AMARC Europe Newsletter 09/2019

AMARC Europe as part of the conference “Radio Activists – Open, Independent and Critical?”

From 18 – 21 September Radio CORAX (Halle in Germany) invites to a conference to discuss the practices and experiences of free and community radio initiatives around Europe and beyond. 

The conference organisers state “free radios – also known as community media – are a type of media from below, working independently, non-commercial and self-organised. That it’s necessary to talk about our practices and experiences has maybe to reasons: On the one hand, the media landscape is touched by effects of disintegration, rules of market and solitariness. On the other hand, in many European countries right-wing movements become stronger and predict to reduce the space of critical, left-wing, liberal media. We want to talk about the history and present of the free radio movement, with the aim of exchange and networking.” 

AMARC Europe will be a discussion partner in the panel “Under Pressure – Free Radios in Hungary, Austria and Slovenia” on Friday 20 September 2019 at 19.00. The panel will focus on the impact of right-wing policies on press freedom and the spaces for independent media work. The discussions partners will be 
Martin Wassermair (Head of politics desk at Dorf TV in Linz/Austria)
A representative of Radio Student from Ljubljana/Slovenia
Ákos Cserháti (Executive Director of Civil Radio in Budapest/Hungary)
Michael Nicolai (President AMARC Europe in Brussels/Belgium)

Link to the conference page in German here.

Link to the Facebook Event here.

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AMARC Europe Projects and Activities

Grassroots Radio Third General Assembly: It’s a Wrap!

On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th of September 2019, the Grassroots Radio consortium celebrated the third general assembly of the project, hosted in the friendly building of 11.11.11. – the coalition of NGOs, unions, movements and various solidarity groups in Flanders (Dutch speaking Northern part of Belgium) – in Brussels. The meeting has seen participation of all the members of the consortium and been arranged by AMARC Europe.
The first day updates concerning the activities in the different communities have been shared by local partners. John Walsh from Bere Island Project Club (BIPG) reported about the activities and efforts they put in place in order to foster community engagement with the radio. The community radio has started to broadcast the mass, supported by West Cork FM. The mass has been broadcasted in particular for those who cannot leave the house and for patients hosted in the community hospital. This was a very positive action benefiting Bere Island’s community.
Read more on GrassRootsRadio.eu

AMARC with Deutsche Welle Akademie to support freedom of expression in Senegal

In the framework of the analysis of potential new priority countries of the DWA for the promotion of freedom of expression, with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), AMARC was engaged as an external consultant to identify the possible axes of intervention in Senegal.
Indeed, the development of the media scene during the last thirty years has witnessed the development of all kind of media. The audiovisual legislation have been adopted and creates an enabling environment for the public, commercial and community audiovisual sector. On the other hand, the multiplication of media does not represent today a multiplication of points of view and diversity. Many questionings are raised on the ability of citizens to interpret information in a system strongly polarized by political and commercial interests.
The great digital boom of Senegal represents an opportunity and a danger. An opportunity in order to find innovative solutions and promote dialogue between citizens, media and public institutions, but also a danger that opens the door to the dissemination of fake news, in especially among the less educated layers of the society. What skills are lacking to citizens for critical use of media? And what skills do journalists lack in this changing environment?

With the DWA, AMARC is engaged in a process of research and ground mission that should lead to the development of new projects. Stay tuned!

AMARC to join the ECREA Radio Research Conference 2019

AMARC will take part to the next conference of the Radio Research Section of ECREA, which will be held at the Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences of the University of Siena (Italy), from 19 to 21 September 2019. The 2019 theme is: Radio as a Social/Convivial Media: community, participation, public values in the platform society.

Mariacristina Sciannamblo (former M-ITI, currently AMARC) will attend the conference as one of the authors of the paper titled “Fostering Community Radio: the Grassroots Radio project”, which will discuss the articulation of the Grassroots Radio project with the co-design activities it entails. Here is the abstract of the paper:

Nowadays media management is increasingly a global phenomenon, subject to the dynamics of the platform society, plagued by a drop in independence, inclusiveness and pluralism. An attempt to resist this trend can derive from the inclusion of local communities in the governance of analogous broadcasting, as witnessed by the experience of community radio stations. In addition, the involvement of the communities also in the design of the technologies that allow them to access this media can foster the radio to become more and more a social/convivial tool. In this context, the Grassroots Radio project stands as a participatory design process aimed at the development and testing of an ICT technology for the creation of a network of FM community radio stations with geographical communities in Ireland, Portugal and Romania. A web platform allows the setting-up of FM radio stations, avoiding the costs of a real studio and expensive equipment: just a basic phone and a low-cost antenna are necessary. We will describe how digital technology can be used to support the existence of an inclusive and literacy-independent “old-school” social media. We will show that this can be possible through the co-design of a platform aimed at fostering cooperativism, citizen engagement, community deliberation, media pluralism and the free flow of information in local contexts. We will highlight how the intersection between new digital technologies and old analogue ones creates frictions within the institutional frameworks that regulate these dynamics, which, in turn, influence the definition of the communities and the design of the technologies themselves.

Link to the conference webpage.
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International Community Mediascape

Mapping Project on Cameroonian Community Media

The Cameroon Community Media Network (CCMN) conducted a mapping project to collect information on the Community Media sector and its members in Cameroon – with a focus on the South-West, North-West, West and Littoral regions. In addition to the mapping and visualisation of the data, International experts and Cameroonian Community Media practitioners from the fields of community-based media production, conflict-sensitive journalism, media in rural context, networking, women and gender  discuss the potentials of community-based production in conflict situations with the aim to find answers to the current violent conflict in Cameroon and the role of media.

Link to the data of the mapping project and the report. 

VCMB founded – Community Media in Bavaria (Germany) are organizing themselves

End of August the bavarian Community Radios formed the Verband Community Media Bayern (VCMB ) to better represent the concept of Community Media in public. For these representatives of Radio Z from Nuremberg, LORA from Munich and Radio Free FM of Ulm and Neu Ulm, all organized in the Bundesverband Freier Radios (BFR), met at LORA in Munich. These radio stations are organized by volunteers who want to add their perception of life to the public discourse as a way to make it more diverse and inclusive.

Link to the Press Release in German on the website of LORA 92,4 MHz in Munich or download it here.

Coalition for a Democratic Radio Broadcast of Argentina proposes 16 points for a public communication policy in Argentina

Coalition for a Democratic Radio Broadcast of Argentina has advanced a proposal titled “For More Information, More Sovereignty, More Work” for the national government to subscribe to 16 principles the Coalition formulated as  a mandate of the federal public consultation forums carried out throughout the country. These principles condemn those policies that have silenced thousands of independent voices and jobs of public companies and the commercial sector  by favoring oligopolistic positions, the discretionary use of public funds for official propaganda and the allocation of radio frequencies for business groups.

The first principle ask the national government to approve a national law that guarantees pluralism of information, federalism and sustainability of all sectors. 

Link to the Press Release in Spanish on the website of Coalition for a Democratic Radio Broadcast of Argentina.

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Calls – Deadlines – Interesting Gatherings

Ethnographies of Collaborative Economi(es) Conference» 

The Ethnographies of Collaborative Economi(es) Conference will take place in Edinburgh (UK) on October 25, 2019. The conference  will welcome researchers from many disciplines who are currently conducting ethnographic studies of practices, cultures, socio-technical systems and lived experiences of collaborative economies, producing case studies and data sets documenting these realities and their impacts and implications, as well as developing methodological and epistemological insights and sensibilities about approaching these contexts ethnographically.

The conference is supported by the COST Action “From Sharing to Caring: Examining the Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy” (CA16121, 2017-2021), developing a network of actors focusing on the development of collaborative economy models and platforms and on social and technological implications of the collaborative economy through a practice focused approach.

Rethinking media development – New actors, new technologies and new strategies

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) together with n-ost and the lead organisers DW Akademie and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung invite to the 2019 FoME Symposium held November 7-8, 2019 in Bonn at Deutsche Welle’s headquarters. “Rethinking media development – New actors, new technologies and new strategies” is the focus of this year’s symposium and explores the future for media development in the new information ecosystem.

The 2019 FoME Symposium brings together journalists, media managers, media development specialists, activists, academics and representatives from government, civil society and private companies from around the world to exchange their views on how the media development community can discuss, rethink and if necessary redefine its strategy to better serve the ideals of freedom of information and free speech in the digital era.



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Team AMARC Europe Newsletter
Coordination: Alexander Vojvoda
Editorial team: Francesco Diasio, Mariacristina Sciannamblo, Alexander Vojvoda 
Articles: Sally Galiana, Mariacristina Sciannamblo, Alexander Vojvoda

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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