Building peace in the minds of men and women

Community Media Sustainability Policy Series


© UNESCO/Joseph Poto-Poto
© UNESCO/Joseph Poto-Poto

Community broadcasters are a crucial part of a healthy, pluralistic media sector. They are independent and not-for-profit, and are governed by and in service to the community they represent.

The UNESCO Community Media Sustainability Policy Series has been created to assist media regulators and government institutions provide a regulatory environment that recognises the value of community media and supports its long-term sustainability.

The series builds upon the recommendations from the landmark UNESCO event on Community Media Sustainability: Strengthening Policies and Funding, held in September 2015 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. The event brought together governments, broadcasting regulators, community radio networks, academia, and NGOs, as well as intergovernmental and UN organizations, to discuss concrete ways ensure a healthy future for community media across the world.

If you represent a media regulator, NGO or other related organisation and would like to organise a consultation, contact Mirta Lourenço, UNESCO's Chief of Section for Media Development and Society, at: m.lourenco(a)

List of topics

  1. Definition of Community Broadcasting

  2. Formal Recognition

  3. Licensing Systems

  4. Reserving Spectrum

  5. Providing Public Funding

  6. Access to Private Sources of Funding & Support

  7. Digital Terrestrial Transition & Digital Distribution Methods

  Policy Checklist

  Bibliography & Useful Resources


About the authors

The Centre for Law and Democracy is a non-governmental organization working towards a world in which robust respect for all human rights underpins strong participatory democracy at all levels of governance – local, national, regional and international – leading to social justice and equality. The organization works to promote, protect and develop those human rights which serve as the foundation for or underpin democracy, including the rights to freedom of expression, to vote and participate in governance, to access information and freedom of assembly and association.