Grassroot Wavelengths: Highly Networked Grassroots Community Radio through a scalable digital platform
The Grassroot Wavelengths project will create a game changing network of inclusive digital platforms for citizen engagement, community deliberation, and the free flow of information within, into, and out of discrete geographic communities by piloting solutions for connected, inexpensive, community owned and operated radio across Europe. Our approach includes features of the Living Lab and Participatory Design methods for setting up stations and services and understanding the processes in which they will be used and appropriated, along with an emphasis on synthetic speech to support the curation of audio content, thus turning data into media. Building on the success of the existing RootIO platform – with its proven commons-oriented technology and catalytic capacities for promoting/enabling collective awareness and action, participatory innovation, community resilience, and media pluralism – we will: 1) deploy and test a network of low-power community radio stations in Ireland, Portugal, and Romania; 2) work with community groups, journalists, and public good experts to develop a robust platform for expansion across Europe; 3) enhance use and accessibility of networked community radio through text-to-speech, community oriented programming applications, and other community-supported modes for contributing and managing content); and 4) work within the EU framework to establish a public support infrastructure for local ownership and revenue generation. Together, these four actions combine to form a robust and tested platform with a clear path to scaling and exploitation in Europe and beyond.