Broadening 'media' for development communication: alternative channels employed in Loja, Ecuador

Benjamin R. Bates, Claudia Nieto-Sanchez, Diana L. Marvel, Darwin Guerrero, Esteban G. Baus, Mario J. Grijalva

Research output: Contribution to journalA2: International peer reviewed article (not A1-type)peer-review


When communicators use media and communication to address problems of development, we seek to assess whether those interventions are grounded in current development challenges and in patterns of media use. Additional challenges emerge, however, from patterns in media use between those used by development communication professionals and those that are accessible to communities. Electronic media, such as radio and television, or digital media platforms, including computer-based and mobile technologies, are available in urbanized areas of the global south, but are not accessible to all communities. Our study group has engaged three rural communities located in the mountainous province of Loja, Ecuador for over a decade through development communication efforts. Since these communities experience low access to electronic and digital media, our study group and the communities had to re-think what 'media' means in these communities. Drawing on our experiences of co-creating graffiti walls, songs and plays, we argue that development communicators must be open to channels of media that are neither electronic nor digital, but are accessible to communities in which we work.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pacific Media Educator
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Development communication
  • Ecuador
  • Chagas disease
  • alternative media


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