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Newspapers are crusaders for their communities

Newspapers are crusaders for their communities

There is no official count of exactly how many community news papers exist in Kerala, but each one support their community indirectly. Everybody knows that Malayala Manorama and Deepika support Christian community whereas Kerala Kaumudi support Ezhavas. Chandrika, Madhyamom, Thejas, Varthamanam and Siraj support Muslims and Mathrubhumi stands for the Nair community. Community journalism is a powerful tool for community development and change. Kerala Kaumudi is the best example to see how a community came forward with media support. But the role that these newspapers play in effecting change in low-income communities is the strongest argument on their behalf.

A Vital Role
As media companies continue to merge and grow, the news gets further and further away from ordinary people’s lives and from minority community concerns. Communities like Vishwakarma ( 15% of the Kerala population) without their own newspapers have little access to local news and information. At a time when our issues have faded from state and national political agendas, the absence of a widely read record of the issues confronting our communities is even more serious.

Community newspapers are critical because they can return to issues repeatedly, shedding light on them until they are resolved. Large newspapers and TV news, on the other hand, may drop in on the neighborhood once to report on a problem but are unlikely to return for months, if at all. And reporting in community papers almost always leads to coverage further up the media chain.It’s a true fact that the coverage of little papers has a huge effect on bigger papers. It presses the envelope of what bigger papers are willing to cover.
It also brings the attention of larger media to stories they would have no other way of knowing about. Almost all-news cable channel routinely follows up on articles in the Newspapers.
There are other benefits of a community newspaper. The Mullankolli situation and the Thankamoni issues are perfect examples of how local papers make it more difficult for politicians and bureaucrats to ignore a particular community. Then there’s the notices and event listings that get people circulating in a neighborhood, driving up attendance at community meetings and cultural events.

Community news papers also boost the self-image of struggling communities that usually only receive major media attention for criminal activity. The only time that your problems are in the major papers is when there’s a gang suicide or some scandals. An effective community paper contribute to change in Vishwakarma community and that they are a tool and an impetus for community organizing and improvement efforts.

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