Jocelyn E. Williams

Framing participation in collaborative community media: The living community documentary series

This paper positions the concepts of participation and collaboration for media content creation in the context of a complex, commercialised media landscape that is difficult for community and not-for-profit groups to break into, and focuses on the case of a 2014-2015 community media project funded by Unitec Institute of Technology in New Zealand. The project set out to produce a series of half-hour documentaries, The living community, for broadcast on Face TV, a pay TV channel with a public service/community commitment. Each of the seven programmes was intended to offer insights into a community group or organisation in the Auckland region. The paper explores potential issues in co-creating community stories for media visibility, with few resources. The paper proposes an inclusive co-creation model based on the experience of creating the final filmed piece in 2015, influenced by 'a subset of planned, intentional participatory media engagements that rely upon professional facilitators to lead collaborative projects with explicit purposes and aims' (Spurgeon et al. 2009)

Keywords: participation, collaboration, community media, public service broadcasting


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Note on the contributor

Jocelyn Williams ( has 17 years' experience working in community research projects from the digital divide to digital and community media. She completed her PhD in Community Informatics in 2009, and works in the Department of Communication Studies at Unitec Institute of Technology teaching communication, supervising research and leading community engagement and communication planning projects that straddle research and practice.