This project will establish the East Midlands Community Media Network (EMCMN) as a viable organisation that can develop policy, training and mentoring support for leaders and advocates within the community media and community development movement in the East Midlands. Working collaboratively with national and international organisations, as well as locally with community media projects and groups, the EMCMN will develop a programme of open and collaborative training and mentoring workshops that directly support and enhance the management and leadership skills of leaders and advocates working with the community media movement. This draws on interdisciplinary research and expertise from De Montfort University. The aim is to develop a network of knowledge and research organisations committed to enhanced social cohesion and community development in the East Midlands region, thus promoting social solidarity through communication for community development.
The objective of the EMCMN is to use the interdisciplinary skills and capabilities of academic staff and students within De Montfort University, to build a network capable of providing training and development support for community leaders and advocates. This is in order to build a regional co-development network that can draw on examples of good practice from other related social development fields, make policy recommendations, established and validate learning and literacy programmes, evaluate open-source media platforms and ICT, and use experiential media training to enhance volunteers, advocates and leaders from different social support networks to feel confident in using media and communication tools and technologies to share their social experiences, enhance civic participation and address voice poverty.
The development of the EMCMN is an opportunity to establish a reputation in this field, to consolidate and grow expertise, to connect practitioners, advocates, researchers, and volunteers in an active network of peer-learning, and thereby contribute to local, national and international debates about communication for community development.