“A successful project”: Final meeting of ‘understanding media’ took place in Finland

The final meeting of ‘understanding media’ saw Turku as a meeting place. From the 17th through the 18th of May 2014 partners met at ‘Radio Robin Hood’ to learn about their “Organic Radio Courses” and to reflect on the work done as well as look to the future and how to continue…

First of all: There have been community media in Finland for a quarter of a decade now and none of them are recognised as media in their own right, not to mention any state funding whatsoever. So community radios in Finland broadcast under private licenses, but don’t broadcast commercials – so there are a number of financial problems there already.


ORGANIC TRAINING is a term minced by Radio Robin Hood’s founders. It means that the trainees are very involved in the content of the training. There is not fixed curriculum or fixed duration. On the first session, the participants are encourage to decide what is going to be in the content. The course outcomes are not the same all the time, but it is a small price to pay to get people involved. All courses are free Whenever there are at least people in the course, this might get funding either from the workers’ Educational asociation or the Civil Education Association.It is difficult to get people involved. it works with word of mouth, broadcasting information, associations involved in the station, volunteers friends and relatives. Currently, 30-50 people does the course every year, but retention is a problem. Some people wants to learn how radio works, but not with the idea of producing a programme. Part of the problem could be that there is no one looking after the people who finish the course to get them involved.

Special target groups

  • youths. They attend courses and are really excited about the course.
  • older people. It is quite challenging, as everything is now computer based, and some older people has not experience with computers.
  • migrants.
  • technologically impaired people. This is the most challenging group. Usually, they are very dependant of the person with the technical skills the courses are not only about radio, but they have an important socialising element, allowing people to meet, learn and enjoy.

The meeting was about looking back and planning ahead as well. But more on that in a different post.