Community radio is a powerful tool for serving geographic communities and their interests. It provides up-to-date information to help prepare and protect our communities in times of crisis.
Local media coverageis an essential factor in the success of community radio stations in West-Central Florida, as it can help them reach a wider audience and expand their reach. Chapman et al.
(200) found that the growth of rural radio stations reflects both advances in information technologies and the shift in the development paradigm towards a more participatory style of information and knowledge transfer. Kumar (200) identified radio as a way for participatory communication and as a relevant tool for economic and social development. The editorial role of a local newspaper is also essential in helping community members express and understand their feelings about a topic or candidate. Internet access for many radio audiences remains a challenge, particularly in areas further away from urban areas and those that have been systematically and historically marginalized.
Despite economic constraints, lack of infrastructure, low or poor quality connectivity, and competition for media content in the dominant languages, community radio stations that have been able to access the Internet are now expanding their coverage, interacting with a wider audience, and increasing their reach. Thanks to its community listening strategy (Simli Radio), more than 100 communities have created listener clubs in the two administrative districts of the Northern Region. The Florida Public Emergency Radio Network is a nationally recognized leader in emergency communications. Depending on the main goals and objectives of this transmission model, community radio stations tend to serve their listeners by offering a variety of content that is not necessarily provided by larger commercial radio stations. Foreign governments have also launched specific disinformation campaigns on social media in the United States.
Sterling et al. (200) showed that women community radio listeners are given a voice to respond to programming and create programming content. Platforms are also internally inconsistent when it comes to enforcing their own guidelines, which can lead to confusion among users. Brian Southwell (director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program at the Research Triangle Institute) noted at the workshop that, with the disappearance of local news sources, people have largely lost the ability to comprehend what is happening in their own local communities and how they relate to people in other communities. More than 90 percent of the population, including children, listens to the radio even though they don't necessarily have their own radio receivers. Cultural Survival's Community Media Program works to support the indigenous communication movement, particularly indigenous radio stations, through the distribution of small grants, training, promotion, and research.
This program helps ensure that local media coverage reaches those who need it most.