Sustainable Community Media Policy
Although a large proportion of Mongolians live in Ulaanbaatar, a significant share of population continue to live a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle and often inhabit quite isolated areas far from the larger centers and mainstream media. Community media have began to emerge as a viable means of communication in the country, particularly through their ability to reach these hard-to-reach populations and focus on the issues that concern them. To date, there are nine community radio stations operating in Mongolia, as well as the Community Radio Association of Mongolia (CRAMO) that links them together into a network.
At the moment, Mongolia does not have any specific support for the development of community media in the country. Moreover, national legislation does not even currently distinguish community media as a distinct part of the media sphere. Moreover, the CRC (Communications Regulatory Commission of Mongolia) has gone so far as to establish laws that require all broadcasters to meet a minimum level in their technical standards, professional staff, minimum broadcast time and revenue. As there are no exceptions for community broadcasters, there are high entry and maintenance costs associated with establishing and operating new community media outlets.
Due to these obstacles, the community media sector in Mongolia faces real challenges in terms of sustainability. By creating awareness through UNESCO's sustainable community media policy recommendations, the Organization plans to bring community broadcasters and networks, state authorities and other stakeholders together to address issues such as spectrum allocations, licensing, funding mechanisms and digital transitions. Through building relations between all relevant parties, particularly through meaningful dialogue and the strengthening of CRAMO, UNESCO hopes to encourage the healthy and sustainable development of the community media sector in Mongolia.