The members of CUAC FM decided on Thursday 28 September 2017 to cease their FM broadcasting after receiving a notification of sanction by the Xunta de Galicia, that threatens to fine the radio station with between 100 thousand and 200 thousand euros for broadcastingwithout having the corresponding license “. The assembly that manages the radio decided to keep only its online broadcasting, both livestreaming, and podcast.

AMARC Europe opposes the Galician government decision that can only be viewed as a breach of the Right to Communicate (Artikel 19 of the UN Human Rights Declaration) und 2010 Spanish Audiovisual Law.

The decision of the Galician government has been received with frustration and surprised by CUAC FM volunteers as, in fact, for years the radio station has been demanding that the Galician Government comply with the General Law on Audiovisual Communication approved in 2010, which recognises the community media as a citizens’ right (Artikel 4) and establishes the right to pre-existing Community radio and television broadcasting to access licenses or authorisations in the area of coverage in which they were already providing their activity (Transitory Provision 14).

Ferner, the station press release points out thatin these 21 years of service to the community CUAC FM has never received a communication, complaint or notification of any kind about its activity, and has never interfered with nor harmed the broadcasting of any other radio station in Galicia.” Außerdem, “the Xunta de Galicia is aware of the existence of Cuac FM since the beginning of its broadcastsand thatthe relations of this station with the General Secretariat of the Media have been numerous.

CUAC FM, which began broadcasting on March 27, 1996, is the oldest community radio of Galicia. Based in A Coruña, CUAC FM is one of the most active throughout the Spanish State, and enjoys a great social implantation in the city, with more than 1,200 people being engaged in programming with the radio station. CUAC FM is also supported by A Coruña University and of numerous social entities. Below you can find CUAC FM press release.



From Cuac FM, and with enormous regret, we have to inform that on 21 September, after 21 years of broadcasting, the Xunta de Galicia, through its General Secretariat of the Media, informed Cuac FM of the launch of legal proceedings against the radio station for broadcastingwithout having the corresponding license”. CUAC is exposed to an administrative penalty ranging from €100,001 to € 200,000.

In light of these facts, the Collective of Active University Students (CUAC) wants to point out the following:

  1. In these 21 years of service to the community, Cuac FM never received any communication, complaint or notification of any kind regarding its activity, and never interfered nor damaged the broadcasting of any other radio station in Galicia.
  2. The Xunta de Galicia has evidence of the existence of Cuac FM even before the start of its emissionson March 27, 1996. The communications of this station with the General Secretariat responsible for this legal procedure were numerous and always initiated by CUAC. CUAC has repeatedly requested the reservation of radio-electric space for community-based not-for-profit radio stations and the licensing of these broadcasting services, even if they were on a provisional basis, to safeguard the activity of the few free community broadcasters that exist in Galicia.
  3. CUAC has been vindicating and working, for two decades, at the Galician, state and European level, for the defence of the exercise of the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, an inalienable right that is recognized by the Declaration of Human Rights ( UN, 1948) and by article 20.1.a) of the Spanish Constitution. This work is coordinated with the Community Media Network (REMC) and the World Association of Community Radios (AMARC), of which CUAC is a part.
  4. CUAC has repeatedly called for the Xunta de Galicia to apply in our autonomous territory the General Law of Audiovisual Communication 7/2010 that recognizes, in its article 4, the community media as a citizens’ right and establishes the right to pre-existing Community radio and television broadcasting to access licenses or authorisations in the area of coverage in which they were already providing their activity (Transitory Provision 14).
  5. CUAC denounces the non-compliance by the public administrations of said General Audiovisual Communication Law of 2010, in a degree of omission, since no license was granted for non-profit community communication services within seven years after the entry into force of the law. The state repeatedly fails to comply with the mandate to develop the required regulations, in spite of the reminder that the Ombudsman’s office made in that regard in 2012.
  6. The exercise of freedom of expression through any means is a right of citizenship that cannot be coerced or can be eternally delayed due to the inactivity of public powers, as the courts of justice have recognised. The radioelectric space is a good public domain managed by the administration for the benefit of all citizens. Numerous international laws and resolutions regarding the right to communication, such as the declarations of the European Parliament (2008), European Council of Ministers (2009), or of the speakers of the freedom of expression of the UN, the OSCE or the UNESCO, point out the right of people to create their own means of information. In Spain and Galicia, this right has been kidnapped by the inactivity of the administration, which, nevertheless, has called for tenders for the granting of commercial licenses to companies for profit.
  7. The right of existence of community media is largely supported by the Spanish Parliament. Such support was manifested with the approval of all political parties (being the Popular Party the only vote against) of a Parliamentary motion presented on June 21, 2017 in the Committee on Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda of the Congress of the Deputies. Said motion urges the Spanish State Government toRegulate the granting of temporary authorizations to Community radio and television services that were in operation before January 1, 2009”.
  8. Cuac FM is a non-profit Community Broadcaster that was created in 1996 to guarantee the exercise of the right of access to communication and the freedom of expression of citizenship, continuing its activity continuously, 365 days per year. We have reached the 452 broadcast programmes, with more than 1,200 people accessing our studios and hundreds of associations, groups and educational centres have passed through our waves. In these nearly 22 Jahre, Cuac FM did not reject any of the programme applications submitted for its broadcast.

 The Xunta de Galicia has been deaf to all this legal itinerary while it is committed to the extermination of the only not-for-profit community communication service in the city of A Coruña, contradicting also the motion approved in 2016 by the Plenary of the local government of the City of A Coruña, aimed at protecting these services, and in particular, Cuac FM.

Yesterday, September 28, 2017, the General Assembly of members and members of the Collective of Active University Students decided to cease broadcasting in modulated frequency (FM) until this situation is solved, although maintaining its online presence -livestreaming and podcasting.

The General Assembly has also approved the development of a strategy to defend the right to communicate of the citizenship at legal, political and social level, which will mobilize all its material and human resources, in the conviction that the only effective way to defend human rights is through its exercise.

Schließlich, Cuac FM would like to thank all the people and institutions that supported us during these years and that will surely continue to accompany us in the future, with special mention to the University of A Coruña. Schließlich, we appeal to all social agents, Gruppen, Verbände, and individuals to help us defend their right to free, democratic and plural communication. Today is Cuac FM, tomorrow may be any other space of social communication.

Whoever has honour, follow us.

A Coruña, September 29, 2017

The Assembly of Members and Partners of the Collective of Active University Students

In this toolkit, ARTIKEL 19 provides a guide to identifying ’hate speech‘ and how effectively counter it, while protecting the rights to freedom of expression and equality. It responds to a growing demand for clear guidance on identifying “hate speech,” and for responding to the challenges ‘hate speech’ poses within a human rights framework.

IMG_3651Paris, 10-11 Dezember 2015

The new AMARC International Board met in Paris to initiate the process for strategic planning towards the implementation of the strategic plan voted by the General Assembly in Ghana in August 2014. The meeting took place in the UNESCO headquarters, in central Paris.

In attendance were Min Shahi (Nepal) Executive Vice President, Palmira Velasco (Mosambik) Schatzmeister, Vice Presidents of Regions; for Africa Karamoko Bamba (Côte d’Ivoire); for Asia-Pacific: Ram Bhat (Indien); for Europe: Soledad Galiana; the Vice-President of the “Women’s International Network of AMARC” Adeline Nsimire Balika (Democratic Republic of Congo), and the following Vice Presidents: Marie-Guyrlène Justin (Haiti), Yengwayo Kutta (South African Republic), Damian Loreti (Argentinien), and Sophie Toupin (Kanada), and former president and coordinator of the Legislative Programme, Maria Pia Matta; regional Asia-Pacific coordinator, Suman Basnet and AMARC general secretariat, Franc Diasio.

AMARC International president, Emmanuel Boutterin highlighted how this was the first opportunity of the new board to meet face to face and create the synergies among the different AMARC regions to work together on behalf of the members.


UNESCO and AMARC partnership

Mirta Lourenco, UNESCO Chief of Section, Communication and Information Sector, welcomed the Board members. Lourenco works with media pluralism and they work in five axis: gender equality in media at all levels, from content to working procedures; education and media training, including new technologies; World Radio Day (AMARC is part of the committee that organises that day); Youth participation in radio, a sector clearly underrepresented in media; and production of independent media content.

For UNESCO AMARC is very important, as it brings together radios that work in the community, and UNESCO will promote among world governments the existence of community radios. We want to work very closely with AMARC. We want to work closely to create a very strong AMARC,” stated Lourenco.

IMG_3667Digitalisation in Europe: DAB+ perspective

Jean-Marc Dubreuil, programme manager France, World DMB, presented the work of his organisation to the International Board. It is planned a similar presentation by the representative of the DMR standard in the the future.

Dubreil explain that due to a full spectrum in FM in some countries, there was a need for digitalisation. In UK, Norwegen, Switzerland and Denmark, there is a high number of listeners of digital radio listeners. In Switzerland and Norway have decided to switch off FM (2017 und 2020 respectively). Now in Germany, Germany and Netherlands and Italy there have been an increment in the number of digital listeners as the number of digital broadcasters have increased. In Italy, 70% of the population can now receive digital radio. The Netherlands decided to initiate digitalisation in 2013, and integrate all media sectors in the platforms. Some other European countries, such as France, Belgium and Poland have been considering digital radio. In France they are now in the move to cover 93% of the population with DAB+. In France they are starting with regional and local services. The Flemish public broadcaster is already broadcasting in DAB+ in Belgium, and he French speaking public broadcast will start next year. The Polish regulator has decided to postpone digitalisation.

There is an issue with DRM+ due to the limited number of receivers for (DRM30) or not at all for DRM+. This is a problem for this standard, and if they don’t ensure that there In UK, Switzerland and Poland they are experimenting with small scale DAB+, which will require a initial capital investment of 80,000 euros for the transmitter.

According to Dubreuil, DAB offer more choice, better reception and new features to the listeners, while for broadcasters it brings innovation, better targeting of listeners and being cost-efficient, and a social level, it is a greener distribution, greater plurality and driver safety and security. Phone networks cannot sustain high volume of users, that digital broadcasting can do. He also pointed out that for digitalisation to be successful, you need to have good content and coverage, to ensure devices are accessible and cheap (including cars). In France there have been this kind of communication.
Dubreuil considers that DAB is the core future platform for radio, mostly because it is the standard being introduced by European governments.


Freedom of Expression and Journalists safety

Sylvie Coudray, Chief of Section for the Communication and Information Sector (CI) of UNESCo made a presentation on the Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety which UNESCO has been running for the last 30 Jahre.

UNESCO is involved in investigations in different parts of the world contacting to stakeholders and governments. Karamoko Bamba highlighted how in West Africa, specially in Mali and Ivory Coasts, many journalists have been murder. Sylvie Coudray highlighted that the issue of impunity is key, as it is the fact that there is not proper investigation and consequently no punishment, it doesn’t help when it comes to guaranty the safety of journalists. There would be a meeting in February dealing with safety of journalists and on impunity. AMARC will be represented and the meeting will focus on how to provide tools for security and against impunity against journalists and media, be sharing best practice experience, engagement with governments, and exploring new mechanisms to ensure journalists’ Sicherheit.

IMG_3675World Radio Day 2016

Jean-Francois Riffaud, Campaign coordinator World Radio Day, spoke about the preparations towards World RAdio Day (13 Februar 2016). This year the focus would beRadio in Emergency and Disaster Situations”. anit would look into five specific situations:

  • Freed of expression (a disaster or emergency situation shouldn’t be a excuse to curtail freedom of expression)
  • Radio empower survivors and vulnerable people, whose right to privacy is to be respected. This is why UNESCO defends community radios, as they are the voice of vulnerable people.
  • Radio saves lives. Radio prepares people to response to catastrophes and helps them to rebuild their files after a disaster.
  • Immediate accessibility of radio frequencies is essential to saving lives. There are emergency frequencies that are reserved for these kind of situations, but are not respected by some radio operators.

UNESCO has already created a media campaign and it is preparing materials to highlight the five message, as they work in both visibility and content issues.They are preparing short interviews, documentaries, elements and stories to build your programmes, and jingles to promote Radio World Day. The website will be launched on 11 Dezember 2016, where participants will be able to register.

UNESCO will be creating 12 hours of programming that they will be broadcasting on 13 Dezember. These are been produced by different public an commercial stations.It is possible to collaborate with this broadcast by contacting the Radio World Day organisers.

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, diese “100 Heroesfight or dedicate their work to promote freedom under the Article 19 der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte, “to seek, Informationen und Ideen zu empfangen und zu über Medien jeder Art und ohne Rücksicht auf Staatsgrenzen.”. Die “100 Helden” setzen ihre Ideale “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, berühmt oder unbekannt, 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.

Download Full Listing

Maria Pia 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 ofinformation heroinewhich 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 schon seit 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, die 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.

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