Brno. 4 October 2013. Ciaran Murray, president of CMFE opened the conference Media Diversity for Democracy with a call to the participants to be inventive, and to fight discrimination. Sally Galiana, president of AMARC Europe, highlighted that community radios are not micro organisations, but that represent a mass group of activists that need to be recognised by policy makers.
Bissera Zankova, vice chair of the strategy committee on media and information society with the Council of Europe, the CoE recommendation embraces all actors that exercises the right to communication and freedom of expression. In 2009, the CoE adopted a recommendation in the role of community media, which represent the voice of society, an alternative to other media, provide a service to fight discrimination and equality.
The UNESCO chair on community media, Vinod Paravala, brought along greetings from community radio in South Asia, where community radio is an emerging movement. In his address, he reminded the participants of the need for communities to access media technology and produce content. “It is about having their own voices heard”.
The government has a role to play in expanding the democratisation of the media sector. However, the digital divide, the migration from analogue a digital, could be a threat to community media if governments do not create structures to support community media in this process. Community media is and should be ” a Political tool for freedom of speech”.