28 November, 2014. The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) has been notified that between 2003 and 2006 an undercover police agent of the state police of Hamburg infiltrated the structures of the editorial staff of the German Free Radio Freie Sendekombinat (FSK).
This means a gross violation of the fundamental right of freedom of information and the right to communicate. The police agent undertook pseudo-journalistic activities in the editorial structures of FSK. By doing so, she committed a gross violation of the legislation for the protection of sources and editorial secrets which are guaranteed by the German law on press freedom.
The undercover police action is a systematic crime against the constitution of Germany, states the Bundesverband Freier Radios (German National Association of Free Radios). Furthermore, the journalistic integrity of FSK has been massively damaged. In an open letter to the German state, the BFR demands that all those responsible within the political and security institutions for the planning and implementation of this violation of human rights and civil liberties should be hold accountable for this unconstitutional police action against a community radio.
AMARC demands that the Government of Hamburg investigates this attack against freedom of expression and communication and determines and deal with those responsible for these undemocratic actions.
By Michael Nicolai (Radio Corax) – After two months the new government of Christ Democrats and Social Democrats came to their coalition agreement. Through that the situation of the three community radios in Saxonia could improve. Because in the agreement it is written that “community media (non commercial radios) shall be getting more support. An amendment of the statutory basis will bring off an improved funding through that the community radios will ensure their broadcasting and they will get medium-term planning certainty.”
Until today the community radios of Saxonia don’t get any funding from the media authority of the state. The authority always justified the denial of funding out of the broadcast fee with the missing provision of the law. The BFR (national community radio association) demands a quickly amendment of the Saxonian media law to provide public funding for the Saxonian community radios Radio Blau (Leipzig), Radio T (Chemnitz) und Coloradio (Dresden).
By Michael Nicolai (Radio Corax) – The Media Committee in the German Federal State Parliament of Saxonia-Anhalt has decided to change the media law in order to retain FM broadcasting at least until 2025.
“Today’s decision ensures that the FM radio in the end of this year will not end up as electronic scrap and that radio will continue to be a popular media, says the vice chairman of the CDU parliamentary group Markus Kurze. If most households use analogue radio then this way of broadcasting must be retained”, he says.
Mark Westhusen, managing director of Radio Corax (one of two community radios in Saxonia-Anhalt), says,” in principle we appreciate the decision of the parliament of Saxonia-Anhalt, but missed the point when they again set a deadline for the disconnection of FM. We are accessible for the digital transmission. But as long as digital transmission is not successful and accepted as FM, the program of community radio has to be transmitted both ways. Furthermore we are convinced that FM has to be preserved for community radio. The prospectively available frequencies should then be given to community radio.”
(Photo: Mark Westhusen, managing director of Radio Corax).
Agus Hernan (Antxeta Irratia – SNRL) – Between September 2013 and July 2015 11 radios from 8 different countries will be working in a Grundtvig project entitled Memory under construction: giving voice to forgotten memory. The countries and the peoples have had different attitudes when confronting their problems they have in the recent past. For example, currently Spain is not working properly on the case of 12.000 people disappeared since Franco´s dictatorship. And that´s although the United Nations has demanded this country to do that.
In this context, is well known the role that the associative radios have played recovering what the experts call “historical memory”, putting the countries in front of their responsibilities and breaking the “law of the silence” imposed in many places.
We need to remark that this work has not always been enough recognized by the governments and, in some occasions, it has been combatted from them (with the shut down of radios in some countries). For these reasons, the goal of this project is exchanging best practices done about the recovery of the historical memory, and starting a common work in these issues from the European associative radios.
To do that the participants radios of the project have chosen as tools the fulfillment of training sessions about this topic (in Ireland and Germany), the production of 66 radio programs about historical memory, and the publication of a “Manual of best practices”. All this material will can be found soon on the website of the project.
Participants radios: Radio Oloron, RIG, Radio Fabrik, Radio Flora, Radio Corax, Radio Grafitti, Antxeta Irratia (PausuMedia), Radio Student, Athlone Radio, Phoenix FM y Radio Kärnan Helsingborg.
The countries most threatened by the Ebola virus —Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea— are also those with the fewest resources to report on the crisis. Three international organizations have launched an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to get vital equipment to local radio stations in the worst-affected areas.
The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) in association with Hirondelle USA and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) created this fundraising campaign to help local radio stations and their staff in Ebola-affected regions. You can help contribute to the cause on Indiegogo:
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Why Local Radio?
In many regions, rural radio is the most trusted source of information for local communities, but many local radio stations lack the tools to report accurate and timely information in this crisis situation.
Not only do reporters need telephones and voice recorders to capture information, they need transportation to reach affected remote communities, and their stations need fuel and electricity to air their programs.
EVERY DOLLAR donated to this campaign will go to buying vital equipment for local radio stations.
- $25 Provide prepaid telephone card for 1 local radio to get news and interviews for one month.
- $50 Provide motorcycle transport to reach and report from rural communities for one month for 1 local radio.
- $100 Provide a community radio journalist with a portable audio recorder in WAV and MP3 format.
- $150 Harness the power of sunlight with a solar charging panel for 1 local radio.
YOUR HELP will enable journalists to focus on their reporting, not their costs, and deliver credible information to populations in crisis.