The Community Media Charter


The Community Media Association (CMA) is the UK membership association for community media. Our mission is to enable people to establish and develop communications media for cultural and creative expression, community development and entertainment. The CMA membership consists of community media organisations, individuals and associated organisations. CMA members work throughout the UK in radio, television and new media.

The CMA was founded in 1983 and the head office is located in Sheffield. The CMA is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. We have a governing Council of up to 15 people elected by the membership and currently chaired by Danny Lawrence, Director of Gateway 97.8.

The CMA is recognised by Government, Ofcom and industry as the voice of the UK Community Media sector and we regularly contribute to consultations on media and communications policy.

THE COMMUNITY MEDIA CHARTER – adopted by the CMA 16 July 2012

Recognising that community media is rooted in an ethos of inclusivity and universal access to opportunity, and that it is sourced and produced by organisations, by individuals, and by informal groups whether characterised by geography, interest, ethnicity, age, gender or social background;

Recognising that the production, practice and content of community media foster greater understanding among communities, including those most marginalised and support peace, tolerance, democracy and development;

Community media organisations, groups and networks should

  1. Promote the right to communicate, foster freedom of expression and freedom to form and confront opinions, assist the free flow of information and opinions, encourage creative expression, contribute to the democratic process and to a pluralist society.
  2. Provide access to training, production and distribution facilities, encourage creative talent and foster local traditions and culture, provide services for the benefit, entertainment, education, engagement and development of the wider community.
  3. Seek to have their ownership representative of local geographically recognisable communities or of communities of common interest.
  4. Be editorially independent of government, commercial interests, religious institutions and political parties.
  5. Honestly inform an audience on the basis of information drawn from various sources, and provide a right of reply to any person or organisation who is or may be subject to serious misrepresentation.
  6. Ensure a right of access to production facilities and platforms for minority and marginalised groups, in order to promote and protect cultural diversity.
  7. Be established as not-for-profit organisations, which reinvest any surplus and ensure their independence by being financed from a variety of sources.
  8. Recognise and respect the contribution of volunteers, affirm the right of paid workers to join appropriate trade unions and provide equally satisfactory working conditions for all.
  9. Operate management, programming and employment practices that oppose discrimination, promote equality, and are open and accountable to all.
  10. Promote and foster improved communication and partnership working in the community media sector, building networks at all levels to further develop good practice and strengthen communities.

Updated by Bill Best on 14 October 2019.