“We Do Something because We Think that It Is Important for Society and that We Should Be Heard”. Agency and Strategies of Empowerment of Community Media Producers in Germany in Light of Experiences of Racism
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Media practices are often dominated by hegemonic discourses, and members of marginalised groups tend to struggle to get access to professional media production opportunities. In this paper, we present a study on agency and strategies of migrant media producers in Germany with a specific focus on experiences with racism, visibility of marginalised voices and negotiations of belonging in alternative spaces. Community media are media that are independent, non-commercial, organised from the community, and directed to the community. Their aim is to enable citizens to take control over their own representation, produce media content that is representative of a diverse society, and raise issues often overlooked by commercial and large-scale public-service media. Racism is understood in this study as a practice based on hierarchical oppositional distinction and connected to the practical effects of this distinction. Discriminatory practices denote the exclusion of individuals or groups because of prevailing prejudices linked to certain discrimination categories like age, sex, origin, appearance, language, sexual or religious orientation. Eight media producers living in Germany with refugee/migration backgrounds participated in two group discussions and an interview. The focus of the conversations were experiences of racism, individual experiences in Germany regarding acceptance, experiences with community media, perception of the public or mainstream media, structures within the radios and media projects, possible wishes, and strategies for dealing with racism in media, the topic of multilingualism and feedback of listeners. All recordings were transcribed, and the analysis focused on individual agency and strategies, (lack of) institutional support and social evaluations. The explorative, qualitative approach enabled deeper insights into the complex ways how discrimination is at play in society at large but also how these practices are encountered in ‘alternative’ spaces. On the one hand, the analysis reveals the effects of intersectional positions that media producers navigate when attempting to reach representation for themselves and for topics they find important. The results underline the importance of informal networks to access resources. On the other hand, forms of recognition for education and competencies (particularly those acquired outside of Europe) need to be in place for media producers to realise their potential.
“We Do Something because We Think that It Is Important for Society and that We Should Be Heard”. Agency and Strategies of Empowerment of Community Media Producers in Germany in Light of Experiences of Racism by Nadia Bellardi, Esther Domke, Judith Purkarthofer, Özge Zar is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
keywordsCommunity media; discrimination; media access; strategies
Biografia degli autoriUniversität Duisburg-Essen, Germany – firstname.lastname@example.org.
https://www.transcultural-consulting.org/ – email@example.com
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