We are very happy and proud to celebrate one year of life of Radio Civic, the community radio born in Romania thanks to the energies generated by the Grassroots Radio project.

It’s been a year since the first shows, rhythms, news were broadcast on the radio:

“I’m Mira, from Radio Civic and I’m presenting the interview with .…”

“I’m Jean Trofimov, from Civic Radio and I invite you to listen to Local Jukebox … ”

“I’m Raluca Lisov, from Radio Civic and I bring you “Vorba buona”.…”

“I’m Alin Gabriel Varenic, from Radio Civic and I want to tell you the history of the Zaporozhian Cossacks and stories in the Ukrainian language .…

“I’m Simona Ana Fortan/ Claudia Titu/ Cristina Abaianet, from Radio Civic and I present the news of the day…”

“I am Elena Cristea, from Radio Civic and I present to you the beauty guide”

“I am Sineta Badea Cazacu and I am going to tell you the Evening Story”.

These are the people, along with the extraordinary commitment and care of Adi Voinea, Dan Manea, Liana Ganea, Mircea Toma and Irina Zamfirescu, who shape the shows of Radio Civic and made possible the existence of this community radio station.

Radio Civic broadcasts audio programs dedicated to audiences belonging to the rural communities of Sfantu Gheorghe and Vârvoru de Jos. In one year these community stations have grown a lot, arranging broad and diverse show schedules and implementing the cutting-edge technologies the Grassroots Radio is able to offer. And they did not spare themselves even during the pandemic, when they organized a nice set of shows to keep the population properly informed as well as cheer listeners up. With joy, we transmit to local residents, every day, the pulse of the community, the tradition and history of the place, the music with the golden voices and the unmistakable rhythms, the life stories of the elders of the place and the wishes of the young people of the future.

Grassroots Radio join Radio Civic’s celebration by listening and singing “Blue Sea, Black Sea” an old traditional song, choral, re-recorded and re-orchestrated by Jean Trofimov. Jean brings to the listeners of Radio Civic Sfântu Gheorghe, every day, day by day, for almost a year, the show “Tonomat local”. But Jean also made his mark in selecting the music that Radio Civic broadcasts throughout the day. In this interview, conducted by Mircea Toma and Mira Bălan, you will hear Jean talking about Sfântu Gheorghe, about the local people, about his musical career and about his involvement in Radio Civic. And you will listen to his version of “Blue Sea, Black Sea” (“Mare Neagră, Mare Albastră”). The story goes on! Happy birthday Radio Civic!

Soundroutes project: A special radio and web streaming marathon with refugee artists from four different countries in Europe

The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent anti-racism protests have shown us how desperately we need to fight for a more inclusive and equal world: a world where no one is left behind. It has never been clearer that all of us have a role to play in order to bring about change. Everyone can make a difference. According to the latest UN statistics, every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.

Soundroutes is a project, financed by the Creative Europe program,  aimed at supporting refugees and migrants musicians in Europe promoted by Marmaduke (ES), De Koer (B), AMARC Europe (B), Chios Music Festival (H), Bologna Jazz Festival (IT) . After a period of forced break due to the pandemic, Soundroutes project will start again its activities the 20th of June,  World Refugees Day, with a 7 hours Radio and and live streaming marathon with artists performing from  Italy, Spain, Belgium and Greece.During the day messages from Ceuta and Lesbos refugee camps will be shared.

We celebrate this day dedicating this event to all the people on the move, to all the solidarity workers and activists, to the people in the street reclaiming a world free of racism. We also want to show, with this event,  our deepest solidarity with all the artists and cultural operators that in this challenging moment keep building bridges with culture.

The European chapter of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC, will promote the event among its radio members worldwide in order to raise the volume against discriminations.

The radio and web streaming marathon will start at 15h30 Central European Time. Among the performers, Osama Abdulrasol and François Taillefer (from Belgium), Reda Zine/Danilo Mineo(from Italy), One Pac & Fellows (from Spain), the Soundroutes Band in Belgium, Naser Haj Walo (from Italy) and Who Dat (from Belgium)

The full program schedule is available on Soundroutes website https://soundroutes.eu


For more informations: Caterina Amicucci, project manager caterina@marmaduke.info

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soundroutes

The Soundroutes band is a project of de Koer as part of a European partnership and a Creative Europe project Soundroutes. AMARC Europe is partner in this project and you can find all the project details here.

Five musicians with diverse cultural backgrounds share the stage. Melodies from Syria, Belgium, Afghanistan, Marrocco, Bulgaria, klezmer, and more. Line-up: Gergana Velikova (voice)Jamal Moussaid (bass, percussion, vocals)Shalan Alhamwy (violin)Robbe Kieckens (percussion)Jonas de Rave (cimbalom, accordion, piano).

The Soundroute band says “We won’t be able to play concerts for the time being but we have other news for you! In February we went into the studio to record a video and an audio clip. The video of ‘Mitro des mitro’ is now finished and we are happy to be able to share it with you. Enjoy it and hopefully see you soon!”

As the Coronavirus is spreading across Europe, Grassroots Radio project partners (including AMARC Europe) are devoting their energies to arrange information initiatives to keep local populations informed about data and events connected to the health emergency. Additionally, there are members of the consortium who are also active to monitor governmental decisions regarding the organization of information about the virus.

This is the case of Active Watch, the Romanian human rights organization and member of the GR project that promotes free communication for the public interest. Liana Ganea, member of Active Watch and Reporters Without Borders as well as an active component of the GR project, answered to the microphones of Radio FRO, a free radio broadcasting in Upper Austria.

A significant part of the interview is dedicated to the measures that Romania is implementing in order to contrast fake news. Liana told Radio FRO that the Romanian government decided that local authorities cannot communicate data to journalists anymore. All data about the cases have to be communicate to a central body that is governing the crisis. This is an example of lack of transparency that the government has started to implement.

NGOs are rather buys to react against these policies. The declaration of state of emergency has introduced measures that are affecting freedom of expression, making the work of journalists and NGOs more opaque and difficult. One of the consequences of these decisions is that the government can ask the telecom regulator to delete any website that they think create fake news. According to Liana, this process is rather unclear both because there are not intermediate steps until the shutdown and because the criteria to determine the quality of a content have not been clarified.  According to Liana, state authorities admitted that they lost track of the virus.

The interview has been conducted in English and included between minutes 11.45 and 23:00.

AMARC Europe is proud to announce the beginning of a new project supported by UNESCO, “ Fostering digital communication rights for community media”.

In continuation with its strategic global perspective, AMARC wishes to fulfil its role promoting participatory democracy and active citizenship through the defence and advancement of community media.

In order to turn this aspiration into action, AMARC is strengthening its involvement in the promotion of the right to communicate in the digital sphere and in particular in relation to digital terrestrial broadcasting, transition and use of digital distribution methods, in line with UNESCO Community Media Sustainability Policy Papers, adopted in 2016.

This project will extend and reactivate the debates raised since few years in the domain of digital communication rights in several, regions covered by AMARC members.

ICTs and mobile telephony are opening up new frontiers for community broadcasters. For example, the mobile telephone, when used on its own provides person-to-person information and communication possibilities. However, when we combine it with a community radio station, it becomes a dynamic “collective” communication tool. In this way, mobile telephones can help to empower marginalized communities to become active participants in community dialogue, each contributing his or her own experiences and ideas.

In the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting (DAB +), and in line with UNESCO community media sustainability policy papers “.. A key issue is ensuring that community broadcasters have access to the same ‘equitable’ portion of the frequency spectrum that they had in the analogue world. However, transmission works in fundamentally different ways in the digital environment, at least with most modern technologies, and this requires more carefully tailored regulatory approaches”.

Three aspects will be considered:

  1. Reserving spectrum
  2. Mitigating costs of the shift from analogue to digital broadcasting
  3. Approaching the wider challenges of convergence

The general objective of this project is to raise the number of countries that have strengthened policies for adequate and tailored audio-visual regulation in the digital broadcasting sphere in favour of community media. At the end of the project, at least 5 countries will have taken steps to strengthen those policies.

Beyond European borders, AMARC Europe has already indentified some possible countries where to concentrate the efforts. In the Asian Region, Bangladesh and its BNNRC will partner the initiative, as well as URAC in Senegal and the Community Media Network in Jordan. More countries will be involved in Central and Latin America.

Promoting national legal standards or recommendations for Audiovisual Regulatory Authorities and other policy-makers affecting community media remains an outstanding challenge. We are ready for it. Together we are stronger.