Archive for the 'Posts & Updates' Category

Community Media and a Stronger Sense of Community

There are two articles about community and community media that are worth reading from today’s Guardian. The first is a brief account by Anna Bawden of the role of community media in the UK, and the potential for a not-for-profit focus on the new Small Scale DAB proposals.

“Lucinda Guy, chair of the Community Media Association, says: “Not-for-profit media is appallingly underfunded”, despite doing “astoundingly important and brave work to heal divided communities, tackle extremism, and boost participants’ mental health. We know that the best foil to divisive rhetoric is to increase the power of moderate voices in those communities to be heard, and yet we see station managers around the country struggling to eat and pay the bills while doing this excellent and essential work to support their communities.” While the government is considering whether the new licences should reserve digital radio capacity for existing and new community stations, the CMA does not feel this goes far enough. Guy adds: “Unless SSDAB is in the ownership and control of communities, which can curate a range of stations that are interesting for local people, we fear that small-scale local radio will deliver profit, not social benefit.”

The second is a piece from George Monbiot, in which he describes how the scourge of loneliness that affects people’s health in many of our communities can be challenged with a greater focus on a sense of community.

“The evidence strongly suggests that social contact should be on prescription, as it is in Frome. But here, and in other countries, health services have been slow to act on such findings. In the UK we have a minister for loneliness, and social isolation is an official “health priority”. But the silo effect, budget cuts and an atmosphere of fear and retrenchment ensure that precious little has been done.”

I wonder when news organisation’s like the Guardian are going to join the dots and realise that community media and better social well-being are connected? I’m sure we can be providing them with a lot of evidence to demonstrate how community media works to improve communities health and well-being in practice.

Workplace Burnout – The Impact of Social Anxiety

We live in a culture of so-called achievement, in which our jobs and our life experiences are accounted for in terms of the impact that they have and the results that we get from what we do. This can be measured in terms of cash that we earn, research papers that we produce, or the number of students who pass our modules. The pressure is on for us to do more with less, to move up league tables and to raise the standard for what we do. The problem, however, is that more of us are suffering from social anxiety and burnout as a result.

This increasingly common problem is discussed in some detail in this article by Moya Sarner writing in The Guardian. It’s well worth reading:

Beyond the workplace, we live in an age when society itself seems to be burning out, with austerity, rising poverty and the uncertainty caused by Brexit pushing people to and beyond their limits. “Burnout could be seen as a condition of our times,” Andrew agrees, as cuts to services are making it harder and harder for people to cope: “Alongside cuts to social care, there are cuts to the voluntary sector, projects around domestic violence, for parents, for older people. Stopping a group for carers of people with dementia might seem like a tiny thing, but we have reached a critical point of extremely limited support, and if you’re in that situation, over a period of time, it makes complete sense that your body and mind would shut down. I see strong, capable, independent people who have reached a stage where there is no other option.”

There are certain factors that protect a workplace from burnout, says Vesey – a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, and a management style that finds “a balance between clarity and presence, but also offer people autonomy to allow them to get on with what they need to get on with”. Without these, a business and its employees are more vulnerable. Rock is realistic that businesses need to prioritise performance, but says: “It’s about thinking how you get the best performance out of your people. We should not move the way a charity operates into the financial sector – it would lose its competitive advantage very quickly – but there are things managers can do to support their staff, such as creating an environment where people can talk about what’s happening in the organisation, what’s happening for them.” What Cox suggests a boss should say is: “We recognise you’re having a tough time. What can we do to help you?”

I suppose the question is, what can we change about our own working practices that will help to avoid or minimise this sense of burnout? This is one of the reasons I actively minimise the use of email at work, because there is nothing more depressing than full email in tray. A face to face conversation, maybe over a cup of tea is so much more effective for building and sustaining relationships. It’s just a pity that the modern workplace strips away these opportunities for social contact and pushes less-human forms of communication on us.

It would be interesting to explore how we can turn the essential tasks that we have to do in our working lives back into something that is creative and empowering. Anyone got any ideas or example of how this is being done? Moya cites the Thriving at Work report, which might be a good checklist for assessing how we need to rethink work-based practices and how social media can contribute to well-being and not just leave us with techno-stress?

DIY-DMU Podcast 009 #SDGTeachIn

Another vibrant and absorbing podcast again this evening, with a range of views and opinions from Mike, J, Ben, Tina, John and myself. The theme tonight was the UN Sustainable Development Goals, that is being promoted by the National Union of Students across the UK, and what we might do to incorporate the sustainability objectives into our courses and learning opportunities.

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 023

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-third lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 024

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-fourth lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 022

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-second lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 022

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-second lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.

TECH3022-18 Lecture Summary 024

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-fourth lecture for TECH3022 Social Media Practice.

TECH3022-18 Lecture Summary 023

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-third lecture for TECH3022 Social Media Practice.

DIY-DMU Podcast 008 #WorldRadioDay

It was an entertaining and engrossing discussion tonight, when Laury, Aidan, Jagger and Ben joined John Coster and Rob Watson to talk about what we like about radio. This is our contribution to UNESCO World Radio Day.

TECH1002-18 Lecture Summary 021

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-first lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.

TECH1502-18 Lecture Summary 021

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-first lecture for TECH1502 Introduction to Community Media.

TECH2503-18 Lecture Summary 021

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-first lecture for TECH2503 Community Media Production.

TECH3022-18 Lecture Summary 020

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twentieth lecture for TECH3022 Social Media Practice.

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 020

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twentieth lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.

TECH1002-18 Lecture Summary 024

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-fourth lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.

TECH1002-18 Lecture Summary 022

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-second lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.

TECH1002-18 Lecture Summary 022

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-second lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 021

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-first lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.

TECH3022-18 Lecture Summary 022

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-second lecture for TECH3022 Social Media Practice.

TECH3022-18 Lecture Summary 021

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-first lecture for TECH3022 Social Media Practice.

TECH1502-18 Lecture Summary 024

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-fourth lecture for TECH1502 Introduction to Community Media.

TECH1502-18 Lecture Summary 023

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-third lecture for TECH1502 Introduction to Community Media.

TECH1502-18 Lecture Summary 022

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-second lecture for TECH1502 Introduction to Community Media.

TECH2503-18 Lecture Summary 023

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-third lecture for TECH2503 Community Media Production.

TECH2503-18 Lecture Summary 024

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-fourth lecture for TECH2503 Community Media Production.

TECH2503-18 Lecture Summary 022

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-second lecture for TECH2503 Community Media Production.

TECH2503-18 Lecture Summary 020

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twentieth lecture for TECH2503 Community Media Production.

TECH1502-18 Lecture Summary 020

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twentieth lecture for TECH1502 Introduction to Community Media.

TECH1002-18 Lecture Summary 020

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twentieth lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.

TECH1502-18 Lecture Summary 019

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the nineteenth lecture for TECH1502 Introduction to Community Media.

TECH1002-18 Lecture Summary 019

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the nineteenth lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.

DIY-DMU Podcast 007

In tonight’s DIY-DMU podcast John and I chatted about travelling and the way that our expectations about community media are different in some of the places and countries that we’ve visited, and what it is that people value about community media and the way it is part of different cultures.

TECH3022-18 Lecture Summary 018

This is a short overview of the topics that will be covered in the eighteenth lecture for TECH3022 Social Media Practice.

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 018

This is a short overview of the topics that will be covered in the eighteenth lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.

TECH2503-18 Lecture Summary 018

This is a short overview of the topics that will be covered in the eighteenth lecture for TECH2503 Community Media Production.

TECH1502-18 Lecture Summary 018

This is a short overview of the topics that will be covered in the eighteenth lecture for TECH1502 Introduction to Community Media.

TECH1002-18 Lecture Summary 018

This is a short overview of the topics that will be covered in the eighteenth lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.

TECH1002-18 Lecture Summary 017

This is an overview and summary of the topics that will be covered in the seventeenth lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.

TECH2503-18 Lecture Summary 017

This is an overview and summary of the topics that will be covered in the seventeenth lecture for TECH2503 Community Media Production.