Comunicar Journal Blog

Community media in Hong Kong

Echo to Cerbino, M. & Belotti, F. (2016). Community Media as Exercise of Communicative Citizenship: Experiences from Argentina and Ecuador . Comunicar, 47, 49-56.

Recently, members of the Community Communication section in IAMCR (International Association of Media and Communication Research) have had intensive discussion about the “branding” of the section.

According to the section chairman, Dr. Arne Hintz, “‘community’ was regarded by most respondents as highly important for the section, followed by ‘citizen’, ‘social movement’, and ‘alternative’. The term ‘participatory’ was seen as significant, too”.

From this brief discussion, we could see some fundamental elements of community media. First of all, it is not only simply about a physical and territorial community, but about the organic integration between human activity and the community. Secondly, it projects an essential part which is closely related to social movement, or at least related to participation of citizenship. I would say, this is highly Marxist. This approach of community media emphasises the bottom-up social change and the active role of human beings. What’s more, it also connotes the pursuit of “alternative”, which, again very Marxist in terms of anti-capitalism. To deduce the simplicity, I would like to add, community media tries to create a platform for citizen empowerment, whose efforts are seldom valued by the mainstream society. More often than not, community media is for those marginalised groups, who are neglected or stigmatised by the mainstream society, suppressing the outlets for them to speak out. That’s why they need a unique platform to express their concerns, as well as to gain the empowerment through mutual-aid among their community peers and cross-community activists.

I would like to introduce several community media platforms in Hong Kong.

v-artivists: returning art to people. art is part of everyday life; art is full of diversity and locally based; art could be as popular as everybody can take control of several resources; art is based on mutual respect and appreciation.

grass-media: interns join this platform to learn how to discover the hidden voices in the society and how to let grassroots people make use of media tools.

ODAAG: old district autonomous alliance group to fight against gentrification.

together to empower