Community
Media, the media for the community, of the community and by the community is an
emerging sector of media industry. Radio
has been identified as the most accessible tool of mass communication tool for
the people at grass root level. The technology is simple and easy to use.
The latest figure of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government
of India reveals how fast community radio has been expanding in India. Today, according
to the Ministry, more than 200 community radio stations are operational in the
country and thousands more are expected in near future. Community Radio is a
crucial communication tool particularly in communities where most people can
neither read nor write. It has been the effective tool of communication with
the communities because its roots lie in the communities. The radio programmess
in local style and language has been very effective in engaging the
communities. Community Radio (CR) gives
opportunity of representation to the people of different ethnic, social,
religious and cultural backgrounds. Empowering the marginalized groups and building
their capacity are the major concerns for development. CR ensures the
participation of the community, along with community ownership and control. It
can play a major role in identifying and addressing local issues by means of
participatory communication. The key characteristic of community radio
is rooted in empowerment of all communities that reflects aspirations of
independence, self-sufficiency and sustainability.CR has not remained confined
to a power full tool of communication even it is emerging as a source of
livelihood. Skill development is an important aspect of community radio which
cannot be overlooked. The research for
exploring the contribution of CR in community empowerment from the perspective
of skill development is inevitable. This research aims to examine the process
of skill development and empowerment through the case studies of different
models of CR in Rajasthan. The study focuses how community radio volunteers, especially
from the marginalized communities are engaged in a long term and how radio
production skills improve their livelihood. The research study also aims to
status, scope and challenges of CR in India.