Dear members, friends and allies of AMARC,

You can find a new edition of AMARC Link, the newsletter of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters.

We take this opportunity to send you, from Montreal, our best wishes for the End of the Year festivities.

International Secretariat of AMARC

In English:

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In Spanish:

Maria_Pia_Matta_0Chilean María Pía Matta, President of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) is included in the same list as the Mapuche, Mireya Manquepillán Huanquil, director of community radio Kimche Mapu.

With exemplary courage, these “100 Heroes” fight or dedicate their work to promote freedom under the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”. The “100 heroes” put their ideals “to serve the common good”, and therefore serve as an example.

María Pía Matta has extensive experience in the promotion and defense of freedom of expression in Chile, Latin America and the world. As President of AMARC, she helped to raise the social role of community radio and promote the full exercise of freedom of expression by citizens. She led the first visit of observation radios and Mapuche media, which led to the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Chile, the recognizing of the role of radio in communication, and the decriminalization of community radio broadcasting without a license. This list by RWB also presents a portrait of Mireya Manquepillán Huanquil, chosen for her work at radio Kimche Mapu in the town of Lanco.

The list of RWB is a recognition and tribute not only to the 100 appointees, famous or unknown, but to all journalists, professional or not, who contribute daily to enlighten the world and consider reality in all its forms. This initiative aims to demonstrate the struggle to defend and promote freedom of information through a necessary support to victims of violence, but also to build role models that can serve as a reference.

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María Pía Matta, President of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), was proclaimed in May as one of the 100 Information Heroes (#infoheroes), a list created by Reporters Without Borders (RWB). This nomination is in recognition of her career in the defense of the right to communicate, her commitment to the radio and television channels and her community work of inspection on the situation of freedom of expression in areas of conflict in Latin America. Sandra Herrera of AMARC ALC and Miriam Meda of AMARC Europe interviewed her.

How did you feel about to this recognition of “information heroine” which Reporters Without Borders dedicated to you? Knowing that, with it, you are a reference of communication for many people and journalists?

I received the nomination of RWB with gratitude and emotion; because it is recognition of the collective work that we have done from AMARC to install the right to information and freedom of expression as a social rights.

To what new challenges will you commit because of this distinction? 

I feel, more than ever, a great commitment to the autonomy of the radio movement, as a collective work. Basically we have to give more essence to the community communication as the core of the development of the radios and community media. That means, we should never leave the contents production as the axis of our communication practice, which by the way goes hand in hand with a non-hierarchical integral management, and that puts at stake always the hierarchical one.

Today the movement of radios in Latin America and the Caribbean has taken important steps, but the contents production remains often aside because the groups and individuals that define the radios are fighting for survival and for their legality. 

What are the motivations that lead a person to dedicate her life to community media? 

The motivations are numerous, but for me, I think the main thing is that I lived the loss of democracy in 1973 and I experienced the horror of the Pinochet dictatorship. This experience makes me profoundly committed to democracy.

Democracy as the common good, a democracy that complies with its procedures, where the representation is as important as participation, all those factors make for higher quality democracy. 

Democracy must guarantee to all, especially the poorest, access and participation to public speech and public debate, which is what strengthens democracy. So, I think that voluntary communication projects are excellent tools for those sectors that do not participate in the public debate, because they do not have access due to they do not have the tools to do so. Finally I have to say that these are the popular sectors, the poorest sectors of our society the least involved in the public debate. Then it is as well: quality democracy is equal to high quality public debate where all sectors participate, mainly the sectors traditionally excluded from that discussion.

When did you start working in defending the right to freedom of expression? In comparison to the current situation, what differences did you notice?

I have worked in Radio Tierra since 1992. I do not do that anymore since October of 2013. I began my work, first in AMARC Chile in 2002 and then in AMARC ALC in 2003.

Since 2002, together with colleagues like Ernesto Lamas, Taís Ladeira, Gabriela Ayzanoa, Argentina Olivas, Gustavo Gómez, Paula Castello , Alejandro Linares, Almeida Calleja, Carlos Rivadeneyra, Carlos Casares, João Malerba, Perla Wilson, Carlos Aparicio, Maru Chávez and Ximena Tordini, we dedicate ourselves to the refunding of AMARC ALC. 

There are many differences, there has been significant legislative progress, but there is also still a lack on this field. We must move ahead with the independence of the regulatory authorities and the governments have to understand that we are an autonomous movement. Our commitment is dedicated to democracy. I insist that it is now more important than ever to strengthen the course of community communication, we cannot stay only in the lobby and in the legislative aspects, which of course are fundamental, but we have to take the movement through the production of contents and a community communication practice.

e2On November 18 2014, the Association of Independent Syrian Radio Stations (ABRAJ) was launched. Its goal is to create and support new local radio stations dedicated to promote easy access to information in Syria and provide a balanced content that takes the people´s needs into consideration. The organization is also developing solidarity mechanisms towards radio stations and journalists in emergency situations.

The following radio stations created ABRAJ: Alwan Radio, Arta FM, Hara FM, Nasaem Syria, Radio ANA and Sout Raya Radio. They are the first participating in the project. The organization is non-profit and is not affiliated with any political party. It does not support any armed or religious group and it also aims to empower the Syrian independent radio stations through training courses in order to raise the standards of both journalism and management practices, as well as providing infrastructure and broadcast technology.

More information, news and updates can be followed soon on www.abrajsy.org

Call for Participation
“Radio Archives in European Community Media”
International Conference on Open Radio Archives
June 4–6, 2015

Radio CORAX, Halle/Saale (Germany)

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Community media across Europe face many of the same challenges in creating and managing archives of broadcast content. Every minute, they produce and broadcast an enormous amount of programming . But how is this content preserved and used after it’s broadcast? Most community broadcasters have created their own methodologies for preserving and cataloguing their programs: writing their own algorithms, adapting software to their needs, or developing complex file structures on hard disks, servers and cloud services. To make past broadcasting accessible to the public, some stations created systems to automatically upload programmes to their website or developed online archives which can be browsed or searched by program, subject or tag; others make use of collaborative archiving platforms like the Cultural Broadcasting Archive, or administer different “satellite” websites on specific subjects or aimed at specific communities.

With the conference “Radio Archives in European Community Media“ we want to encourage people involved in community media to present current broadcast and multi-media archiving practices at their stations and to generate ideas for an institutional structure for European community radio archives.

Present and share your infrastructure solutions: At the conference we would like to explore and exchange different ways in which community media can preserve, use and share broadcast content. What tools and infrastructures to archive audiovisual material are best suited for community media? Which formats did your station find or create to present audiovisual content online? Which innovative techniques or tools did you develop or are you still looking for?

Archiving methods and archiving culture: A major challenge in building community media archives is how to cultivate archiving as an essential part of radio making. Many programme makers are focused foremost on their “on air” show. What are the best ways to engage them in archiving their programs and sharing them with online listeners? Who undertakes what task: uploading programmes, adding descriptions and tags, promoting them on social media? Are programs uploaded whole or split into specific items, with or without music, and how is the material edited?

The responsibility to archive: How can community archives integrate multilingualism? How can online archiving support programme exchange within Europe? What importance do analogue, physical archives have in the digital age, and how can community media secure and digitize them? How can community media archives unlock historical material about community life and social movements in user-friendly ways? Not least, we encourage proposals dealing with the question of copyright regulations and the role of open software and open knowledge.

For whom? We invite and encourage programme makers and coordinators from European community media, radio activists, researchers, programmers and technicians to participate in the conference and submit proposals.

Formats of Presentation. We invite proposals for papers, workshops, discussions, presentations and radio shows on any subject related to “Radio Archives in European Community Media”. You can send in proposals in German, English or Spanish. Proposals that engage the audience in active participation and discussion, or in trying out or evaluating archiving tools or strategies, are especially welcome. Participants can contribute to the conference in a variety of ways, not just by presenting a paper or hosting a discussion in 30-minute slots, or conducting a training or hosting a world café in max. 1 hour slots, but also by publishing a text in the conference reader, broadcasting or producing a radio show during the conference, or creating posters, web features or any other content you find suitable.

Submissio. Please send proposals by January 31, 2015, to info@livingarchives.eu. Describe your proposed activity on not more than one page (including title and type of presentation) and include a short biography.

Presenters of accepted proposals will be informed by February 28, 2015. They will be invited to the conference and reimbursed for travel and accommodation expenses.

The conference will be live streamed. For further information please check
our website: https://livingarchives.eu or
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/communitymediaarchives 

CAPTCHA – Creative Approaches to Living Cultural Archives is a European cooperation project of Radio FRO in Linz (Austria), Radio Corax in Halle/Saale (Germany), Center for Media and Communication Studies of the Central European University in Budapest (CEU, Hungary) and Near Media Co-Op, community radio & TV in Dublin (Ireland). During the conference there will take place the presentations of the european-wide study of CEU wrote about “Community Radio Archiving” and the presentation of an open source online tool for visualizing the content of archives.

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Dear Friends and colleagues of AMARC Europe,

It has been a long time since our last communication and this letter to you is a form of apology and an explanation for that silence.

Some of you might know that AMARC International is experiencing a transformation. The former AMARC International general secretary, Marcelo Solersvicens left in September 2013. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the recruitment and contract procedures for a new secretary general weren’t as fruitful as expected.

In times of need, AMARC International turned to the European region for support, and since June 2014, Francesco Diasio has been acting as interim AMARC International Secretary. This has had an enormous impact on our activities. This is the first year since 2011 that AMARC Europe hasn’t been able to organise a European meeting for community broadcasters and the newsletter wasn’t published or the website updated.

On the other hand, we continued our participation in the Mednet project; some of our members got involved in looking for resources to organise the European Community Radio Festival; we continue supporting our members and their associates in defending community media in Europe. We have sustained the skeleton work required to guarantee AMARC Europe’s successful transition.

In its meeting of November 2014 in Rome, the AMARC International Board ratified Francesco Diasio as Secretary General till January 2016. That definitely opened the door to the transition AMARC Europe was preparing for and Miriam Meda, former member of the board representing the Spanish Federation of Community Media ReMC, is now AMARC Europe General Secretary after she relocated to Brussels in early November.

So, new and exciting times are ahead of us in the New Year. AMARC Europe webpage has greatly improved. Our communications via newsletter have resumed, and by December we are expecting the publication of the new AMARC International newsletter. AMARC regional representatives have started to collaborate in the review of internal procedures and processes; actions and activities are being decentralised from the Montreal Office to the regional offices. There are plans for a new AMARC International website.

We do our work to the best of our capacity, but we are in the lookout for people that might be interested in joining our board meetings and our activities. We are a very rich community, as we can count on each other support and work. We need to manage now with the resources we have, but it is necessary to increase our activities and funds for 2015, if we want continue our European work.

Communication in community media is really a two ways process, and we want to hear more from you. We need your criticism, your support and your guidance. We are all AMARC and we need to shape this organisation together.

Finally, we want to close this open letter by expressing our deepest gratitude to Francesco Diasio, for his effort, his unselfishness and utter dedication to community radio in Europe. We know that we will keep working together. And we want to welcome Miriam Meda, who with her enthusiasm, commitment and new perspective has become a new driving force for all of us in Brussels.

We hope we would meet face to face soon, but till then, keep in touch.

Nico, Riitta, Aitor, Judit, Cristy, Jean Paul, Eric, Tina and Sally