Popular education tools to build participatory radio

Building a participatory radio station isn't just about antennas and transmitters. It's about building a vision for your community. Popular education tools are a powerful way for groups to think collaboratively about using media for social change.

To learn more about how to incorporate these tools into your workshop or community meeting, check out our tips for hosting events.

Popular education tools

Openings and introductory exercises are icebreakers to get a group comfortable participating, and to set a tone of creativity, fun, and active learning.

Community mapping is a great way to start organizing for a radio station, as it helps groups to create a shared sense of who's in their community.

What is communication? is a chance to dig deeper into what communication means and how radio can help us to find common ground.

Factory vs. radio explores the way that community radio both is and isn't similar to other kinds of infrastructure. Helps groups to think about the issues involved in creating and organizing a station besides programming.

Radio without a telephone helps groups to develop creative options for two-way communication in community radio, expanding the possibilities for a station's community participation and impact.

Non-verbal team drawing exercise help groups to recognize differences in viewpoint and values as they reflect on themes affecting their community. Great for diverse groups.

Gathering input is a good tool for groups who don't have much experience in outreach or aren't sure how to connect with their communities. A basic interviewing exercise to overcome barriers in reaching out.

Some background on these tools

These tools were originally created for an outreach tour in Spring 2010 called Making Waves: Transmitting Popular Power. Organized by the Prometheus Radio Project, Palabra Radio, and Project South, the Making Waves tour included dozens of community radio workshops with grassroots groups across the Southeast and Southwest. You can read about some of these groups and events on the tour blog.

These tools have now been adapted for anyone to use in workshops, meetings or trainings for groups who want to start participatory radio stations.