AMARC Europe Newsletter 10/2019

Today, 21 October, Community Radios celebrate the “International Feminist Radioday 2019”
Today is “International Feminist Radioday”! The “International Feminist Radioday” today will feature over 24 hours of feminist content from over 12 editorial teams in 3 german-speaking countries. The  broadcasts will include content against the patriarchy with feminist music, interviews, stories, features, shows and discussions.

Why do we need a feminist radioday?

According to a study by the ZHAW less than 39% of the people who shape what we listen and see in Switzerland are women. ProQuote claims that only 2 of 12 public radio stations are directed by women. In these statistics people who identify as trans*, inter or non-binary are not even visible. Chief editors are usually male, the images of women and girls in media are full of clichés, many journalists suffer from sexual assaults at their workplace, topics are distributed according to gender roles – the list of reasons to focus on feminist media coverage is long. Community radios are non-commercial, open and self-determined and have therefore functioned as platform for those, who’s voices are often not heard. The working conditions for women, inter, non-binary and trans are therefore less harsh than in mainstream media. Nonetheless patriarchal power-structures are also present in our field of work. It is mostly male voices which we hear, also in community radio.  In 2017 many editorial teams met for the feminist radio event “Claim the Waves” in Zurich. They decided to network and annually claim the airwaves together on the 21st of October. Feminist journalism means to these editorial teams, that they broadcast their own views, music, topics and listen to people and stories which are usually ignored.

The program schedule is available on https://claimthewaves.noblogs.org
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Austrian Community Media reflecting on Future of Community Media
Enough with media crisis!
New impulses on journalistic engagement and public participation
by Martin Wassermair (Head of the Political Desk at Dorf TV in Linz/Austria)

Don’t look back in anger! That could be the slogan of the Upper Austrian non-commercial broadcasting scene after one and a half years of a right-wing populist government and its demolition of the welfare system and of general trust in politics and media. But what does the current crisis of journalism really mean? How can community radios and TV stations fulfill the dissident role of independent critical voices? Which structural preconditions do they need?

In spring 2019, an informal network of Dorf TV, Radio FRO, Freies Radio Salzkammergut, Freies Radio B138 and Freies Radio Freistadt decided to publish the common journal “Land of Free Media”, focusing on important discourses of the current change of media and on ideas and demands to approve the framework requirements. In light of about 20 years of existence in Austria, there is no doubt that the sector of non-commercial broadcasters has to be considered a meaningful contributor to democracy, justice and societal integration. Furthermore, the development of Social Media, fake news and the life in filter bubbles has created new forms of intransparent power and threats. But which conclusions do free media draw from politics of fear and the capitalistic monitoring of social spheres in our digital age?

Community media, which by definition are close to their audiences, serve many societal needs and perform functions that neither commercial nor public service media can meet or undertake adequately. Though, the Upper Austrian “Land of Free Media” is highlighting the most important questions and tries to find some appropriate answers, hoping that non-commercials radios and TV stations will contest the so-called democracy of outrage by raising awareness for more public participation and ensuring a self-confident and diverse media landscape.
Download of “Land of Free Media” (in German only):
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AMARC Europe Projects and Activities

AMARC at the ECREA Radio Research Conference 2019

AMARC joined the 6th Conference of the Radio Research Section of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), which was held in the lovely setting of the University of Siena (Italy), on September 19-21.

Several interesting keynote speeches and pieces of research have been presented, highlighting the variety and vivacity of the radio sector across and beyond Europe. The first keynote speech was held by David Fernandez Quijada, Manager of the Media Intelligence Service, the market research unit of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). He provided some interesting data about the situation of radio in Europe. In the EBU area, there are more than 12 thousand radio stations. Around the 90% of this group is composed by analogue FM stations, and the digital ones are, at the moment, just about 15 hundred (a significant majority of them are DAB+ stations). Most of the European stations are national, with only 120 international cases.
Passing to the radio consumption habits, Fernandez Quijada stated that in 2018, European citizens listened to the radio, on average, 2 hours and 22 minutes per day: these are 4 minutes less than the previous year and 14 minutes less than 5 years before (2013). People are still using this media, but the time spent on it has been decreasing. This trend is also more evident among the European youth: in 2018 they listened, on average, 1 hour and 26 minutes per day of radio: 5 minutes less than the previous year and 20 minutes less than 5 years ago. The European citizens reached weekly by radio are still a big group, the 84% (which corresponds to 420 million listeners), but also, in this case, there is a reduction (-1.7%) compared to 2013.

It is interesting to know that radio is considered the most trusted medium in the majority of the European countries, with the difference of Hungary, Serbia and Greece that put the Internet at the first place, while Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey chose the television.

Additionally, AMARC Europe presented a paper together with other partners in the context of the Grassroots Radio project. The paper, titled “Fostering Community Radio: the Grassroots Radio project”, discusses the activities and challenges of co-designing community radios in rural areas.

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AMARC Europe hosts EMAC meeting

AMARC Europe hosted the last meeting of the Ethical Media for Active Citizenship (EMAC) project in its office in Brussels. The project will conclude on 31 October 2019, and currently partners are uploading the activities and the rest of the materials on the online training tool. All documents and resources will be available in German and Spanish, as well as English.

The project aims to develop a training course delivering media literacy tools while providing citizens and media activists with valuable competences to face very topical challenges presented to both, media producers and audiences (fake news/alternative facts, infomercials vs. information, freedom of speech and hate speech, diversity and pluralism in media, production values and content placement) and you can find more about it by visiting the website, and you can view some of the project outputs by visiting the Terminology and GuidelinesActivities and Categories pages.

The project is coordinated by NEAR FM (Ireland) and the partnership includes Radio Corax (Halle, Germany), Radio Wüste Welle (Tübingen, Germany)Commit (Austria)EMARTV (Andalucia, Spain) and AMARC Europe (Brussels, Belgium).

This project was funded by the Erasmus + programme through Léargas, the Irish National Agency.

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International Community Mediascape

“Civil Radio won’t stay silent!”
Community Radio in Budapest 

Last week the Budapest based community radio Civil Radio (Hungary) received the negative decision of the Hungarian Media Council on their re-application of their broadcasting licence.

In a first statement Civil Radio reacts to the decision of the Media Council.

“Our voice is the same, and we do not want to be silenced. We will be expelled to the internet, but we will not give up the possibility to broadcast also in the air. After December 21, 2019, our programmes can be listened to solely online. We do our best to preserve the uniqueness of our sound and develop the media platforms, through which our listeners can surely reach us.

Due to the resolution of the Media Council the last time Civil Radio will be heard on the frequency 98.0 MHz in Budapest is December 21, 2019. Their decision was made on the basis of minor malfunctions of the radio, without taking into consideration the spirit and values represented by our radio. This action in an already shrinking independent media space is particularly painful.”

You can read the full statement here

AMARC ALC demands Implementation of Fund for Community Radios in Honduras

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters in Latin America and the Caribbean (AMARC ALC) issues a statement with demand to create the Social Responsibility Fund already established in current legislation, to strengthen and guarantee a diverse and plural media system in Honduras.
AMARC ALC points out that the regulation of the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) that allows non-profit media to access funds to operate broadcasting frequencies establishes the creation of the Social Responsibility Fund to strengthen this sector. However, it has not yet been implemented.

Read the full statement and an article here

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Calls – Deadlines – Interesting Gatherings

From November 7 to 10, 2019, the Congress of the Bundesverband Freier Radios (Association of Free Radios) the #ZWCM2019 – the Future Workshop Community Media 2019 – will take place at Art & Media Center FRIEDA 23 in Rostock.

In discussion groups, workshops and lectures the #ZWCM2019 will be all about the practice of Free Radios. From soldering to self organisation variants to supraregional editorial cooperation, the view on developments of media policy, an update on digital distribution channels, journalistic work to the view on our societal environment, the congress offers information and participation opportunities for Free Radio activists. This year’s host is Radio LOHRO.

Information, agenda and registration: https://www.community-media.net/



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Team AMARC Europe Newsletter
Coordination: Alexander Vojvoda
Articles: Sally Galiana, Mariacristina Sciannamblo, Alexander Vojvoda, Martin Wassermair

AMARC Europe is looking forward to your comments, critics, complaints, feedback and suggestions for the AMARC newsletter. Please send your comments to members@amarceurope.eu
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