CDAC Network has published a new media landscape guide for Dominica which provides an overview of the media channels that are available and provides some suggested formats for a more continuous and open conversation between humanitarian agencies and the affected population.
Local media in Dominica play a key role in communications with communities and generally have well-established positive trusted relationships. In general, the affected community see local media as “theirs”. They are independent from the humanitarian response and are likely to know how to get in touch with them.
In return, local journalists are some of the most knowledgeable people within a community, they understand the context, can interpret the relevance and urgency of the concerns of their audience, and can play an important role as “mediators” between the community and the national and international humanitarian actors, including government. Local media has a unique role to play, which cannot be replaced by regional or international media who are not part of the community they are reporting on.
Building the capacity of local media is just as valuable as building capacity in any other part of the community during crisis (e.g. health workers, local government or civil society organisations). The local media can help by facilitating communication the affected communities benefiting all other humanitarian activities.
An Overview of the Dominica Media Landscape
The overview of local media in Dominica, which can be downloaded below, has been compiled in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, based on interviews with key informants (media professionals / telecom-sector representatives / community members) and online research. It focuses on media based on Dominica, as these are the actors that can play the “mediator” role as described above. From interviews, it is clear that people use a mix of channels, including sometimes radio stations (online & FM) from neighbouring countries or foreign TV, but people indicate it is mostly to listen to music or watch soaps/moves. International news outlets such as BBC and CNN are mentioned too, but as a source for locally relevant information, these are limited.