The Community Media Association have launched a new initiative to support Community Radio, TV and Internet groups to promote voter participation in the local elections on 4 May.
Titled ?Your Community Media! Your Vote 2006,? the project will develop the skills, resources and confidence needed to enable the Community Media sector to contribute to local democracy by promoting an informed citizenship, facilitating dialogue between communities and elected representatives and enabling meaningful participation in the electoral process. ?Your Community Media! Your Vote 2006? is funded by the Electoral Commission.
Alan Fransman, CMA Deputy Director said: ?Community Media projects are uniquely placed to play an effective role in connecting communities and electoral candidates at local level about local issues. The UK?s fast growing Community Media sector is set to make a huge impact on way in which communities engage with the electoral process.?
Stephen Rooney, Electoral Commission Head of Communication said: “Community media has a really important role to play in raising awareness of the democratic process and we’re very pleased to be working with The Community Media Association. We all have an opinion on what goes on in our area, and these concerns are often reflected through community radio, television and websites. This partnership is an excellent opportunity to help people to understand more about how politics works, how we can get involved and how we make our voices heard. “
?Your Community Media! Your Vote 2006? is based on four complementary strands:
1. Training workshops in London and Manchester for Community Media organisations, with input from the Electoral Commission, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the BBC, the Women?s Radio Group and Radio Regen.
2. An Elections Handbook for Community Media programme makers.
3. A website with information, advice and resources for Community Media programme makers
4. Small grants for Public Service Announcements (PSAs), produced by Community Media organisations to encourage voter participation.
The four strands of the project combine to form a comprehensive support package for Community broadcasters interested in making imaginative programming within the special regulations set for broadcasters during election time.
Your Community Media! Your Vote 2006!? builds on the success of a similar project in 2005 which supported Community Media projects during the General Election. The project reached over 40 Community Media projects, and an estimated audience of 650,000 people. Community Media broadcasters associated with the project produced 58 new programmes on election issues.