AMARC link, Volume 15, Number 1- 2, January - April, 2011

Titles:

 

 

1.- EDITORIAL

 

The wave of protests that began on 17 December 2010, with the action of the young Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26 year old unemployed graduate initiated in the North Africa and Middle East Region government changes paving the way to regime change and a transition that may lead towards political democratization and respect of Human Rights. A dynamic democratic transition nobody could have imagined a short time ago.


 

 


2.- MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

3.- PROMOTION AND DEFENSE OF THE RIGHT TO COMMUNICATION

4.- NEWS FROM COMMUNITY RADIOS

5.- ACTIVITIES, PROJECTS

6.- NATURAL DISASTERS

7.- COMING ACTIVITIES

8.-THE INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT



1.- Editorial

   

AMARC and the opening of the airwaves in north Africa and the Middle East



The wave of protests that began on 17 December 2010, with the action of the young Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26 year old unemployed graduate initiated in the North Africa and Middle East Region government changes paving the way to regime change and a transition that may lead towards political democratization and respect of Human Rights. A dynamic democratic transition nobody could have imagined a short time ago.


Social media and cell phones have played an important role, but media pluralism facilitated by community or associative media is needed in order to embed social media and citizen media experiences into territories or to voice specific citizen’s demands. The development of pluralist media system with public commercial and particularly of community media spectrum allocation is a definitive step needed for democratization of society and respect of human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. A necessity in order to actualise the respect of communication rights in a region where freedom of expression was a far away illusion for ordinary citizens.


Political change occurred first in Tunisia and then in Egypt. Civil society unrest in all countries of the region keeps shaking stagnant and dictatorial governments. At stake is employment for the youth, the end of corruption; new constitutions; people’s participation in building their societies and confronting political, social and economic issues; a fight for the inclusion of women, youth and the excluded and whose existence has been neglected for decades. A necessity when it comes to the recognition of women’s rights, the inclusion of youth and marginalised; to ensure their voices are heard.


Although there is a tendency to consider North Africa and the Middle East, or the “Arab World” as one region, the diversity of situations in regards to the “Arabic Spring” are enormous from one country to the other. While in Tunisia changes in the constitution pave the way to pluralist media, incertitude is the key word when it comes to Egypt. Some openings are possible in countries such as Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania, among others. In other countries such as Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, just to mention a few, citizen mobilizations for social change meet the repression of closed-up and dictatorial regimes. Citizen movements for democratization and social change have become a reality in the region and community radio practitioners working for communication rights recognition need to express their solidarity, come in support and share their accumulated knowledge to open the way to a robust community media sector.


AMARC has contributed to the development of community media in the MENA region by holding the AMARC 9 Global Conference of Community Radio Broadcasters hosted by Ammannet (first CR in Jordan) from 11-17 November 2006. Then the effort continued by holding the AMARC Africa MENA Conference in Rabat, Morocco, hosted by UNESCO Rabat Office from October 22-24 October 2007, thus contributing to the concept of associative and community radio in the region. The recent events have transformed 2011 in the year for the development of associative and community media in countries of North Africa and the Middle East as proposed by the International Board of Directors of AMARC. Stay tuned!


Marcelo Solervicens
Secretary General of AMARC

 

2.- Middle East and North Africa

   

AMARC Participates in IFEX-TMG mission: State of Freedom of Expression in Tunisia

 

The World Association of Community radio broadcasters, AMARC, participates from April 9-16th in the IFEX-TMG to assess what has changed for the better with regards to censorship since previous mission and what still needs to be changed to improve the freedom of expression landscape in Tunisia. The mission will take stock of Freedom of Expression after 14th January; building a legal, institutional and professional Framework that Protects freedom of Expression and strengthening professional standards. The mission is composed by leading Communication Rights and Freedom of Expression organizations such as, among others, AMARC, INDEX, IMS, ARTICLE 19 and ANHRI.

AMARC, in cooperation with the National Independent Authority for Information and Communication (l’Instance nationale pour la reforme de l’information et de la communication, INRIC), and the support of IMS is organizing workshops in Tunisia to coincide with the mission. AMARC will also focus on gender equality and women access to communication rights.

The workshop on Media Reform will focus on reform of broadcast and audio-visual media and will include presentations on international norms and standards, examples from countries that have undergone democratic transition, Tunisian expert perspectives on the situation in Tunisia and its limitations, and discussion on goals and strategies for media reform leading to recommendations for follow-up.

The Workshop on community media will raise awareness and understanding of the potential for community media development in Tunisia. Participants will consist of independent civil society groups including women’s groups, youth movement, pro-democracy activists and human rights defenders. The workshop will focus on the role of community media in democracy building. It will highlight the experiences and strategies for developing community media in countries undergoing democratic transition.

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Tunisia: AMARC calls for break with years of repression

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) welcomes the end of the dictatorship in Tunisia of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and expresses its solidarity with and support for the Tunisian people’s demands for civil, political and economic rights.

AMARC calls the interim government to a complete break with the years of repression and lack of transparency. That in the new period there will be full respect for human rights and freedom of expression; and an end to the state of emergency thus consolidating a free and peaceful democratic process. This process must include freedom of the media and of the Internet including the end of government control over broadcasting and the right to establish independent and community broadcasting services.

Picture by: Habib M’henni

AMARC further calls for the release of all political prisoners and an end to the restrictions on the rights and movement of former political prisoners; the recognition of civil society organizations and an end to restrictions on freedom of association; the recognition of previously banned political parties; an end to the harassment of human rights defenders and political activists; an end to surveillance of internet users and the blocking of websites; the release of banned books and an end to the regime of censorship of publications.

Over 23 years, the dictator Ben Ali, who fled the country on Friday, created a police state in which criticism and opposition were dealt with by harassment, censorship, incarceration and torture. AMARC has closely observed human rights abuses in Tunisia and is a founding member of the IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group. IFEX-TMG was set up in 2004 as an international alliance of freedom of expression organizations.

The recent wave of protests began on 17 December with the action of the young Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26 year old unemployed graduate. Mr Bouazizi sold fruit and vegetables illegally. When police seized his goods, beating him up and destroying his livelihood, he resorted to the only means he could contemplate would draw his plight to wider attention. He doused his body in petrol and set fire to himself outside the office of the regional Governor. He died three weeks later.

The initial demonstrations grew into wider protests against the government and corruption within the ruling elite. AMARC applauds the courage of those who have broken the cycle of fear and repression in Tunisia, including the many other protesters who have died in the last few weeks as a result of the use of live ammunition by the security forces. What is needed now is action for lasting political change.

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Egypt conference and meeting during 29-31 March 2011

 

By Sawsan Zaidah

I participated in a meeting on 29 March 2011 in Cairo, which was organized by the International Media Support (IMS), for international organizations to discuss how to support the Egyptian media after the revolution. The NGOs participating in the meeting were the following: UNESCO, Article 19, Deutsche Welle (DK-Akademie), Open Society Institute (OSI) and Amarc.

In the meeting Steve and I presented the Internet-based community radio "Horytna" as Amarc member in Egypt and how the radio can be a hub to promote establishing community radios across Egypt, starting on the Internet and then on FM once new media legislations allows independent FM radios in Egypt, which is expected to happen in a year or two.

Horytna was also presented as an active member in the network which the Community Media Network (the umbrella NGO of AmmanNet radio) has developed the region.

We meet with IMS and Horytma radio to discuss the radio director Ahmed Samih's idea to establish a national network of correspondents for the radio on the Internet. The IMS expressed their interest in the project and asked Ahmed to submit a project proposal.

IMS also expressed their interest to support CMN's activities in the region through organizing a workshop for community media activists in Cairo. We agreed that CMN will send them a project proposal.

Steve and I participated in the two-day conference on 30-31 March 2011 in Cairo, under the title "Rebuilding Egyptian Media for Democracy Future in Egypt". It was organized by the Egyptian Higher Culture Council, Cairo University and the Arab Media Center at the University of Westminster.

In the opening of the conference the representative of the Egyptian minister for Culture, Hussam Nassar, referred in his speech to the importance and need to support local and community media across Egypt, particularly outside cities.

A representative of a local organization for media surveys "Orbit", Ali Bilal, said in his paper that media surveys in Egypt show that people in rural areas are marginalized in mainstream media.

In the concluding session in the conference, the prominent Egyptian journalist Hafez Al-Mirazi, confirmed the need to support local and community media in rural areas in Egypt. After the conference he told me that he would organize a local workshop next week including a session about the need for local and community media in rural areas. I informed Ahmed Samih from Horytna radio about it and asked him to participate and present Amarc's activities in the Arab region.

The concluding statement of the conference adopted my suggestion to include the need to support establishing community media in Egypt in this stage.On the first day of the conference Steve and I presented two papers. Mine was on "the role of community radios and social media in promoting political and media reforms in the Arab region". The following is summary of my paper:

"When talking about media freedoms ownership of media in Egypt, as well as in other Arab countries, is a key factor. Governments in the region control media through their legal monopoly in broadcast media sector; where legislations don't allow licensing non-government TVs and radios, and through owning the majority of newspapers.

Therefore, media outlets owned and run by local communities are major guarantee for free media.

In a state-controlled media civil society organization in Egypt are marginalized andhindered in their efforts to reach people and to contribute in their country's development. These organizations must be empowered by supporting them to have their own community media to promote their activities in protecting human rights.

The Egyptian Revolution was centered in Cairo and other big cities, and the Egyptian media have failed to reflect how people in rural areas, who constitute the majority of the Egyptian population, feel about the revolution. With the coming parliamentary election in September and the presidency election in November, there is an urgent need to support establishing community radios and other forms of new media in rural areas.

Community media activists in Egypt and other Arab countries, should not wait forlegislations and laws to change and to allow them to broadcast on FM radios. They can start by establishing their radios on the Internet, using new technology and social networks, wiki-blogs on the Internet, which was a powerful tool to make the Egyptian Revolution come true.

While working on the Internet community media can build their capacities; developing people's journalistic and management skills, setting up studios, producing media material and developing their financial resources to achieve those requirements. Once legislations change to allow local communities and NGOs to get FM broadcasting licenses, the Internet community media activists will have the capacity by then to apply and get FM licenses to reach a wider range of people.However, community media activists don't have to wait for the Higher Military Council in Egypt and for governments in other Arab countries, to change legislations and draft new bills. They should make initiatives and advocate their own views on media laws in Egypt after the revolution".

 

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Report on the MENA region

 

By AMARC’s Vice President, Sawsan Zaidah, Jordan
25 April 2011

Changes in the MENA region


The Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions have been the flame for rapid changes in the political and social scene in the Arab region. Demonstrations in streets and social movements on the Internet have proved to be powerful tools for change and reform.


Social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, were used as alternative media by the Egyptian revolutionists. Since the 25-January revolution the users of the social media on the Internet in the Arab region have increased by around 30% of the users. The time users spend on social media has recently been doubled.


The increase in social media users is mainly in favour of women who now constitute 30 – 48% of social media users, while women, as journalists and audience, are still less than 35%. For the first time in the Arab world young women played a considerable role in the current revolutions and uprisings.


However, the Egyptian Revolution was centered in Cairo and other big cities; people in rural areas, who don’t have access to the Internet, were not truly involved. With the coming parliamentary election in September and the presidency election in November, there is an urgent need to support establishing community radios and other forms of new media in rural areas.


Community media activists in the Arab countries, should not wait for legislations and laws to change and to allow them to broadcast on FM radios. They can start by establishing their radios on the Internet, using new technology and social networks, wiki-blogs on the Internet, which was a powerful tool to make the Egyptian Revolution come true.


While working on the Internet community media can build their capacities; developing people's journalistic and management skills, setting up studios, producing media material and developing their financial resources to achieve those requirements. Once legislations change to allow local communities and NGOs to get FM broadcasting licenses, the Internet community media activists will have the capacity by then to apply and get FM licenses to reach a wider range of people. The community radio Al-Balad in Jordan, which operated on the Internet for five years before it started broadcasting on FM in 2005, is a real example.


Community media activists don't have to wait for the Higher Military Council in Egypt and for governments in other Arab countries, to change legislations and draft new bills. They can start initiatives and advocate their own views on media laws in Egypt after the revolution.


Planned Activities


We are planning to use both face to face and online communications to strengthen and support community radio in the Arab world. We will support the establishment of local groups engaged in advocacy and lobbying and make a strong effort at raising awareness in the Arab region of the importance of community radio.


After a careful search and identification of individuals and groups that can work within their own communities and countries, we will endeavor to train those groups and individuals and to support them in establishing, sustaining and developing community radio in their countries.


We will hold three annual conferences, produce print and online how to manuals, support the joint production of alternative Audio Visual Laws, and advocacy campaigns, and defend community radio activists if they face legal or administrative troubles.


We plan to support local civil society organizations or social groups to launch new Internet-based radios. This is through providing them by training and equipment.


We are also planning to develop a series of activities to promote community media coverage of women and gender issues. The focus is planned to be on including women issues in the calls for reforms by demonstrators’ and social activists.


The targeted countries in our activities are Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.

Picture by: Jonathan Rashad


Executed Activities


The Internet has also proved to be a more accessible platform for local news and information services that can contribute to democratic development. AmmanNet became the first Arab world community broadcaster to use the Internet to highlight local issues. Later, in 2005, under the name Radio Al-Balad, it became the first community radio station to gain an FM licence in Jordan.


In 2007 Radio Al Balad hosted a MENA regional conference for community radio with participation from Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Tunisia, Sudan and Bahrain. Among the results, this led to co-operation with Radio Horytna (Cairo), established in 2007 as the first Internet radio in Egypt. This cooperation has intensified since the Egyptian Revolution of 25 January 2011. In Palestine, Radio Al-Balad has cooperative relations with the Palestinian News Network, with Radio Al-Nadjah, the university radio station in Nablus, and with Qamar FM (Jericho). In Yemen, Radio Al-Balad has been working in co-operation with the Internet-based youth radio station, ShababNet including providing start-up technical support and journalism training. Current political developments have highlighted the importance of social media and provide a rare window of opportunity to secure long term changes in the media landscape to underpin a democratic future.


In the Middle East and North Africa community media have recently been taken more seriously. In Jordan, the privatization of the audio visual sector on the basis of the 2004 Audio Visual Law has ushered for the first time the possibility of independent audio visual media. AmmanNet is one of the first community radios that started to air on FM in Jordan in 2005. It is networking with other newly established stations inside the country and in the neighboring countries as well. More recently Jordan has been witnessing the setting up of rural mostly University based community station in cities like Ma'an , Madaba and Irbid.


The idea of internet radio which began in Jordan with the establishment of AmmanNet in 2000 has spread in many Arab countries. Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria and Iraq have all witnessed internet based audio transmissions. Terrestrial community radio, however, has been rather limited to Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq.


The limited privatization of the airwaves in most Arab countries early in the 21st century has seen the development of private commercial radio but political and administrative obstacles have prevented the spread of community radio.


Community Radio received a boost in Jordan and many mashreq countries in 2006 when the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC held their global conference AMARC9 in Amman hosted by AmmanNet/Radio al Balad.


Since then four community radio stations were established in Jordan. Attempts to spread the idea to Maghreb countries followed with the holding of a regional conference in Rabat in 2008.


In March 2011 I participated, as AMARC vice president for MENA region, in a conference and donors' meeting took place in Cairo under the title "Rebuilding Egyptian Media for Democracy Future in Egypt". The conference was organized by the Egyptian Higher Culture Council, Cairo University and the Arab Media Center at the University of Westminster.


In the conference the donors' meeting organized by IMS, I presented AMARC’s activities in the Arab region and how AMARC can support the Egyptian media after the revolution as part of a regional network for supporting community media.


Throughout the conference and meeting, media, civil society and official people expressed interest in community media and willingness to support community media initiatives in Egypt and the region.


Challenges


The main obstacle to establishment of community radio has been the reluctance of Arab governments and their regulatory agencies to provide broadcast permission and to allocate FM radio spectrum for this purpose. However the political context is changing and AmmanNet/Radio al Balad has demonstrated that use of the Internet as an entry point can reinforce advocacy efforts as well as provide practical experience.


Community radio’s development potential has also been ignored in almost every Arab country’s development plan. Citing the fact that issuing radio licenses is a sovereignty issues, most international agencies and foreign powers, have left this issue to be dealt with by local officials. The absence of a sustained awareness campaign has allowed government regulators to avoid having to address this critical development issue.


Community radio is also a freedom of expression issue. With most media outlets owned by governments or by business people close to governments, freedom of expression has barely existed on the local terrestrial airwaves. Furthermore, with most media outlets and journalists, based almost entirely in the various Arab capitals, rural communities, in particular, have been deprived of any local media of their own, thus allowing central governments to tighten their control over an entire country just by keeping centralised media under check. The needs of districts outside the capital are rarely addressed and when done, it is usually dealt with by pundits and experts who live in the capital rather than individuals living in the rural areas themselves.


Satellite television, the Internet and mobile phone have done much to break up the government monopoly over information. But despite this progress, a large sector of society is kept in the dark. Governments in the Arab world have redoubled their efforts using their own centrally-based national terrestrial broadcasts to feed the public outside the capital with a one dimensional one direction barrage of government news and propaganda. Without alternate voices and without chance for interactivity, the public, much of which has no access to new media, is kept in the relative dark. Satellite television has made major progress in many areas but, for the most part, major stations like Al Jazeera or Al Arabiya have no time to address local issues in north Syria, south Jordan or west Egypt. These local communities will not be able to improve their lot until and unless they have access to local interactive media that is not expensive to own or to operate. By its very nature, community radio’s equipment costs and staffing are small. Obtaining information from radio costs next to nothing as radio receivers exist in almost every house in the Arab world no matter how remote.

 

 

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3.- Promotion and defense of the right to communicate

   

World Social Forum 2011: Declaration of the Seminar on the Right to Communication (the Right to Inform and to be Informed)

Picture by Normand Stockwell

Dakar World Social Forum, February 11, 2011

We, actors in the field of alternative information as well as citizen activists who use communication as a tool for social transformation:

Note that, in a global context:

information is held in a stranglehold by political, economic and industrial forces and is manipulated by the governments and States;
freedom of expression is being denied, thwarted or repressed; , there is little or no guarantee for an unfettered access to information for all citizens; , a violent repression is unleashed upon citizens and actors in the field of information; , information is being commodified and standardized; , there is an increasing distrust by public opinion regarding information conveyed by the mainstream media.

We also note, particularly in Africa:
an almost total absence of laws favouring citizens’ access to information; , freedom of expression and freedom of the press being undermined by repressive laws; , hindrances and restrictions, if not outright censorship, placed upon communities who wish to establish community media.

At the same time, we see new perspectives opening up, in the face of this disturbing situation:
a greater awareness and ability by citizens to participate in the production and circulation of information in order to promote social justice; , the emergence of alternative media and the stepping unto the stage of citizens who contribute to social and political change, as evidenced by recent events in Tunisia and Egypt.

We declare that the right to communicate is a fundamental right and a common good of humanity.
We commit ourselves to: , defend, support and promote all initiatives that ensure and extend the right to communication and information as a fundamental human right; , building advocacy for a legislative and regulatory framework for public, alternative and community media, including ensuring among others a better right to airwave-access and broadcasting options; , recognize and protect the actors and activists involved in information and communication around the world; , create and strengthen synergies between all actors and activists working towards social transformation; , promote accessibility and popular ownership/mastery of media and information/communication technology by all citizens, without restriction of gender, class or origin;

promote mechanisms for ongoing communication between the various actors, participants and organizers of social forums, including the “extended” Social Forum as well as the various experiences of shared communication.

support the development and strengthening of community and alternative media;

combat censorship and guarantee freedom of expression on the Internet;

work towards the elaboration of a model that ensures the viability, sustainability and independence of the alternative media;

give a central place to issues of communication rights in the thematic spaces of social forums.

Action Plan:
, Center our information campaigns and awareness-raising activities on key issues that are on the international agenda (Rio+20, G8, G20, Palestine Forum, Durban, etc.).

Organize a World Forum of Free and Alternative Media in 2012, as part of the WSF process.
As actors of communication, we clearly state our support for the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples, we call on their governments to lift censorship and to stop the repression against all citizens and actors in the field of information.

We also call on all actors of social change and to unite our forces in the struggle for the right to information and communication, without which no change is possible.

Participating organizations:

• Abong (Brasilian association of NGOs) - Brasil
• Action Jeunesse - Morrocco

• African Klomeo renaissance - Nigeria
• AK-Project France-Sénégal

• Alai - Agência Latinoamericana de Información - Ecuador
• Alba TV Venezuela

• Alternatives Canadá
• Amarc World association of community radios

• Aphad - Senegal
• Arcoiris TV - Italy

• Babels
• Berlin Carré - Germany

• Caritas - France
• CIC Bata - Spain

• Caritas (France)
• CIC Bata (Espagne)

• Cdtm72 (France)
• Cedidelp (France)v

• Ciranda International - Shared Communication
• International Commons strategies group - Germany

• Citim (France)
• Communautique - Canada

• Editions Charles Léopold Mayer - France
• e-Joussour - Morrocco

• Federacion de sindicatos de periodistas - Spain
• FocusPuller - Italy

• Forum Alternatives Morrocco - FMAS
• Fundacion Quepo - Spain

• Giaba - Guinée Bissau
• Guinée Culture - Guinea

• HEKS - Senegal
• IMC Africa

• Imersao Latina - Brazil
• Indymedia

• Intervozes - Brazil
• IES News Service - Palestine

• IPS (Inter Press Service)
• KebethCache women resource center - Nigeria

• Maison des citoyens du monde (France)
• Maison des droits de l’homme (France)

• Maison du Monde d’Evry (France)
• May first / People link - USA

• Mission for Youth - Uganda
• NIGD

• Pambazuka (Afrique)
• Queens Magazine - Nigeria

• Revista Forum - Brasil
• Ritimo - France

• Rural Health women Day - Nigeria
• Saharareporters.com - Nigeria

• Social Watch - Italy
• Solafrika

• Soylocoporti - Brasil
• Support Initiative For sustainable development - Nigeria

• Survie - France
• TIE - Brasil

• TV Star - Senegal
• UnisCité - France

• UPO - Spain
• Vecam - France

• WarriorsSelf-Help group - Kenya
• WSFTV

Contacts: Info_fsmdakar@ritimo.org

Translated from French by Grégoire Seither / Babels

 

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New prosecutions against broadcasters again in Chile

On 21 March, at the hearing with the prosecutor Luis Pablo Cortez, the South Metropolitan prosecution in Chile, was told Marcelo Nuñez Fuentes, Director of community radio station Radio Tentación of the Paine, which he and others three radio broadcasters of the station will be formalized in a hearing scheduled for May 10 by the 5th Chamber in the Court of San Bernardo Guarantee.
This formal part of the operations carried out on 9 November 2010 (http://legislaciones.item.org.uy/index?q=node/1928) by officials of the Police Investigations (PDI) and aims at the implementation of Article 36 B, point A of the General Law of Telecommunications penalties of imprisonment for those who broadcast without permission. According to the testimony of the Director of the broadcaster that complaint was prompted by the Department of Telecommunications and the Association of Radio-diffusers of Chile where they congregate most of the private commercial radio broadcasters.

With these actions, the Chilean state again incurs a disproportionate use of criminal law to prosecute members of unauthorized radio broadcasters. The fact is aggravated because in Chile there is still a law that imposes discriminatory restrictions on community radio.
It is recalled that the Inter-American Human Rights has developed in this regard: "States have the obligation to establish a regulatory framework that promotes a free, open, plural and uninhibited, which involves the design of institutions that permit and not that difficult, the discussion of all issues and events of public importance. None of this is in keeping with the indiscriminate use of criminal law as a mechanism to limit the free flow of opinions and information, especially when they relate to public affairs. "

For more information:
Juan Ortega

National Representative
skype: kikeortegaf

twitter: @ kike_ortega
Écouter
Lire phonétiquement

 

4.- News from community media

   

AMARC ALC A new stage of the network

 

On march 31 ended the Regional Coordination Management established in 2003 by Ernesto Lamas and the team in Buenos Aires. The new network executive office operates from 1 April in Lima, Peru, coordinated by Carlos Rivadeneyra.

In Lima from 28 to 30 April, the new Regional Board of AMARC LAC, to plan this new phase. Also present was Maria Pia Matta, chosen President of AMARC AMARC 10 International.

In September 2010 all partners were invited to participate in the elections for the Vice President and the Vice President of the Women's Network of AMARC LAC. Carlos Aparicio, Mexico, and Pearl Wilson, of Chile, were chosen to perform these functions. They are joined in the Council's Regional / subregional representatives as: Liliana Belforte, in Argentina, Southern Cone, Ana Limachi, Bolivia for the Andean Countries, Brazil João Malerba, Guillermo Ramos, of El Salvador, Central America Sócrates Vásquez Mexico and Sony Esteus, Haiti, the Caribbean.

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AMARC Europe new board elected in general assembly

The members of AMARC Europe elected the new board of directors of AMARC Europe in Dublin:

Mariano Sanchez, president, (Spain),

Sally Galliano, Deputy President (Ireland),

Agus Hernan, treasurer, (Basque Country).

Lucia Ruiz (Spain) as the Women International Network, representative in Western Europe,

and elected the Vicepresidents of the Board,

Michaela Adelberger, of the association of community radios of Austria;

Pierre Boucard, Sun, le son Unique, (France);

Sangita Basudev, Commedia Sheffield, (UK);

Jean Paul Gambier, from CNRA, (France);

Riitta Haapakoski, Radio Robin Hood, (Finland);

Christian Vasilica Juri, West City Radio, (Romania);

Henry Loeser, Radio R. (Czech Republic).

CRAOL is the representative, co-ordinating, lobbying, training, and support group for Irish Community Radio. For more information, visit www.craol.ie Through service to members, networking and project implementation.

http://europe.amarc.org/index.php?p=europeen_conference_2011

 

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AMARC is moving!

 

AMARC will joint with CIBL community Radio and ARCQ (Association des Radios Communautaires du Québec) on a new building, the world community Radio house (la maison mondiale de la radio communautiare. Situated on Sainte-Chatherine street and Saint Laurent just on the cultural square of Montréal. The building is LEED certified, environmental friendly and near to Montréal Down town. AMARC will have more visibility.

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AMARC AT FIESS (Forum International Economie Sociale et Solidaire )

From the 17th to 20th october 2011 AMARC will participate in the international Forum on the social And Solidarity Economy (FIESS). The 17th of october the conference starts with: "Community radio and public policy development", and later that day "Inauguration of the World House of Community Radio in Montreal and the ARCQ and AMARC offices". For more information on FIESS (http://www.fiess2011.org) or click here (in pdf) for the complete program.

 

 

5.- Activities and projects

   


AMARC covered with success the 2011 World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal

Picture by: Normand Stokwell

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, (AMARC) covered the social alternatives to neoliberal globalization at the World Social Forum. From the 6 to 11th of February 2011, the civil society organisations discussed challenges regarding to bio-diversity, climate change, ethnic and cultural diversity, colonialism, militarism and the various connections between labour and production at the 10th anniversary World Social Forum (WSF) gathering in Dakar, Senegal. For further information visit:
http:/fsm2011.org and http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br.

AMARC contribute actively in the 2011 world social forum with representatives that participate in seminars, in the International council of the WSF and debates in building people’s alternatives and in the empowerment of African social movements, particularly women and the excluded to achieve development objectives and good governance through strong civil societies throughout Africa.

More than 20 journalists of community radios from Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and Europe covered the activities of the WSF and broadcast information on the activities, participants, debates and alternatives strengthening civil society approaches to development and democratization. All the audios are available via the AMARC website. The coordination was made by AMARC Africa in collaboration with the Union de Radios Associatives et Communautaires of Senegal and with community radio journalists from all AMARC regions in English, French, Portuguese Wolof and other languages. Informations and reporting are also available in Spanish in the Pulsar news agency website. The Asia-Pacific, U.S. and European coverage was ensured by the Women’s’ International Network. Finally the collective and collaborative with Inter-Press Service (IPS)and Panos completed the coverage. Please visit the following website to download the programs, reports and interviews, they are free to use on all community radios.
http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=World_Social_Forum_2011_EN

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AMARC – WIN March 8: Voices for Women and participation in Political Processes

The Women’s International Network of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC-WIN) celebrated Women’s International Day Worldwide Webcast dedicated to women and gender issues. This year’s theme was Voices for Women and participation in Political Processes. The Webcast began at 12:00 am GMT on March 8 and finish the 31st. All the programs from this year and past years are available for download on our, please visit: www.march8.amarc.org We encourage you to rebroadcast the programs to your communities!

AMARC WIN believes that women can be active agents of change when they can access to voice themselves. They should take on leadership roles in leading their countries and communities towards long-term development and democratization. Women organizations present in the recent World Social Forum 2011 in Dakar confirm there is no possible development and democratization without women, in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The seventh Annual Women’s International Day broadcast campaign featured programming in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Nepali, Japanese, among other languages. We invite you to join us next year in the eighth International Women’s Day broadcast Campaign in 2012!

The AMARC Women’s International Network is a large assembly of women communicators working to ensure women’s right to communicate through and within the community radio movement. To find out about other WIN programs and actions visit www.win.amarc.org

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2nd European Conference of community radio broadcasters “Communicating Diversity” ends in Dublin, Ireland


The European section of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC-Europe) held a three-day conference in Dublin, Ireland, from 24 to 26 february 2011, to analyse challenges to community media in Europe and define actions to reinforce the community radio movement and the right to communicate in Europe. In her closing speech, the president of AMARC International, Maria Pia Matta, head of the international delegation attending highlighted that the 2nd European conference of community radio broadcasters “Communicating Diversity” reinforced community radio in Europe, an important component of the worldwide community radio movement. The conference was organised by AMARC and hosted by CRAOL, the Community Radio Forum of Ireland. For further information on the Conference go to http://europe.amarc.org/conference_euro_2/

Representatives of community radios, regulators and stakeholders from Western Eastern Central and Eastern European countries gathered to analyse among others, the regulatory frameworks, learning and adult education through community media, feminist practices in community radio, on minority languages and media literacy. In their General Assembly, the member radios adopted resolutions on the plan of action of AMARC Europe, including strategies for digitalisation transition, on programme exchanges, on training and professional qualification for community radio journalists, on minority languages protection and decided to hold the 21 of October as the day of women in community radio.

The members also elected the new board of directors of AMARC Europe and composed by: Mariano Sanchez, president, (Spain), Sally Galliano, Deputy President (Ireland), Agus Hernan, treasurer, (Basque Country). They ratified Lucia Ruiz (Spain) as the Women International Network, representative in Western Europe, and elected the Vicepresidents of the Board, Michaela Adelberger, of the association of community radios of Austria; Pierre Boucard, Sun, le son Unique, (France); Sangita Basudev, Commedia Sheffield, (UK); Jean Paul Gambier, from CNRA, (France); Riitta Haapakoski, Radio Robin Hood, (Finland); Christian Vasilica Juri, West City Radio, (Romania); Henry Loeser, Radio R. (Czech Republic).

CRAOL is the representative, co-ordinating, lobbying, training, and support group for Irish Community Radio. For more information, visit www.craol.ie

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Voices Without Frontiers successfully celebrated the fourtenth edition



Calling for the celebration of human diversity in society, Radio Voices Without Frontiers (RVSF) traveled the world for its fourteenth time this March 21st 2011 in a multilingual radio marathon against discrimination. Produced by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) in collaboration with community radio producers and stations from around the world, the international broadcast commemorated the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Although RVSF happens one day a year, radio stations and the general public are encouraged to download and broadcast its programs on their local radio stations throughout the year. Please go to http://www.rvsf.amarc.org and click on podcast button.

Besides reinforcing the socially inclusive ethos of the community radio sector and promoting access to the media by minorities and disadvantaged groups, RVSF also encourages stations to use new communication technologies such as the Internet to extend the reach of their voices.

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Justice for Slain Filipino Broadcasters, Stop Impunity!

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) condemns in the strongest possible terms, march 29th in Katmandu, Nepal, the killing of veteran broadcast journalist Marlina Len Flores-Sumera of DZME-AM in Malabon City, Philippines last 24 March.
The culture of impunity in the Philippines has not abated despite the recent regime change and frequent promises of a government of righteous path under President Benigno Aquino III. Flores-Sumera is the fourth journalist to be killed under the eight-month old Philippine government.

It is distressing to note that all killed journalists under the Aquino regime were broadcasters. It is distressing further that a female broadcaster is gunned down in March, the International Month Celebrating Women’s Rights.
We put the blame squarely on the inability of the Philippine government to stop media killings. Philippine authorities have not sent strong-enough signals to criminally-minded groups that media killings would be persecuted to the full extent of the law, hence the unabated culture of impunity. Proof of this is the atrociously low conviction rate of media killing suspects and the inordinate slow pace of the Ampatuan Massacre trials.

We reject statements made by Philippine government officials that seek to dilute the Flores-Somera killing into a simple murder stemming from a land dispute case. While the victim is personally involved with the affairs of Silonian Neighborhood Association, a homeowners’ association in Maysilo, Malabon City , the fact of the matter is that the victim was a broadcaster and has commented on the issue during her radio programs. Every journalist killed is an attack against the freedom of the press and the people’s right to communication.
AMARC sends its most heartfelt condolences to the victim’s husband and their three young children, relatives, friends and colleagues. We also wish to assure our colleagues in the Philippines that AMARC and its members worldwide are committed to support Filipino journalists seek justice for all their fallen co-workers.

Lastly, we reiterate our demand to the Philippine government to decisively end media killings and the culture of impunity in the country. Let the Aquino government fulfil its promise to its people.

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6.- Disaster management and Climate change

   

HAITI: A YEAR AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE OF 12 JANUARY 2010.

Everybody expressed their solidarity in order to answer to the humanitarian crisis of the Haitian People. One year after the situation continues to be extremely difficult. More than a million people still live under tents exposed to risks such as climate, sanitation and insecurity. Moreover a cholera epidemic has already killed more than 3000 people in rural areas and in poor neighborhoods of the capital city.

The extent of the damage caused by the earthquake and the catastrophes such as cholera are in part the result of a history of colonization when natural resources were exported to the superpowers of the past and the imposition of policies against the people by foreign powers of international financial institutions.

At the internal level, the succession of military and civil dictatorships contributed to the weakness of the State, leaving it without any social policy or an economic model leading to ameliorate the living conditions of the people.

Since early XX Century, under the United States influence, that occupied Haiti at that time, the territory was organized around the capital city and the promotion of the rural exodus, without developing urban economic activities. The contemporary housing problems of Haiti are the result of this policy. The 12 January, 2010, earthquake found Haiti with a hyper demographic concentration around Port au Prince; a city that was originally built for 250,000 inhabitants and that by the time of the earthquake had more than 3 million people without even a social housing program.

The Haitian tragedy in this first reconstruction year shows the profound inequalities caused by a type of globalization that condemns peoples to live in dependency. This situation forces us to look at the international cooperation policies and how they contribute to a social and sustainable development.

One year after the earthquake, the promises of help for the reconstruction arrive very slowly and the disbursement is only of 42% of what was initially promised, meanwhile the housing and health necessities of large sectors of the population have not been covered.

As a result of the earthquake of January 12, 2010, AMARC decided to use the accumulated experience of community radios to come in support for the reestablishment of radios in the affected areas. In the occasion of the first anniversary of the catastrophe, AMARC renews its solidarity with the Haitian people and its community radio movement that makes as reaffirm the peoples’ sovereignty and self-determination in their fight for building a just society in the adversity.

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Communication, Vulnerability, Disaster Management and Climate Change: The Role of Community Radios

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC, in collaboration with SAKS (Sosyete Animasyon ak Kominikasyon Sosyal), REFRAKA (Rezo Fanm Radyo Kominotè Ayisyen) and AMEKA (Asosyasyon Medya Kominotè Ayisyen), organized the First Caribean Conference of AMARC: « Communication, Vulnerability, Disaster Management and Climate Change: The Role of Community Radios », held in Port au Prince, Haiti from 4-6 May, 2011.

The conference gather community radio representatives and stakeholders from all over the world to exchange on their experiences, on raising awareness, broadcasting information in accompanying their communities before, during and after natural disaster, in Asia, after the Indonesian Tsunami and the current crisis in Japan, in Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Cuba in the Caribbean region, in Chile in Latin America, and elsewhere.

The Caribbean Conference of AMARC analyze the best practices by Community Radios, NGOs, Governments in Disaster prevention and management as well in climate change adaptation and mitigation with the objective of defining lines of action to increase Community Radio and Civil Society effectiveness.

http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=conference_caribeenne_en

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Declaration of the First Caribbean Conference of Community radios

We, women and men from community radios, civil society organizations from Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Trinidad Tobago, Guadeloupe, and community radio representatives from Asia pacific, Europe and Latin America gathered for the First Caribbean Conference of Community radio Broadcasters, held in Port au Prince from 4-6 May 2011, declare to national and international public opinion what follows.

It has been a year since Haiti suffered violent earthquake that caused more than 300,000 dead, more than 500,000 injured, a million and half displaced population and considerable infrastructural damage. The consequences of the earthquake led the United Nations to consider it as the worst catastrophe of the world in the last one hundred years.
The situation of the Haitian people continues to be extremely difficult. More than one million people still live in streets, in tents, exposed to all risks linked to the climate, sanitation problems and insecurity. The most affected are children the elderly and women. Women have particularly suffered alarming levels of physical and sexual violence. There has also been a cholera epidemics that has killed more than 5.000 people in rural areas and low income neighbourhoods in the capital.

The extent of the damage to people and infrastructure as well as disasters such as the cholera epidemics are, in part the result of a history and a colonization that exploited natural resources on the benefit of superpowers and the intervention of international financial institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the World Bank (WB).
At the national level, frequent military and civil dictatorships have contributed to weaken the social fabric and abandoned public policies that would permit an economic model that favour the amelioration of living conditions of the population.

The Haitian tragedy highlight the profound inequalities of globalization that condemn local populations to live in dependency and paternalism. These considerations lead us to analyze international cooperation and the Committee for the Reconstruction under the light of their real contribution to development and social justice

We affirm the exercise of communication rights as a guarantee to the recognition and respect of all human rights that are essential to the reinforcement of the State and of social organizations, particularly those of women in the country.

We call for transparency and accountability in the use of the resources for the reconstruction of the country and for that, there is need for independent and community media to guarantee that the reconstruction will be inclusive, participatory and have a gender perspective.

We call for public policies that legislate for enabling environments for community radios that guarantee their existence as social actors for democratic development with an equitable access to radio frequencies and the support of public resources for their promotion and development.

We denounce the criminal attack against the radio Tet Ansanm de Carice and we call upon the Haitian government to make an investigation and to prosecute those found guilty.

AMARC call upon the states, civil society and international organizations to come together in fighting vulnerability and climate change in the Caribbean and elsewhere enhancing democratic process, social justice respect for human rights, peace building and growth with social equity.
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Port au Prince, May 6, 2011

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JAPAN: AMARC calls on community broadcasters to rally in support

After the earthquake and tsunami AMARC, support all the communuty radios in Japon and AMARC Japan in thier efforts. Please visit our solidarity page by clicking here to find information about the community radios in Japan

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7.- Coming Activities

   


October 16, World Food day

October 17th to 20th, FIESS 2011

November 8 - 10 , Bangkok, Thailand - Asia pacific conference

November 2011 AMARC moving

Novenber 25th to december 10th, 16 days

November 28th to december 9th, COP17

 

 

8.- The International Secretariat

   

Marcelo Solervicens, Secretary General
Sylvie Gilbert, Accounting Consultant
Ricardo Costa, Project Consultant
Nick Fillmore, Project Development Consultant
Armando Navarrete, Webmaster consultant
Marcia Cornejo Figallo, Accountant
Jean Philippe Theberge, ICT Consultant


Dear Member, renew your Membership


For more information on how to proceed, please contact your regional office or at the international secretariat@si.amarc.org

Please send us news from your Radio or asssociation, so they will be publish in the next AMARC Link.

Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters AMARC, brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 115 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983 has been to accompany and support the establishment of a world wide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and Cooperation. For further information visit :
http://www.amarc.org

AMARC © 2011