Aarhus (Denmark), from 6th to 8th October, 2017. I was representing the European division of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC Europa) and the Spanish Comunity Radio CUAC FM.

Here, I summarize the content of my talk, which it was given through an Internet video communication plattfom, which served to connect me with people attending the conference and have a little chat with them. If you attended the meeting or if you are interested in more information about the Community Media and Media Literacy, please write me and email to the adress:

Download the presentation’s text (pdf) in the followinglonk (Inglés): Lema-Blanco_2017_AARHUS_MEDIA_CONFERENCE

Jóvenes participando en una radio comunitaria


The concept of media Literacy has been defined as “the ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create messages across a variety of contexts” (Livingstone, 2004) and includes: “the essential competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) that allow citizens to engage with media and other information providers effectively and develop critical thinking and life-long learning skills for socializing and becoming active citizens” (Wilson, 2011).


According to the World Association of community radio broadcasters (AMARC, 2010), community media are private media actors that fulfil social aims, embodying four characteristics: ownership by the (geographic or stakeholder) community it serves; non-profit making, with social aims only; managed by the community with no public or private, political or commercial external interference; its programming should reflect the goals of the community.


In Europe, community radio stations are aware of the social impact and the outcomes of the participation of youth and adults in media.Community media activists have identified and proposed a set of basic skills that make up media literacy as encompassing technical expertise, critical reception practices and content production; such skills are themselves likely to be supported by experience of content production. Media Access is a prerequisite to literacy. However, “in the normal course of their lives, common people has few opportunities to create media content except those people engaged in community/access radio or in amateur audiovisual production” (Livingstone & Thumim, 2003, p. 15-16).

presentación cuac fm en Ourense


 CUAC FM, a community radio based in A Coruña (Galicia, Spain), has been presented as an example of good training practices in the third media sector since they implemented (January 2014) a comprehensive annual training program that combines initial training for «new partners» with specialized workshops directed to any partner, allowing them to develop communication skills and techniques that enable them to produce and broadcast their own radio program autonomously, applying the learnt skills.

Our training program aimed at people without previous knowledge of radio broadcasting. This is carried out on a monthly basis, with a duration of 10 hours (6 theoretical + 4 practical). From January 2016 until December 2016, CUAC held 6 editions of the initiation course forming a total of 40 students.

The contents of the radio training program are:
Module 1: Associationism and Community Media (2 hours);
Module 2: Journalism and radio production (2 hours);
Module 3: Performance and technical control. (2 hours);
Module 4: practices in a current program or community project.

Jovenes radiofonistas en CUAC FM

Jovenes radiofonistas en CUAC FM

Reflecting on media goals and responsibilities is part of Informational and Media Literacy

We also organize seminars, workshops and conference to enhance our critical analysis capacity and comprehension of how media system works. Journalist ethical codes and reflection on the need of plurality, honor and accountability in media (also in CR). An example of this is the CUAC FM’s Summer School organized in 2016:»Communication for cultural dynamization, social inclusion and community development» or the Radio and Free Software Workshop: Building networks for alternative communication» and the «Galician communication observatory» in wich we invite journalists from Galician alternative media to discuss how to build new media for new societal needs.

Agreements with educative and public institutions

Some experiences of formal and informal agreements with public administrations,social organizations and educative institutions and community radios allow children and young people to have significant broadcasting experiences in a real radio station, obtaining a previous basic training in production and communication subjects.