A Case Study of Radiofabrik in Austria in Comparative Perspective
by Zhang Ran, Zhang Xingyu, Shi Congyi

Introduction

Despite lack of a precise definition, the phrase “Community media” always connect with “participatory” ,”alternative” or “citizen”, which used to describe media produced by, for, and about local communities(cf. Carpentier, 2007:1-26; Rodriguez, 2001).

Community media was born in the late 20 century, and then grows up quickly all around the world. In some countries of the West and the USA, even in some third world countries, it has been incorporated into national policy as an “alternative media”. It has a wide range of formats: free radio, participatory video, street newspapers, computer networking (cf. Downing, 2001; Rennie, 2006).

To better understand the community media, here reference to the definition given by the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR):”originates, circulates and resonates from the sphere of civil society…This is the field of media communication that exists outside of the state and the market (often non-government and non-profit), yet which may interact with both” (as cited in IAMCR, 2005).

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