TECH2503 Community Media Production

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Module Description

Community media serves a set of well-articulated social and civic purposes. As well as being a forum for personal expression, community media is also a way of encouraging and supporting social change.

Community media, it is argued, is a practical vehicle for enhanced participation in democratic and civic life. Community media is also argued to be a way to encourage social and economic development by widening access and skills in the marketplace.

Community media is also said to be a significant platform for social reform, as it gives people a voice in, and between, communities that are otherwise under represented.

This module gives learners the opportunity to advance their knowledge and understanding of community media by encouraging conversations and discussions about the role that community media plays in social and community development.

Learners will have the opportunity to put their skills and their knowledge in practice by setting-up and running a community media project for themselves, with the aim of meeting a social development objective and contributing towards social change and social cohesion.

Module Tutor

Rob Watson

GH6.13 Gateway House

0116 257 7057

Rob's Website

Working Hours: Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm

Office Hours:

  • 11.00-11.40 Monday
  • 11.00-11.40 Friday

John Coster

C/O FOTAC Gateway House

Doc Media Centre


Key Word

Community, social impact, convergence, participation, collaboration, attention, critical consumption, social media, community development, DIY-Media, Web 2.0, technology, media, culture, mediation, media technology, new media, digital literacies.


It is expected that learners will read all of the material from the essential reading list, to broaden and deepen understanding of the subject beyond the basic, and thus enhance performance in assessments. Students do not need to read all items on the recommended list; since many items listed may be alternative sources covering the same subject matter.

Essential Reading

  • Howley, K. (Ed.) (2010). Understanding Community Media. London, Sage
  • Isaacs, S. (et al). (2015) Social Problems in the UK – An Introduction, London, Routledge
  • May, M. (et al) (Eds). (2001) Understanding Social Problems - Issues in Social Policy, Oxford, Blackwell
  • Moore, S. (Ed.) (2016) Pragmatic Sustainability – Dispositions for Critical Adaptation (2nd Ed.). Routledge, London.

Study Skills

Cottrell, S., & Morris, N. (2012). Study Skills Connected - Using Technology to Support Your Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

McMillan, K. & Weyers, J. (2012) How to Improve Your Critical Thinking & Reflective Skills (Smarter Study Skills), Harlow, Pearson.

Recommended Reading

Atton, C. (2002). Alternative Media. London: Sage.

Howley, K. (2005). Community Media - People, Places and Communication Technologies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lewis, P. M. (2008). Promoting Social Cohesion: The Role of Community Media (F-67075). Retrieved from Brussels:

Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling Alone - The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Rennie, E. (2006). Community Media - A Global Introduction. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.

Learning Skills

If you want to share and discuss the topics and ideas explored in the module on social media, please use the hashtag #tech1502

Social Learning

In this module emphasis will be placed on collaboration, sharing, discussion and participation. The idea is that learning is enhanced if it is shared and collectively developed. Each person has a responsibility to play their part in the activities and the tasks, and to encourage and support other learners as the module unfolds.

As a community of learners and practitioners this approach recognises that there is more to be gained from a non-hierarchical approach and by spreading-out the tasks using social media tools that encourage everyone to participate and to share their ideas, thoughts and observations in a constructive, non-judgemental, and practical way.

Face-to-Face Interaction

While the subject of this module is community media, the primary approach of the learning activities will be based on face-to-face interaction. This takes places in lectures, labs and arranged tutorials. A typical workshop session will consist of a short introduction presentation, the distribution of instructions via the module page on the DMU Commons Wiki, and then short discussions with individuals and small groups throughout the remainder of the session. This takes an informal approach to interaction between the learner and the tutor.

Verbal Instructions

While many of the tasks and coursework assignments are specified in detail in this handbook, learners are encouraged to listen to the verbal instructions of the tutor, and to ask questions based on the notes that they take. Any questions that relate to the practical work, the reading work, or the assignments associated with this module should be noted by learners and asked during the practical sessions. This is why attendance is essential, and why good listening skills and a distraction-free environment are important. The assignments described here are starting points and are not prescriptive. Learners are encouraged to go-beyond the tasks and activities that are set here, and to investigate for themselves different ways that social media might be used.


Lecture notes and lab worksheets will be provided as PDF documents, with any essential information, links, diagrams, references and source material. However, learners are expected to keep notes for themselves, and to record information that is not given in the handouts. Note taking is an essential skill and it is important to develop the habit and routine practice of writing notes, sketching diagrams, doodling and so on. You never know when these notes might be useful.


A register will be kept of attendance at labs and attendance will be monitored. Non-attendance without good reason can often lead to failure of the module.

If you are ill or are away from the university due to an unavoidable or urgent matter please email FOTAC who will inform your tutors, who will mark you as absent. The university may require you to provide evidence to corroborate your absence at some point in the future.

Study Hours

Lecture: One Hour

The lecture will consist of an examination of ideas and concepts associated with the use and development of community media platforms and practices. The lectures run for no more than fifty minutes, and will start promptly on the hour and finish at ten minutes to the hour.

Media examples will be given, along with suggested reading and links to other media. It is expected that learners take notes during the lecture to supplement any notes that are made available by the lecturer. Learners are expected to adhere to the norms of academic practice during lectures, and not disturb or distract other students.

Lab: Two Hours

Labs will take the form of a workshop in which you will actively explore and produce content for your blog, experimenting with different types of community media, and applying problem solving and creative thinking techniques in order to get the best from them.

The lab will cover:

  • Discussions of issues covered in lectures.
  • Experimenting with different forms of community media.
  • Setting up blogs and wiki pages.
  • Writing blogs and wiki entries.
  • Sharing content and ideas.
  • Reflecting on feedback.
  • Planning for future work.
  • Sharing media content.

The workshop will take the form of a mixed session that will use different learning techniques and blended learning practices. Short-bursts of lecture-style presentations will be intermixed with discussions, online searches, practical production and project work. Some sessions will take place in different locations and away from the campus.

Personal Study: Eight Hours

As well as attending your classes you are expected to spend time each week working on coursework, background reading, independent investigation, group work and getting to know different social media platforms. Typically, this might be divided into:

  • Weekly blog planning & writing - One Hour
  • Weekly wiki planning & writing - One Hour
  • Media investigation - One Hour
  • Personal Journal - One Hour
  • Group Work - One Hour
  • Academic Reading - Three Hours
  • Total Minimum Study Time - Eight Hours

Enhancement Weeks

Your programme team are committed to support you through your studies and as you develop your learning through each module that you study. As part of your programme, we are dedicated to helping you to plan for your future after leaving university, and ‘Enhancement weeks’ are a central concept to help you achieve your future goal. As part of the university calendar, week 6 and week 22 are designated ‘Enhancement weeks’ in which you will find timetabled activities focused around your personal and professional development. Enhancement weeks are not simply about getting a job after you graduate, but a method used within career education comprising activities to support your development in areas such as decision making, employment opportunity awareness, the transition to work and self-awareness skills.

As well as activities organised at the university, there are other events taking place in Leicester that you can participate in.

Doc Media Month is a series of events that discusses and shares the culture of documentary films. The events take place through November

Tutor Contact

Your tutors will not answer queries and questions about coursework, the lectures or the workshops by email or any other forms of electronic communication.

Instead, you are expected to make a note of your questions in your notebook and bring them to your weekly lab session, where time will always be given to answer any ESSENTIAL questions that you have.

Your tutor has allocated time each week to see students for personal tutorials if required. These are listed at the front of this handbook, on your tutor’s wiki profile, and on the door of your tutor’s office.


  • Coursework Portfolio: 50% (formative, three components)
  • Academic Report: 50% (Summative, formative)

Portfolio: The coursework portfolio will comprise a range of media content in the form of reports, features, interviews and articles produced by learners using different examples of social media (such as podcasts, blogs, online video, micro-blogs, social media networks), broadcast media (such as contributions to community radio and television programmes), printed media (such as newspapers and magazine articles, photography and graphic designed images), digital learning badges, wiki articles, online forum discussions, presentations and formally delivered academic papers.

Report: The report will provide a systematic and reflexive assessment of the students’ academic experience as a community media developer and content producer. Evaluating the primary content delivered in the lectures, this report will evaluate and synthesise key texts, reports and statements with secondary published texts about the status and value of community media services that are published online and through broadcast or printed sources.

The report will take the form of a formal report to DMU Local about why and how community media can be used as a sustainable platform for community development.

Assessment Outline

Component One – YouTube Video (3 mins) (5%)

An assessment and overview of the module project subject (the development of a community media club) and what community media means to you personally. This presentation should be designed to illustrate something about the different forms of community media that you use, as you see them personally, what you understand about them, and how you make sense of them through your lived experience.

  • Minimum Work: A YouTube style vlog presentation uploaded to DMU Commons Blog.
  • Deadline: Week Six, 10am Monday 7th November.
  • Marking & Feedback: End of Week Seven.

Component Two - Community Media Development Project Investigation (15%)

This assignment consists of investigation and research into your chosen group project for component three of your coursework. This means discussing ideas with members of your group, finding out if other people have undertaken similar community media projects, and explaining how these project work.

The final blog post of this section of your coursework portfolio should be a three-minute reflective video, posted either to the blog directly, or embedded as a YouTube video.

This assignment is an assessment of your digital capabilities, skills and literacies for community media production, consisting of a portfolio of different types of media submitted to your personal blog on the DMU Commons, with a feed to the blog site and a link and description of each blog posted to your DMU Wiki profile page

This should aim to incorporate a wide variety of content such as podcasts, videos, blogs and wikis, or whatever forms of media you are asked to experiment with and try out.

You will submit five blog posts, the last blog being a three-minute video blog that reflects on what you have learnt so far. It is essential that you establish the habit of blogging regularly, so you will be expected to post a blog each week, with an updated link on your wiki profile page, and an explanation of what is distinctive and innovative about the blog post.

  • Minimum Work: Five weekly blog posts published from week 6 to Week 10.
  • Deadline: Week 12 (first week of the Christmas break), 10am Monday 19th December.
  • Marking & Feedback by: End of Week 15 (after Christmas break).

Component Three – Community Media Development Group Project (30%)

How can we help and support people to use media to report and share stories about what is going on in their communities? How can we help and encourage people to talk with one another, and how can we support them to discuss openly the issues that are important to them? How can we support people to develop their skills when they share and use forms of community media to talk with other people in their communities? How can we develop and work with different forms of community media so that we can help foster understanding of our social and community differences?

  • Using the DMU Commons Wiki as the main collaborative platform, you will work in a group of no more than four people to put together, develop, trail and reflect-on a ‘real-world’ community development group activity.
  • Your job will be to create and develop a ‘community media club’ using a dedicated page on the DMU Wiki as an organisation tool, that will help people to share information and ideas about your real-world community media activity.
  • Your job is to use different forms of at-hand media to manage and develop this project, and to include members of a real-world community as participants and learners.
  • You will focus on working with students and associates of DMU Local and the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences.

Your final Community Media Group Project Wiki page will include:

  • A definition of what your project is.
  • Examples of this type of activity being undertaken elsewhere.
  • Instructions and essential information about getting started.
  • Examples of how your group has tried out the activities.
  • Video footage, photographs, audio capture, blog write-ups, links to Tweets, Facebook Groups, Google Groups, pages, and so on, that show how the activity was undertaken.
  • Comments from participants from beyond the group that have been drawn-in to join the group and participate in the activity.

Blog Journal: You are expected to keep a journal that records your involvement and level of participation through the process of developing your Community Media Group Project. Entries will be posted to your blog each week and listed on your personal wiki profile page. The final blog post will consist of a video presentation lasting no longer than three minutes, that reflects on what you have personally learnt about social media, how you have improved and developed in this module, and how this relates to the content that you will have posted to your own blog site and the module wiki.

  • Minimum Work: Ten blog posts published each week 12 to Week 21.
  • Deadline: Week 22, 10am Monday 20th March.
  • Marking & Feedback: Thursday 13th April 2017.

Component Four – Academic Report (50%)

The report will take the basis for a formal individual report aimed at DMU Local about why and how community media can be used as a sustainable platform for community development.

The report will be written to formal academic standards, and will make an assessment of your experience participating in community media development project, and how your experience relates to the issues that have been raised in the lecture sessions, the presentations, your reading and the media that is provided online.

This report will demonstrate your knowledge of community media development issues, and your ability to think critically about the practices and experiences that are involved in community media. It will contribute 50% of overall assessment.

  • Minimum Work: 2000 Words Formal Academic Report Submitted via Turn-it-In
  • Deadline: 10am Tuesday 2nd May.
  • Marking & Feedback: Friday 25th May 2017.

Learning Outcomes

  • An awareness and knowledge of the underlying concepts associated with community media development.
  • An ability to interpret and evaluate terms and concepts associated with community media development.
  • An ability to present data and evidence about community media development principles and practices and to interpret that evidence using academic concepts.
  • An ability to produce media content (images, sound, text) using media production technologies which can then be distributed using broadcast, social or interactive community media.
  • An ability to evaluate different problem-solving approaches related to community media production techniques and the media used by participants in community media networks.
  • An ability to relay information and communicate observations and findings from investigation into community media development and production practices.
  • An ability to try new learning practices and ideas, and to develop new skills for reflexive and self-evaluative learning.
  • An ability to manage and organise individual and group projects and to exercise personal responsibility in the completion of individual and group tasks and objectives.

Lecture Notes

Notes are also available to download as PDF documents from Rob Watson's website Rob Watson Media.

Lectures One - Twelve

Lecture One: Community Media Principles

Lecture Two: What is Community Media Development?

Lecture Three: Community Media as a Development Practice?

Lecture Four: The Need for Sustainable Development

Lecture Five: Leicester Sustainable Development Issues

  • Reading: Stephen Moore - Chapter Four (Pincetl & Prose - The Coevolution of Infrastructure, Governance, and Urban Ecology)
  • Reading: Advocacy & Ethics
  • Reading: McMillan & Weyers - Chapter Four (Creative Thinking).
  • Viewing: Before the Flood [film, online], National Geographic, 30/10/2016, National Geographic YouTube, 135mins. (accessed 01/11/2016).
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Six: Enhancement Week

  • Reading: Isaacs - Chapter Two (Understanding & Defining Social Problems)
  • Reading: McMillan & Weyers - Chapter Five (Arriving at a Viewpoint).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Seven: Community Media and Urban Ecologies

Lecture Eight: The Great Disruption – How Should We Live?

Lecture Nine: Community, Place and Local Identity

  • Reading: Moore - Chapter Twelve (Cole, et al - Regenertive Sustainability, and Sustainability Politics)
  • Reading: Kevin Howley - Chapter 11 (Maria Guglietti - Aboriginal Internet Art and the Imagination of Community)
  • Reading: Localizing Development Report
  • Reading: McMillan & Weyers - Chapter Eight (Decision-Making & Work-Planning).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Ten: Community Media and Neighbourhood Sustainability

Lecture Eleven: Social Movements and Sustainable Politics

Lecture Twelve: Countering Managerialism & Instrumentalism

Lectures Thirteen - Twenty-Four

Lecture Thirteen: Being Social & Collaborative

Lecture Fourteen: Community Media and Social Policy

Lecture Fifteen: Community Media Literacies

  • Reading: Howley - Chapter Sixteen (Shawn Sobers - Positioning Education Within Community Media)
  • Reading: Millan & Weyers - Chapter Fourteen (Citing & Listing References).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Sixteen: Community Representation and Civic Participation

Lecture Seventeen: Community Cohesion Problems and Issues

Lecture Eighteen: Social Action and Development Problems and Issues

  • Reading: Isaacs - Chapter Fifteen (Andrew Feenberg - Incommensurable Paradigms: Values and the Environment)
  • Reading: McMillan & Weyers - Chapter Seventeen (General Writing Structures).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Nineteen: Enhancement Week

  • Reading: McMillan & Weyers - Chapter Eighteen (Writing About Reflection).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Twenty: Critical & Reflexive Thinking

  • Reading: Kevin Howley - Chapter Thirty-Two (Carlos Fontes - The Global Turn of the Alternative Media Movement)
  • Reading: McMillan & Weyers - Chapter Nineteen (Editing & Presenting Assignments).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Twenty One: Writing Essays & Reports

  • Reading: Kevin Howley - Chapter Twenty-Three (Brian Woodman - Feminist Guerrilla Video in the Twin Cities).
  • Reading: McMillan & Weyers - Chapter Twenty (Expoiting Feedback).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Twenty Two: Case Studies – International Community Media

  • Reading: Kevin Howley - Chapter Three (Lanham et al - Sustainable Development).
  • Reading: McMillan & Weyers - Chapter Twenty-One (Preparing for Employment).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Twenty Three: Case Studies – Community Radio

  • Reading: Margaret May - Chapter Fourteen (Dee Cook - Safe and Sound? Crime, Disorder and Community Safety Polcies).
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Lecture Twenty Four: Case Studies – Community Reporting

Workshop Notes

Notes are also available to download as PDF documents from Rob Watson's website Rob Watson Media.

Workshops One - Twelve

Workshop One: Introduction

Workshop Two: How to Run a Community Media Cafe?

Workshop Three: Telling Community Stories

Workshop Four: Working with People

Workshop Five: Sharing Stories

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Six: Enhancement Week

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Seven: Setting Up a Community Media Club

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Eight: Getting People Involved with a Community Media Club

Workshop Nine: Helping People to Learn to Make Community Media

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Ten: Telling People About Your Community Media Cafe Community Media Cafe Checklist Community Media Cafe Checklist DOCX

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Eleven: Publishing & Making Your Media Coursework B Checklist

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Twelve: Community Media Development Project Research

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshops Thirteen - Twenty-Four

Workshop Thirteen: Community Media Development Project Research - Community Development Evaluation Community Media Development Project Research - Community Development Evaluation DOCX

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Fourteen: Community Media Development Project Research - Creative Planning

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Fifteen: Community Media Development Project Planning - Evaluating a Project Project Evaluation Workflow Model

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Sixteen: Community Media Project Evaluation

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Seventeen: Community Media Development Project Planning - Impact Evaluation

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Eighteen: Community Media Development Project Production - Writing Field Notes

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Nineteen: Enhancement Week

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Twenty: Community Media Development Project Evaluation

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Twenty One: Community Media Development Project Evaluation

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Twenty Two: Community Media Development Project Reporting

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Twenty Three: Community Media Development Project Publication

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

Workshop Twenty Four: Community Media Development Project Feedback

  • Reading:
  • Viewing:
  • Video Summary:

DIY-DMU Podcast

Learners will be producing a community media podcast called DIY-DMU Podcast.

Useful Links

Media Source Material

After Cathy, 17:00 20/11/2016, BBC Radio 4, 40 mins. (Accessed 16 Nov 2016).

An Inconvenient Truth, 21:20 04/04/2009, Channel 4, 110 mins. (Accessed 22 Nov 2016)

Before the Flood [film, online], National Geographic, 30/10/2016, National Geographic YouTube, 135mins. (accessed 01/11/2016).

The Black Lesbian Handbook, [television programme, online] More 4, Prd. country U.K.] (Accessed 14/12/2015).

Bob and Roberta’s Excellent Protest Adventure, 21:00 17/11/2016, BBC4, 60 mins. (Accessed 04 Dec 2016)

Boys from the Blackstuff Episode 1, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 21:35 26/9/2010, BBC FOUR, 59mins., (Accessed 14/12/2015).

Boys from the Blackstuff Episode 2, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 21:30 3/10/2010, BBC FOUR, 60mins., (Accessed 14/12/2015).

Boys from the Blackstuff Episode 3, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 21:30 10/10/2010, BBC FOUR, 63mins., (Accessed 14/12/2015).

Boys from the Blackstuff Episode 4, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 21:30 17/10/2010, BBC FOUR, 73mins., (Accessed 14/12/2015).

Boys from the Blackstuff Episode 5, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 21:00 24/10/2010, BBC FOUR, 70mins., (Accessed 14/12/2015).

Cathy Come Home, 22:30 13/11/2016, BBC4, 80 mins. (Accessed 16 Nov 2016)

CMA vox pops v1 rough cut no VO, [Online Video] Community Media Association 19/09/2016 [YouTube] (Accessed 27/06/16).

Dispatches: Immigrants - The Inconvenient Truth, 20:00 01/10/2007, Channel 4, 60 mins. (Accessed 22 Nov 2016).

Eastern Europeans in Brexitland, 11:00 14/09/2016, BBC Radio 4, 30 mins. (Accessed 07 Dec 2016).

HARDtalk, Mohamed Diab, Film Director, 04:30 19/10/2016, BBC News 24, 30 mins. (Accessed 02 Feb 2017)

It's a Wonderful Life, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 16:15 20/12/2014, More 4, 155mins., (Accessed 14/12/2015).

Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service , With documentary film-maker Adam Curtis, 16:00 16/10/2016, BBC 6 Music, 120 mins. (Accessed 18 Oct 2016)

Milk, [film, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 22:00 9/10/2011, BBC TWO, 128mins., (Accessed 14/12/2015).

No Place to Call Home, 23:45 24/10/2016, BBC2 Scotland, 60 mins. (Accessed 16 Nov 2016).

Thinking Allowed, The English Defence League; ‘Real’ immigrants, 00:15 18/07/2016, BBC Radio 4, 30 mins. (Accessed 07 Dec 2016)

This Is Braunstone, 05/11/2013 This Is Braunstone YouTube 25 mins (Accessed 30th November 2016).

Module Handbook

Download Module Handbook: TECH2503 Module Handbook