Grassroots Radio has been presented at the Ethnographies of Collaborative Economi(es) Conference, which took place in Edinburgh (UK) on October 25, 2019.Mariacristina Sciannamblo (AMARC Europe) discussed the paper titled “Co-designing collaborative care work through ethnography”, co-authored with Roberto Cibin (M-ITI), Petra Žišt (M-ITI), Chris Csíkszentmíhalyi (M-ITI), and Maurizio Teli (Aalborg University). The paper addresses a number of issues – such as the importance of language for community engagement, the relationship between digital and physical environments, and commonality – as they emerge from a conversation between two H2020 CAPS projects, Grassroots Radio and Commonfare.

The conference was hosted in the fascinating setting of the College of Art at the University of Edinburgh, and has welcomed European researchers from many disciplines who are currently conducting ethnographic studies of practices, cultures, socio-technical systems and lived experiences of collaborative economies.

The event has been supported by theCOST Action “From Sharing to Caring: Examining the Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy”(CA16121, 2017 – 2021), which is nurturing a network of actors (academic researchers, policy makers, practitioners) who are working to develop models of collaborative economy and platforms as well as to assess the social and technological implications of the collaborative economy through a practice-focused approach.

Conference proceedings are availableat this link.

AMARC joined the6th Conference of the Radio Research Sectionof the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), which was held in the lovely setting of the University of Siena (Italy), on September 19-21.

Several interesting keynote speeches and pieces of research have been presented, highlighting the variety and vivacity of the radio sector across and beyond Europe. The first keynote speech was held by David Fernandez Quijada, Manager of the Media Intelligence Service, the market research unit of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). He provided some interesting data about the situation of radio in Europe. In the EBU area, there are more than 12 thousand radio stations. Around the 90% of this group is composed by analogue FM stations, and the digital ones are, at the moment, just about 15 hundred (a significant majority of them are DAB+ stations). Most of the European stations are national, with only 120 international cases.

Passing to the radio consumption habits, Fernandez Quijada stated that in 2018, European citizens listened to the radio, on average, 2 hours and 22 minutes per day: these are 4 minutes less than the previous year and 14 minutes less than 5 years before (2013). People are still using this media, but the time spent on it has been decreasing. This trend is also more evident among the European youth: in 2018 they listened, on average, 1 hour and 26 minutes per day of radio: 5 minutes less than the previous year and 20 minutes less than 5 years ago. The European citizens reached weekly by radio are still a big group, the 84% (which corresponds to 420 million listeners), but also, in this case, there is a reduction (-1.7%) compared to 2013.

It is interesting to know that radio is considered the most trusted medium in the majority of the European countries, with the difference of Hungary, Serbia and Greece that put the Internet at the first place, while Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey chose the television.

Additionally, AMARC Europepresented a papertogether with other partners in the context of the Grassroots Radio project. The paper, titled “Fostering Community Radio: the Grassroots Radio project”, discusses the activities and challenges of co-designing community radios in rural areas.

On Thursday 5eand Friday 6eof September 2019, the Grassroots Radio consortium celebrated the third general assembly of the project, hosted in the friendly building of 11.11.11. – the coalition of NGOs, unions, movements and various solidarity groups in Flanders (Dutch speaking Northern part of Belgium) – in Brussels. The meeting has seen participation of all the members of the consortium and been arranged byAMARC Europe.

11.11.11 headquarters

The first day updates concerning the activities in the different communities have been shared by local partners. John Walsh from Bere Island Project Club (BIPG) reported about the activities and efforts they put in place in order to foster community engagement with the radio. The community radio has started to broadcast the mass, supported by West Cork FM. The mass has been broadcasted in particular for those who cannot leave the house and for patients hosted in the community hospital. This was a very positive action benefitingBere Island’s community.

As for the setup of the radio stations in Romania, local partners ActiveWatch and MedAlert have informed about the two radio stations broadcasting 24/7 in the two communities of –Saint Georgeand Vârvoru de Jos – with a commercial schedule and 25 volunteers involved. 3600 songs have been inputted to be broadcasted. The shows are different and are aimed at specific populations in the community. For example, in the community of Sfantu Gheorghe, there is a show in Ukrainian-Romanian language, with different languages spoken.

The radio community engagement in the Portuguese island of Madeira is alsorather lively and in progress, with two communities involved: Curral das Freiras and Estreito. Radio shows have been started in the former, with live interviews from the community and first experimentations with the text-to-speech (TTS) technology set up.

After the updates from the local pilots in Romania, Ireland and Portugal, the meeting went on with some exercises for the consortium members to get familiar with the evaluation framework arranged by the Irish partner University College Cork. Then, updates from the technical partnerRootIOhave been shared in order to collectively check up and discuss the improvements achieved with the work performed by the RootIO team. After one year from the beginning of the project, Jude and Andreea (the RootIO guys) have constantly gone back and forth andbring the technology to a stable levelthat the consortium can build from. Some technical issues – e.g. weakness of connectivity in some areas – have been discussed in order to reduce as much as possible the gap between communities’ expectations from the project and the results that a research action such as Grassroots Radio can concretely achieve. Positive news has been shared byCEREPROCabout the development of the speech synthesis voices in English, Romanian, and Portuguese. Scenarios about the implementation of TTS technologies have also been discussed in terms of accessibility, in case of audiences lacking connections or literacy.

The second day of the general assembly has been dedicated to discussions aroundgovernance, sustainability, and management of community radio. The group has also been involved in evaluation sessions with exercises providing a reflective guide to see whether we are meeting our goals, and also how we might capture our goals.

The last session has been focused on the preparation for the mid-term review the consortium is going to face the next week in Brussels. Given the updates and results shared during the assembly in Brussels, we are quite confident Grassroots Radio will give a positive impression to out evaluators. We will keep you posted! Bye for now, and fingers crossed!

Le Grassroot projet Radio est le pilotage des solutions pour les plates-formes d'information communautaire et le pluralisme des médias, travaillant pour abaisser les obstacles à la création et à maintenir une station de radio communautaire, créer des réseaux régionaux et à l'échelle européenne des stations qui peuvent mutualiser les ressources au niveau communautaire, les services de médias en collaboration co-Innover et augmentation l'impact de ces stations grâce à une combinaison de technologies numériques et non numériques existantes. Avec des partenaires en Irlande, en Roumanie et au Portugal (Madère), nous expérimentons de nouvelles technologies basées sur une forte interaction entre la téléphonie mobile, la radio traditionnelle et Text to Speech (TTS technologies), à travers le RootIo Plate-forme.

Bienvenue sur Grassroots Radio, un projet financé par l'UE visant à piloter des solutions pour l'innovation participative dans la ...

publié par Grassroots Radio suis13 Septembre jeudi, 2018

Après la première année du projet, nous sommes actuellement radiodiffusion Îles Bere (Irlande). A Madère, l'équipe Grassroots Radio a fait beaucoup de activités dans la vallée des Nonnes, une paroisse civile d'environ 2000 habitants au centre de Madère et l'emplacement de l'une de nos stations de radio de la base. Le résultat le plus important de ce jour, est le processus de licence en Roumanie, que grâce à nos partenaires (ActiveWatch et Medialert), atteint pour obtenir un clicence radio ommunauté pour la première fois dans le pays. Deux stations de radio seront lancés bientôt dans le delta du Danube, Radio Civic Vârvoru de Jos (Dolj) et Radio Civic Sfantu Gheorghe (Tulcea).

Dans ce cadre, nous avons assisté récemment à l'atelier de politique de haut niveau La voie à suivre pour l'innovation sociale numérique: Comment la technologie de soutien de l'UE en tant que force pour l'autonomisation et l'impact social?, Qui a eu lieu à Bruxelles le 26 Avril 2019. L'atelier a été organisé par la Fondation mondiale de l'innovation dans ce, Dans le cadre de l'innovation sociale numérique (DSI4EU) Projet. L'atelier a exploré comment les institutions européennes peuvent soutenir l'innovation sociale numérique (DSI) et créer un avenir où technologie permet aux citoyens de relever nos plus grands défis sociaux et environnementaux.

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civilradioCivil Radio, Budapest was founded in 1993 as a result of a collaboration of NGOs, local communities and civil organizations. The aim of the founders was to give voice to civic initiatives and strengthen civil control.

The principle of the radio is that the programme makers, editors and presenters should be volunteers and a board plus a small paid staff manage and provide the necessary background for them. The radio is not a medium that works with paid, professional journalists but with active citizens with real issues which are not presented in the mass media. The two decades behind it proved that it was a good idea to do it this way. The small radio station broadcasting only a few hours at the start now has expanded to a “big” radio, in which 150 volunteers make their radio shows for a 24 hour day broadcast.

The political leadership in Hungary in the last few years has slowly and systematically pushed back every bottom-up grassroots civil initiative. They have narrowed the open tenders, grants and other funds, while purposely creating administrative obstacles for the NGOs and other small community organizations. These new legal regulations reflect the political thinking in government which does not tolerate alternative and different opinions and perspectives. The new laws are written, approved and changed without a consultation with civil and professional societies.

And this is why Civil Radio is today in a desperate situation. Civil Radio is one of the last independent community radio stations still standing in Hungary. The radio launched a campaign in which it turns to its audience, to all the people who still believe in values the station believes – mutual understanding, tolerance, the power of discussion and cooperation, inclusion, freedom.

An extraordinary funding campaign has been launched.

“Do not let us be silenced! We do not ask for hundreds of thousands of Euros and Forints. We can continue broadcasting from the 5% of an ordinary media service provider’s annual budget — therefore every Euro and Forint counts, every little bit of help is appreciated.”

Radio Civil , Budapest fue fundada en 1993 como resultado de una colaboración entre organizaciones no gubernamentales , comunidades locales y organizaciones civiles . El objetivo de los fundadores era dar voz a las iniciativas cívicas y fortalecer el control civil.
El principio de la radio es que los creadores de programas , editores y presentadores deben ser voluntarios y un grupo más pequeño de personal remunerado para gestionar y proporcionar la infraestructura necesaria. La radio no es un medio que trabaja con los periodistas profesionales remunerados pero con ciudadanos activos con problemas reales que no se presentan en los medios de comunicación . Las dos décadas pasadas demostraron que se trataba de una buena idea. La pequeña radio que comenzó con sólo unas pocas horas de emisión en el inicio se ha expandido a una radio “grande” , en la que 150 voluntarios emiten 24 horas diarias cada semana .
El liderazgo político en Hungría ha actuado lenta y sistemáticamente contra las iniciativas de base ciudadana en los últimos años . Se han reducido las licitaciones públicas , donaciones y otros fondos , se han creado deliberadamente obstáculos administrativos para las organizaciones no gubernamentales y otras organizaciones comunitarias pequeñas . Estas nuevas normas legales reflejan el pensamiento político en el gobierno que no tolera las opiniones y puntos de vista alternativos y diferentes. Las nuevas leyes se escriben , aprueban y modifican sin consultar con la sociedad civil y profesionales.
Y esta es la razón por Civil Radio se encuentra hoy en una situación desesperada. Civil Radio es una de las últimas estaciones de radio comunitarias independientes aún en pie en Hungría. La radio puso en marcha una campaña en la que se vuelve a su público , a todas las personas que todavía creen en los valores de la estación cree – la comprensión mutua , la tolerancia, el poder de la discusión y la cooperación , la inclusión, la libertad.
Una campaña de financiación extraordinaria se ha puesto en marcha .
” No nos dejemos callar ! No pedimos para cientos de miles de euros y florines . Podemos continuar transmitiendo desde el 5 % del presupuesto anual de un proveedor de servicios de comunicación ordinaria – por lo tanto, cada Euro y Forint cuenta, se aprecia cualquier ayuda. ”