Despite India’s remarkable communication media revolution the rural subalterns remained uninformed, unheard and voiceless, who asks the question: Whose Media, Whose Voice? This created a space for community radio (CR) because it is of, for, and by the community. However, in spite of the alternative, counter-hegemonic, and participatory communication ethos, the contribution of CR’s and CRR’s lingered unexplored and unacknowledged. To bridge this gap, within the theoretical framework of alternative-media-theory this study has been undertaken. Based on case studies of India’s pioneer CR’s (Sangam Radio and Radio Bundelkhand) using media ethnography tools a qualitative inquiry was carried out. Findings suggest that CR’s can be seen as means of developing capabilities among the subalterns through equitable inclusion not merely as participants but as active producers, partners and managers. The dialectical, dynamic, non-hierarchical and citizen controlled journalism of CRR’s reflects antagonisms of reality and high level of community belongingness and responsibility that created fundamental distinctiveness-challenges to mainstream media. Finally, providing platform for expression enlarges the voices of the subalterns which will ultimately facilitate community dialogs and deliberations around local issues and helps to redefine their community identity in their own way and might lead to positive social change.


Rural India, Community Radio, Community Radio Reporters, Alternative Media Theory, Content Creation, Platforms for Expression, Subaltern.

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