Frieda Werden, co-founder of WINGS: Women’s International News Gathering Service and radio producer since 40 years, held a talk on “The Beijing Platform for Action and Community Radio” at the ECE Beijing + 20 Forum in Geneva, Nov. 4, 2014.
Following extensive discussion about the assignment of Citizenship issues to Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner-designate for Education, Culture & Youth (and the afore mentioned citizenship), Jean-Claude Juncker decided to reassign (several) parts of portfolios: Please find the list here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-705_en.htm
Let’s be cautious to the actions taken by the newly built commission and follow closely the developments – specifically in the relevant parts for Community Media, like civil society / citizenship, multilingualism (which is no longer explicitly mentioned in a portfolio), net neutrality and technological changes.
Find below a documentation of the discussions / hearing around M. Navracsics:
CMFE asks for your support with our lobbying across the European Union and in particular in lobbying MEP candidates for the upcoming EU parliament election. We wrote a letter to outline CMFE postions and the importance of community Media across Europe. Please use your contacts, networks and members to contact your local candidates with the attached letter. This approach may yield favourable results when the new MEPs are elected and will help us when working to get the community media message on the various agendas. Feel free to translate the letter. Please let us know how you get on and send us on any replies you get.
Denmark has, in earlier years, played an important role by inspiring other European countries to approve media laws that supported community media. ‘Must carry’ was an essential part of the Danish media law for community media. Losing ‘must carry’ sets Denmark back as an inspiration for other European countries and denies an important part of Danish citizens full access to a diverse, pluralistic and democratic media environment.
In support of the request of our Danish member “SAML” for the reestablishment of ‘must carry’ rules for non-commercial media, CMFE (Community Media Forum Europe) wrote a letter to the Danish Ministry of Culture.
> download the letter here: CMFE_Letter_to_The_Danish_Minister_of_Culture.pdf
[update 20.5.2011] The protest has been effective. The Media Council mabb has rolled back the withdrawal of the broadcasting license for Frrapo in Potsdam at its meeting on 15th May 2012. They also withdraw the decrease of air-time of the community radio groups. According to this, for the four community radio groups Frrapo, Studio Ansage, Piradio and Colaboradio now everything remain as before the re-tendering. The only change is more schedule flexibility, to distribute the airtime, which is still from Monday to Thursday 19-6 o’clock at 88.4 MHz in the southwest of Berlin. This decision is valid for two years. The claims for an earlier start of the transmission and additional air time on Friday, but also the long-term acknowledgement of community radio as a third media sector with support and independence still remains open.
We were overwhelmed by the support of the hundreds of groups and individuals who demonstrated their concern when Northern Visions was faced with closure.
The good news is that those appeals did not go unnoticed. They were a tremendous endorsement, which has led to Northern Visions being able to continue its work.
The CMFE Board member Gabriella Velics reports about the situation of community radios in Hungary:
In Hungary community radio was legitimised and functioning from 1996 and by the end of 2010 there were sixty-eight small community radio stations across the country. From the beginning of 2011 the new law has made it much more difficult for them to operate, and the number of community radios suddenly fell to forty-four. (database of the Media Authority – mid. february)
The Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) has released a letter of support to join the campaign of its Spanish members with regards to the actions take by the Jefatura Provincial de Telecomunicaciones of Asturias , the regional media authority, towards community radio stations in the region.
CMFE understands that the Jefatura has sent letters to the residents of the flats that are located in proximity of the FM radio broadcast transmission equipment of community radio stations in the Asturias, where it has requested to those residents to state if they have knowledge of the location and ownership of such transmission systems and where failure to do is sanctioned with fines up to € 500.000.
The Forum is concerned about the enactment of such measures which ignores the fact that the Authority has not been considering the opening of the legitimate licensing system to community radio stations, that have been broadcasting in the region since the 1980s, and that have since then shown demand for a third, not for profit and independent radio sector in the Asturias.
Dear CMFE members, friends and colleagues,
Ourplanet-TV, is one of Japan’s best known alternative media, an all-citizens based independent public access center, with distribution on the internet, and on Tokyo area cable (in a weekly program window). This non-profit non-governmental media organization in Tokyo, is collecting donations for a 2-hour TV program highlighting the voices of Japanese children, who have been affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident.
These children are exposed to much higher-than-normal radioactivity everyday. Parents are struggling to protect their children from radiation. The case of the right to evacuate has been taken to court, but still more than a half year later nothing has changed. Children living close to the epicenter of the nuclear plant still cannot play in the school yards and outside their houses without being exposed to radiation.
The EU Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism (CSPM), of which CMFE is one of the 29 members, has published its policy recommendations to the European Commission, member states and regional authorities, stating that education and public services must go multilingual to boost Europe’s language skills, sustain Europe’s economies and cater for increasingly diverse societies:
“Attention should also be paid to the media and the way in which they reflect the linguistic and cultural needs of minorities, and groups of a different background, especially migrants. Usually there is little reference to these needs and the media tends to show that communication “happens” smoothly, without linguistic or cultural barriers. In reality successful direct communication among people who speak different languages is not possible, unless there is someone who translates or interprets. Furthermore, media should show the real cultural diversity of the territory they cover, instead of showing a monolingual and/or mono-cultural situation more typical of past times and that has nothing to do with reality.”