El proyecto “Los jóvenes y el tercer sector de la comunicación” participará en el congreso Radio Research Conference 2015que se organiza en Madrid del 28 al 30 de octubre de 2015 la Universidad Carlos III presentando algunos de los resultados más interesantes del proyecto, especialmente en relación con el rol de los medios comunitarios en los procesos de alfabetización mediática. 

Los investigadores Isabel Lema, Eduardo Fco. Rodríguez  y Miriam Meda participarán en la sesión Radio and Cultural Diversity. Community Radios [4]” que se desarrollará el 30  de octubre de 9:30-11:15 presentando la siguiente ponencia:

“Community Radios as social learning instruments for social empowerment and community building. An analysis of youth participation on the Spanish third media sector”

Authors: Isabel Lema Blanco (Universidade da Coruña), Eduardo Fco. Rodríguez (Universidad Carlos Tercero de Madrid) y Miriam Meda González (Universidad Complutense).


The Third Media Sector gathered community and social media, owned and managed by organizations or non-profit groups, such as NGOs, cultural association, youth and neighborhood associations, social movements, etc., that attempt to guarantee the right to communication to the general population, as well to preserve local and cultural communities, in particular. Also known as community media (AMARC, 2009), alternative (Atton, 2001), radicals (Downing, 2001), popular (Kaplún, 1985), citizens (Rodríguez, 2001), or for social change (Gumucio and Tufte, 2006) Third Media Sector characterized, above all, for being open to citizen participation and deepen ideals such as human rights, democracy and social change (ReMC, 2009; Meda, 2010, 2012).

Community radios are, in many areas of the world, the main non-formal educative media of social education, throughout mass audience can be reached at relatively low cost. Despite the legal issues existing in Spain, where most of community radio have no legal broadcasting licenses, a recent research indicates that almost 300 alternative, community or educative (no-profit) radios exist in Spain (García García, 2013: p. 116) becoming an important mechanism for reinforcing and strengthening cultural expressions, identities and social learning, especially within volunteers and managers of this media.

This paper presents the results of a qualitative research conducted in Spain with the objective of “drawing a map” of the situation of the Third Media Sector in Spain, approaching, especially, the participation of youth people on the broadcasting and managing media tasks and responsibilities. Regarding the aims of this paper, four Focus Group were conducted in 2015, involving a total of 28 volunteers (16-35 years old) from different radios stations and media from the main regions of Spain. The paper will analyze how young people get involved in their media and which tasks they commonly develop in there. Secondly, participants were asked about the formal and informal educative processes developed in their media, the evolution of their values and motivations as well and learning and building processes emerging from interactions between volunteers and local community. Finally, practitioners reflect about the goals and missions that Third Media Sector should have regarding their local communities, describing community radios as educative instruments for social empowerment and innovation.

Keywords: Third Media Sector, youth engagement, media learning, social learning.