Berlin/Potsdam: support for community radios [update]


[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.

In Berlin the desicion of the Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg resulted in the closure of the Community radio Potsdam an less airtime for the other community radios. In support of the community radio sector in the radio project 88vier, CMFE wrote an open letter to the media council Berlin-Brandenburg:

Subject: Decision relating to the non commercial radio project 88vier
(zur Weitergabe an den Medienrat zur Medienratssitzung am 15. Mai 2012)
Nijmegen, 4 May 2012
Dear Prof. Dr. Jutta Limbach,
Dear Media Council of Berlin-Brandenburg

The Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) supports the requests of our member Bundesverband Freier Radios (BFR) regarding your decision relating
to the noncommercial radio project 88vier:
– To withdraw the decision to revoke the license of Free Radio in Potsdam Frrapo;
– To withdraw the decrease of air-time of the community radio groups;
– Not to discriminate the community radio groups against Open Channel ALEX.

The social value of Community Media has been affirmed by the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the role of community media in the
promotion of the social cohesion and the inter cultural dialogue1, adopted by the Council of Europe on 11 February 2009, and the Resolution of 25
September 2008 of the European Parliament on Community Media in Europe.

In these declarations the Council of Europe and the European Parliament also advocate to acknowledge Community Media within the media laws, to support
them financially and to provide these with adequate access to broadcasting networks.

Berlin is widely acknowledged for it’s vivid cultural climate. Community media play an important role in articulating this climate and allow citizens to actively
participate in different media projects. This calls for a balanced media policy regarding community media, including independent radio projects as 88vier
and Frrapo.

We support BFR in the request to amend the Media law Berlin-Brandenburg in respect of acknowledging Community Media as a necessary third sector of
media with financial support from radio license fees.

We would be grateful if you could inform us on the outcome of the process
and the underlying motivation.

Yours sincerely,
Pieter de Wit
President CMFE