Community Media Institute. (2018). Spaces of Inclusion – An explorative study on needs of refugees and migrants in the domain of media communication and on responses by community media. Council of Europe.
This report documents an effort to discover the potential of local initiatives, specifically of community media, in responding to the arrival of increasing numbers of migrants and refugees in the EU. One of the goals of the project was “to promote the media’s contribution to intercultural dialogue” (p. 8).
The main research question posed was:
What role do media in general and community media in particular play for (recently arrived) refugees and migrants in response to their particular needs and with regard to their human right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to information?
The majority of participants in the study were those with recent experiences of displacement living in Austria, coming from diverse geographical, social, and professional backgrounds, and the primary research method chosen was ethnographic interviewing. Researchers learned that establishing community media could help in multiple ways, specifically by:
- bridging language barriers
- providing a less constrained space for alternative narratives and self-representations as well as for socially recognised positions for refugees and migrants from where they can speak their own voice
- giving access to knowledge, in particular for coping with the new environment
- establishing and integrating networks, and
- accommodating the needs of (language) learners (p. 25).
“Community media appear mostly in form of community radio. The participatory approach to content production leads to the fact that they manage to include marginalised groups and contribute to community development, social inclusion and intercultural dialogue.” (p. 46)