Popular education tools: What is communication?

Radio as communication instead of media creates a platform for participation in the radio.  Media is generally understood as a message transmitted out, whereas communication creates a venue for building a common ground or opening spaces for multi-faceted participation.  It breaks with the model that there is just a transmitter and a receiver and opens a space to explore other forms of communication.

Time: 6-15 minutes

Goal:  To understand radio as a part of communication and to give people space to explore this vast category and work together towards a shared language.

Materials: paper and markers for facilitator

Facilitator instructions:
Write the word COMMUNICATION in big letters at the top of the paper.  
Underline: COMMUN
Ask, “What other words begin with this same root or have a similar root?” Gather responses.
Push to get at least 5-10 responses.
Ask: “So, what shared meaning do these words have?”
Ask the group to then reflect on what communication means. (The latin root communis- means to have something in common.)  Open up for comments & reflections.
Partner Exercise: Break the room into partners and give the following instructions:
“Turn to your partner and share some thoughts about how your community radio station will communicate or be building a common ground for people in the community.”
Ask for volunteers to share some of the things that their partners shared with them.

Close by asserting that radio is a form of communication. It is not simply a media for which to transmit messages outward, in fact it is more powerful than that because of its ability to create and facilitate communication, which can include broader forms of participation.


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