AMARC link, Volume 14, Number 5- 6, September 2010 - January, 2011

Titles:

1.- MESSAGE FROM AMARC PRESIDENT

On behalf of the International Board of Directors of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), I am pleased to invite you to join us for the 10th World Conference of Community Radio Broadcasters. AMARC 10 will be held from 8 to 13 November 2010 in Ciudad de la Plata, in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

2.- AMARC 10

Conference summary

DAMARC General Assembly

New Board

Resolutions

 





 

 


3.- LEGISLATION

4.- NEWS FROM COMMUNITY RADIOS

5.- CALLS, ACTIVITIES, PROJECTS

6.- NATURAL DISASTERS

7.- COMING ACTIVITIES

8.-THE INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT



1.- Message from the AMARC President

   

Dear Colleagues,


Warm regards,

Steve Buckley
President of AMARC

 

2.- AMARC 10

   

Conference summary

 

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC held the AMARC 10 Conference “Communication Comunitaria” in Ciudad de la Plata, Argentina from 8-13 November 2010. The venue of the Conference was Pasaje Dardo Rocha. The AMARC 10 World Conference was the first to be held in South America, where community radio was first established in the world some 60 years ago. AMARC community radio grouped in AMARC Argentina came together with other media and journalists’ groups in the country to host AMARC 10. The Conference was attended by up to 512 community radio representatives and stakeholders from 89 countries from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin-America, North America and MENA. (A list of participants is attached as annex)

The week-long Conference was organized around the following themes: Communications for a better world, Recovering memories, building futures; Communication rights are human rights; Reinforcing community radio social impact; Community radio actions and strategies and ended with a day dedicated to networking and solidarity, social and cultural events. It combined panel sessions with open inter-active sessions and policy definition plenary sessions; capacity building interactive workshops and parallel workshops organised with partners in order to develop capacity and knowledge on specific topics.

The conference allowed community radio practitioners and stakeholders to achieve the following important results:

• Clarify the situation of community radio and confirm the existence of a worldwide communication rights oriented network and explore strategies to increase the legal recognition of community radio as a crucial development tool and democratic mechanism ensuring media pluralism;

• Exchanges best practices and explore strategies to increase the social impact of community radio, among others in
o the reduction of poverty and seeking development objectives;
o ensuring gender equality and women rights;
o defence of children rights, indigenous peoples; minority languages;
o confronting new challenges due to natural or man-made disasters;
o ensuring conflict resolution and democracy building;

• Exchanges of best practices leading to strategies to reinforce the sustainability of community radio through content development and capacity building strategies to ensure appropriate use of new technologies and social media, engaging with civil society, multilateral and government stakeholders at local/national/international levels;

The conference adopted the Declaration of la Plata, elected the members of the international board of directors of AMARC and gave the 6th AMARC Solidarity Prize to the Haitian community radios in recognition for their role in supporting the Haitian population following the earthquake in February 2010.

The AMARC 10 conference also adopted the strategic lines of action of the AMARC global network for 2011-2014 by building on the rich exchanges, content and debates in plenary, seminars and workshops. The new president of AMARC, Maria Pia Matta indicated that challenges ahead are to deepen the social impact of community radios to confront the world challenges of the 21st century; to increase sustainability of community radios and; to express solidarity with journalists persecuted and advocate for the establishment and further recognition of community radios in order to increase pluralism of the media.

Inauguration Ceremony

In the inauguration ceremony, Florencia Saintout, (Dean of the Faculty of Journalism of the University of La Plata) highlighted that her faculty was the first one favourable for alternative journalism in Argentina and in Latin America. She indicated that the situation of alternative radios has changed thanks to new legislation and the work done by alternative communicators. Ivan Maidana (Culture & Education Secretary of La Plata Municipality represented local authorities. Gabriel Mariotto from (AFSCA) highlighted the new legislation on audiovisual services in reference to alternative communications, facilitating new voices to be heard. Steve Buckley, AMARC President highlighted that AMARC has become a truly global social movement noting successes and challenges to community radio worldwide. Finally, Janis Karklins (UNESCO) through teleconference highlighted the role of UNESCO on communications for development and saluted AMARC work.

Horacio Verbistky

The Argentina journalist Horacio Verbistky was the keynote speaker of the inauguration Plenary of AMARC 10. In his presentation he explained the process that lead to the new audiovisual services legislation in Argentina recognizing the three sectors of communications, (public, commercial and associative). He insisted that it is no longer enough for the states to avoid restrictions on freedom of expression and civil society needs to be part of that process to promote freedom of expression and democracy.
Community radio representatives or stakeholders - Franklin Huizies from South Africa; Sharon Bagwan Rolls from Fiji, and Gustavo Gomez from Uruguay, reacted to the presentation of Horacio Verbitsky highlighting conditions of community radio in their regions.

Frank LaRue

The plenary on Community Radio in the 21st Century: Principles for Plurality and Diversity counted on keynote speech by Frank LaRue, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, discussed a set of key challenges to freedom of expression which apply, particularly, to community media. Censorship laws in many countries (including the North and West), he said, penalize freedom of expression. In this context he also rejected the criminalization of the unauthorized use of radio frequencies (or 'pirate radio'). Secondly, physical violence against journalists is persistent around the globe, particularly violence against non-professionals from community radios, blogs and other grassroots media. Thirdly, he said that media concentration and the links between media power and political power (in countries such as Guatemala, Italy and elsewhere) reduces media pluralism. LaRue rejected limits to transmission power for community radio which assign these media a role as 'second-class media' and 'poor people's radio'. Finally, he pointed to increasing surveillance by state and private sectors.

Amy Goodman

In plenary 7 on Breaking the Silent Barrier: The Role of Alternative Media in the Promotion of Social Justice, Amy Goodman from the US based news organisation Democracy Now, intervened in the closing Conference of AMARC 10. She highlighted the importance of community media. She analyzed the situation in Iraq after the occupation by US lead troops and analyzed the role of community media in regards to the policy of the US government overseas indicating that the US public is misinformed. She stressed the importance of the power of community radio “for being closer to the communities”.

 

The workshop, round tables, resolution texts and audio are avliabable on the AMARC 10 website Visit the web page: http://amarc10.amarc.org/index.php?p=amarc10_workshop

More informations by visiting http://amarc10.amarc.org

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AMARC General Assembly

The open AMARC General Assembly addressed organizational issues on “Building a Strong New Global Sector for Communications for Development,” consisting of:
• Approval of narrative and financial reports by the International and the Regional Boards of AMARC and the Women International Network (AMARC-WIN);
• Adoption of the La Plata Declaration; (attached herewith)
• Definition of the Strategic Plan of AMARC for 2011-2014; (attached herewith)
• Adoption of resolutions presented by the members; (attached herewith)
• Elections of members of the International Board of Directors; and
• Distribution of Solidarity Prizes to Haitian representatives of Community Radios

The Community Radio Movement Strategic Plan 2011-2014

Following debates the AMARC members present adopted the strategic plan of 2011-2014 confirming that AMARC’s goal is to combat poverty, exclusion and voicelessness and to promote social justice and sustainable, democratic and participatory human development. In pursuit of this goal AMARC’s purpose is to amplify the voices of the excluded and marginalized through community media and new ICTs, to support popular access to communications, and to defend and promote the development of community radio worldwide.

The main strategic objectives to achieve in the next 4 years are to:

Objective 1: To promote and defend policy, legal and regulatory conditions that enable community media to operate. This means to develop: policy research, advocacy and partnership for community media and communications rights at local, regional and international levels; Also, country level solidarity activities and partnerships including urgent actions alerts and strategic country level missions and; participation and advocacy on media and gender equality at international meetings.

Objective 2: To promote knowledge sharing and capacity building for community media sustainability. This means to develop communication with members and stakeholders and strengthening of AMARC network and organisational functioning; knowledge sharing on sustainability and good practice including training, publications, exchanges and support for sector associations and; strengthening the regional and international networks of the

AMARC Women International Network (WIN).

Objective 3: To reinforce the social, developmental and humanitarian impact of community media. This means: to develop news and feature services in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe, including special reports from international events; social action on HIV/AIDS, Health, Environment, Climate Change, Migration, Anti-Racism, Food Security, Children rights, Water & Sanitation; Disaster prevention, mitigation and response to natural and human-made humanitarian disasters and emergencies and; Promotion of Women’s rights and gender equality, including training and guidance materiasl and broadcast campaigns.

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AMARC's new board

The new board of directors of AMARC following AMARC 10 is composed by:


Maria Pia Matta, President, Chile.
Emmanuel Boutterin, Deputy President, France.
Franklin Huizies, Treasurer, South Africa.
Marcelo Solervicens, Secretary General.
Maria Eugenia Chávez, Vicepresident for the Women International Network, Mexico.
Ashish Sen, Vicepresident for Asia-Pacific Region, India.
Oumar Seck Ndiaye, Vicepresident for Africa, Senegal.
Carlos Aparicio, Vicepresident for Latin America & Caribbean, Mexico.
Mariano Sanchez, Vicepresident for Europe
Sony Esteus, Vicepresident, Haiti.
Silvia Richardson, Vicepresident, Canada.
Wilna Quarmine, Vice president, Ghana.
Sawsan Zaida, Vicepresident, Jordan.
Steve Buckley, Outgoing President ( ex-officio, member of the Board of Directors, without voting rights for one year)..

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Resolutions

Please note some of the resolutions adopted by amarc general Assembly:

+ Creation of an AMARC Action Committee for the protection of Community Broadcasters

+ Condemning the Ampatuan Massacre and the Culture of Impunity in the Philippines

+ Calling for the Immediate Release of the 43 Community Health Workers in the Philippines

+ Support Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS

+ Radios Comunitarias y Lenguas Originarias o Minorozadas

+ Amarc WIN Resolutions on Sexual Orintation, Gender CR, Equity Access, WIN Desk at the AMARC International Secretariat

+ Institute the AMARC Purple Award

+ Response and preparedness of Community radio facing Disaster Situation

+ Australia Aboriginal special measures

complete textes and resolutions here:

http://amarc10.amarc.org/index.php?p=amarc10_workshop

 

 

 

3.- Legislation

   

AMARC welcomes community radio breakthrough in Nigeria

 

Montreal, October 19th, 2010. The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) today welcomed the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to give the go-ahead for community radio in Nigeria.

In a speech at the opening of the Africast 2010 conference in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan announced that the Federal Executive Council had approved guidelines proposed for community radio licensing by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Nigerian broadcasting regulator.

The President stated further that government had devolved to NBC, the power to consider and issue the licenses without recourse to the presidency, once the applicant meets the legal conditions.

The move is a crucial breakthrough for Nigeria’s Community Radio Coalition, which has been campaigning for such a move for several years since Nigeria returned to multi-party democracy.

Steve Buckley, AMARC International President said:
"We greatly welcome the announcement by President Goodluck Jonathan confirming approval of proposals from the National Broadcasting Commission to proceed with community radio licensing in Nigeria. We especially applaud the delegation of licence assessment and decision making to the regulatory body as another important step in democratising Nigerian media law and regulation."

Oumar Seck Ndiaye, AMARC Africa President, added:
“We congratulate the President and the Government of Nigeria for taking this bold step towards the development of community broadcasting, along side private and state broadcasting, to ensure the access of all people of Nigeria to information and communication, consistent with recommendations of the African Charter on Broadcasting which has been endorsed by African governments.

 

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Hungarian Media Law and EU Presidency: an outrage to fundamental rights

A The European chapter of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC Europe and the Community Media Forum Europe, CMFE, express their deep concern about the new audiovisual law adopted the 21st of December by the Hungarian Parliament.
«While Hungary has assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union on January 1st 2011, this law undermines basic freedom of expression rights», said Mariano Sanchez, President of AMARC Europe.
AMARC Europe and CMFE are particularly concerned in regards to the case of the Budapest based Tilos Radio. « Differently to what have been outlined in some media outlets – said Pieter De Wit, President of CMFE - Tilos is not a private commercial station, but a community radio which values and importance have been stressed by the European Parliament resolution of 25 September 2008 on Community Media in Europe, recognizing the importance of the sector as an effective means of strengthening cultural and linguistic diversity, fostering tolerance, intercultural dialogue and pluralism in society, and contributing to intercultural dialogue. »

Along with Hungarian media producers, AMARC Europe and CMFE therefore demand that the Hungarian Parliament shall rescind the Media Law (CLXXV), as adopted on December 21, 2010, and shall similarly annul Chapter 2 (VIII/B) of the related Act CLXIII. of 2010, and the Government of Hungary shall initiate a new media legislation.
AMARC Europe and CMFE also request:

* To the Hungarian Government, to adopt the « AMARC Declaration of Principles for Regulatory Frameworks on Community Radio Broadcasting », endorsed by the "Joint Declaration on the Diversity of Broadcasting", made by the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media; to also implement in the audiovisual law the principles from the Council of Europe regarding Community Media as adopted by the Committee Ministers on 11 February 2009;
* To the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) representative on freedom of the media, to monitor the application of the new law, in especially in regards of the possible misuses for political purposes
* To the European Union President, M. Barroso and the European Commissioner V. Reding to investigate possible violations of the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.


AMARC Europe and CMFE offer any help with expertise and welcome feedback to this letter
more info:
Amarc Europe: Francesco Diasio, Secretary General +32.484.309 822 fradiasio@gmail.com
CMFE: Pieter de Wit, president, +31634150581 president@cmfe.eu

 

4.- News from community medias

   

News in English by Agencia Púlsar

Púlsar is the news agency for the World Association of Community Radios - Latin America and the Caribbean (AMARC ALC). From a digital space, the agency takes up the journalistic tradition of the region's community radios in contesting the ways in which the realities of the people are displayed.

Since August, Agencia Púlsar has been presenting daily updates with news translated into English. The stories maintain the format, focus and information which characterizes the agency.

Online since 1995, Púlsar gives a regional outlook on the Latin America and the Caribbean's current affairs. Stories with clear, reliable, rigorous and relevant information.

The translation of the stories is possible thanks to the collaboration of online newspaper The Argentina Independent.
The stories can be visited here: www.agenciapulsar.org/english

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FCC CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI COMMENDS PASSAGE OF LOCAL COMMUNITY RADIO ACT

 

“The Local Community Radio Act signed by President Obama is a big win for radio listeners. Low-power FM stations are small, but they make a giant contribution to local community programming. This important law eliminates the unnecessary restrictions that kept these local stations off the air in cities and towns across the country. I commend Congressmen Mike Doyle and Lee Terry and Senators Maria Cantwell and John McCain for the successful passage of this legislation and their longstanding commitment to local community radio. The FCC will take swift action to open the dial to new low-power radio stations and the valuable local service they provide.”

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AMARC Denounces killing of Dr Gerardo Ortega in the Philippines

AJanuary 26, 2011, Kathmandu. The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) condemns the killing of another broadcaster in the Philippines, Dr Gerardo Ortega of dwAR-AM of Puerto Princesa, Palawan Province last January 24, 2011.

We are extremely saddened by the senseless assassination of another Philippine colleague and we express our deepest sympathies to Dr Ortega’s family, colleagues and friends. Dr Ortega, according to testimonies by AMARC members in the Philippines, showed early in life his desire for genuine and pro-people change in the Philippines. In college, he was a member of the nationalist League of Filipino Students and, as a broadcaster, was a staunch defender of the environment against destructive mining that marginalizes indigenous peoples and his beloved province, Palawan.

AMARC is fully aware of the sad “body count” of slain journalists in the Philippines. Dr Ortega is the third to have offered his life for pro-people journalism under the Benigno Aquino administration and the 142nd since the country was supposed to have regained democracy in 1986.

AMARC expresses alarm over the unabated killing of journalists and calls upon the new government to put a stop to them and deliver justice to all the victims. During its 10th World Conference in La Plata, Argentina last November, AMARC unanimously approved a resolution calling for such and it is most unfortunate that our appeals are unheeded (http://amarc10.amarc.org/index.php?p=amarc10_workshop&l=EN.)

As we call for justice for Dr Ortega, we again call on the Philippine government to stop the killings of journalists, deliver justice to the victims, and provide a democratic atmosphere where freedom of the press is guaranteed. AMARC will remain vigilant over the culture of impunity reigning darkly over the Philippines.

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Community "Suitcase" Radio to Amplify Civil Society Collaboration

Following the renewal of Femlinkpacific's annual community radio licence, the suitcase radio station operators convened its first community radio roundtable which brought together civl society groups keen to find out more about the opportunity to 'take to the airwaves'.

Participants at the round table reaffirmed the role of community radio as an important advocacy tool to reach out to the rural and remote communities while linking women’s access to communication and information technology:

Suli Waqa, from the Fiji Transgender Empowerment Project of the Fiji Arts Council believes that community radio is an important link in encouraging community participation at the grassroots level.

“Community radio allows for the participation of diverse community in information sharing through the community segments at the grassroots level,” said Waqa.

Another CSO participant, Andrew Prasad of the FASANOC Stop HIV programme highlighted that community radio provides the opportunity to spread awareness on HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted infections while being a medium to reach out to the remote areas.

“Community radio gives an opportunity for discussions on the issue of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections especially targeting at the sporting population namely young girls and boys. It also gives our program a medium to reach out to the grassroots level and recognise sports as a powerful tool to advocate on health and social issues like HIV and AIDS,” Prasad added.

Save the Children Fund’s Child Protection Policy Training Coordinator Susie Anise agrees, saying that community radio is both a tool and a resource that enables the voice of the voiceless to be heard.

“Community Radio gives communities particularly marginalised populations the avenue to share their experiences and to highlight issues which are of concern to them,” Anise said.

Linda Austin, a student from the University of Queensland who was part of the consultation believes that community radio offers the everyday person a chance to contribute an authentic voice to contribute to dialogue processes on issues on issues which are important for their community and/or country, without being filtered or compromised.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Cancer Society Davila Toganivalu said that community radio offers another avenue and tool to reach out to people in a specific location.

“The community radio is an important tool which can help my organisation reach specific target groups in a community focusing on issues which are of importance to my organisation, which is also relevant for the community. Community radio can also provide my organisation with information on what the people at the grassroots level need so that we can provide a better service to them,” she added.

Radio programme ideas from radio dramas, panel discussions, vox pops themes to broadcast events were generated during the roundtable, with a particularly focus on empowering rural women and communities, as well as to enhance ciivil society documentation and communocation capacity. .

According to Femlinkpacific's Executive Director, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, the suitcase radio which began operating on May 5 2004, has demonstrated the potential of community radio:.

“We believe community media is a key component of the media landscape and community radio is able to generate such a range of content that for and by the community and so the community radio roundtable has been an opportunity on the partnership within our CSO community especially to make information available in a range of formats for rural and remote areas of Fiji, while also providing the communities where the suitcase radio travels to, to have a radio channel of their own!"

(Ends)

For more information visit www.femlinkpacific.org.fj or email sharon@femlinkpacific or info@femlinkpacific.org.fj

 

AMARC & PPF Field Mission to Pakistan

A report of the AMARC & PPF Field Mission to Pakistan for Assessing the Communications Needs of Flood Affected Communities has been uploaded in the Pakistan Floods webpage http://asiapacific.amarc.org/pakistan_floods/

The report is available a

t http://asiapacific.amarc.org/documents/Report_of_AMARC_PPF_Field_Mission_to_Pakistan.pdf.

 

5.- Calls, activities, projects

   

Call for Action to Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre In The Philippines

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC and its member in the Philippines KODAO Productions are calling on all community radio broadcasters to participate in the Global Day of Action on November 23 to mark the one-year anniversary of the world’s biggest atrocity perpetrated against journalists.

This Global Day of Action follows a Resolution of AMARC 10 that was unanimously approved in La Plata, Argentina on 13 November. The Global Day of Action is being commemorated in coordination with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

More here: http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=ampatuan_massacre

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AMARC-WIN 16 Days of Activism to eliminate violence against women

A Montreal, December 13, 2010. Reinforced by the exchanges at the AMARC 10 World Conference, the Women International Network of the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC-WIN) celebrated the 16 days of activism against gender violence with an international campaign broadcast from November 25 to December 10, 2010. As indicated in La Plata Declaration, "Community radios express their solidarity and denounce all forms of sexual and gender violence, from domestic violence to armed conflict.” Visit: www.amarc.org/16jours . The campaign was broadcast by local community radios and networks and on the Internet in several languages and in all continents. The AMARC-WIN 16 Days Campaign highlighted activities, groups and individuals who are committed to denounce and fight against gender violence and to encourage each and everyone in their various capacities to act to eliminate it.

The 16 days of activism against gender violence began November 25 with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, followed November 29

with the international day of women human rights defenders, the December 1: World AIDS Day, December 6 the commemoration of the Montreal (Canada) massacre in 1989 and ended December 10, International Day of human rights, with the celebration of the 62th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Throughout these 16 days the Women’s International Network of AMARC broadcast radio productions and activities on the Internet.

Community radio producers from Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe, North America and Latin America and the Caribbean highlighted and supported during those 16 days the efforts of women and men working to end violence against women. Radio programs include documentaries, interviews, reports, advertisements, music and much more. This

multilingual broadcast campaign mobilized community radios around the world and encouraged them to use new communication technologies such as the Internet. We encourage you to listen to the broadcasts, to download and broadcast them to promote the struggle against gender violence. To access the archives please go to the following address: www.amarc.org/16jours

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AMARC Covered World Food Day 2010 under the theme: United Against Hunger


Montreal, October 21th, 2010. The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC covered the World Food Day, on October 16th, 2010 with a 24-hour Worldwide Webcast emphasizing this year theme: United Against Hunger. Listen to the programs of the international webcast at http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=World_Food_Day_2010

In partnership with the FAO, AMARC community radio network produced and broadcast programs to their communities on October 16, 2010 on this campaign against hunger. There are 1 billion people suffering from hunger world wide. According to FAO, Asia Pacific and Africa regions are the ones that suffer the most. The World Food Day broadcast campaign unites community radios from five continents on the common struggle against hunger, it also motivates community radios to use new technologies such as internet to further amplify the voices of the excluded and marginalized and reinforce community radio contribution to rural development.

The World Food Day programs were broadcast in English, French, Spanish, Nepali, Portuguese and other languages. The programs are available in our website. We encourage everyone to share them and for radios to rebroadcast the programs. Please visit our website http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=World_Food_Day_2010 for downloading the programs from our podcast section.

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Big Secrets , Less Democracy


The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC, denounces the climate of censorship and repression against managers and organisers of wikileaks.

The reaction of governments to the information distributed by wikileaks ignores the need for citizens to exercise their right to be informed on the actions of their governments. It is disturbing that in this hostile context against freedom of expression there have been actions that question the fundamental right of access to information.

AMARC, a world association assembling community radios from all continents over the world, believes it is necessary to place this discussion on the context of access to information as a fundamental right in a democratic society. We note that it is the same governments that usually promote transparency as a key value of democratic coexistence that seek to repress today the distribution of basic information giving wider access and knowledge to citizens of the actions of public authorities. In this perspective, there is a need for governments to recognize that technologies such as the Internet are spaces for public accountability and offer tools that facilitate good governance and transparency. This should lead to changes to the culture of secrecy that has governed the state policies of the main superpowers. It is necessary to recognize that citizens have the right to interact with government management and to expand the domains open to public scrutiny.

We express our solidarity with all those that make openly available information about States’ violations of human rights, because those actions highlight the rights of citizens to act in defence of human rights and the rule of law. We believe that States must abstain from actions leading to direct or indirect censorship such as putting pressure on the providers of services associated with media development or by blocking the free access of citizens to the media.

We affirm the need to protect communicators from countermeasures related to the exercise of their communication rights. Such protection should be based on recognition of the fundamental right of access to information and of freedom of opinion and expression and should consider in formation as a public good protected by principles recognized by international law.

Community Radios have experience of acts of repression and censorship. We have learned that when media is silenced, all society looses the opportunity for free coexistence. We also know that censorship cannot silence all the voices of an organized citizenship willing to express itself. We call upon the international community to stop all actions of global censorship against wikileaks and to assure full respect of international standards of freedom of expression.

Maria Pia Matta
President of AMARC

Santiago December 29th, 2010

AMARC and Pakistan Press Foundation Appeal for Setting up Community Radio in Flood Affected Areas in Pakistan


August 24, 2010, Kathmandu. The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) appeal to the Government of Pakistan and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to allow setting up of emergency community radio stations in areas that have suffered from the current floods in Pakistan.

We call upon all concerned agencies in Pakistan to be flexible and responsive to proposals for the establishment of community based broadcasting mechanisms so that any information gap that exists is fulfilled and relief operations are made highly effective. AMARC offers its knowledge and expertise in setting up emergency broadcasting mechanisms, gathered from working around the world in similar situations of natural disasters.

The important role of community radio in times of natural disaster for aiding relief operations as well as for supporting rehabilitation and rebuilding has been proven many times over. In recent times, examples of the positive power of community radio was seen in the earthquakes of Haiti and Chile where AMARC played an important role in facilitating the setting up of emergency broadcasting stations. It was not so long ago that community radios were brought to the forefront of the efforts to provide relief and rehabilitate those affected by the tsunami and floods in Indonesia.

AMARC and PPF highly appreciate the valuable work being carried out by radio stations in the flood affected areas. There is a need to complement theses efforts by bridging the gaps of information at the very local levels and among displaced peoples. This can be effectively achieved by setting up emergency community radio stations.

AMARC, PPF and all other AMARC members in Pakistan offer sincere condolences to the families of those that have perished in the floods in Pakistan. We offer our solidarity and prayers to those that have suffered huge emotional and material losses and extend our support to those that are engaged in helping the affected.

AMARC calls to End Harassment of Community Radios in Thailand

July 22, 2010. Kathmandu. The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC is deeply concerned by the reports about the restrictions imposed on community radio stations in Thailand including the closure of several stations. Recent reports state that using the emergency decree, authorities have shut down 26 community-radio stations in nine provinces and pressured six others to discontinue their services, and as many as 84 community-radio stations have been blacklisted and their activities closely monitored. It is further reported that at least 35 people related to these media outlets - like radio hosts, station chiefs and executives - are facing legal action for allegedly mobilising their listeners to the red-shirt rally in Bangkok, for broadcasting what was going on at the rally site and for distorting information. “However, there are no clear details to substantiate these charges,” said the Campaign for Popular Media Reform (CPMR) secretary-general Suthep Wilailert. He was reported to be speaking at a seminar about the fate of community radio stations under the state of emergency.

Article19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” As an advocate of fundamental human rights including the right to communication and information, and as the global network of community broadcasters, AMARC calls upon the Government of Thailand to ensure that community broadcasters are not harassed for the political views they hold. “Community radio stations speak on behalf of the people of the community and it is wrong to execute the messenger. I appeal to the Government of Thailand and the concerned authorities to not to arbitrarily oppress community broadcasters under any pretext,”said Imam Prakoso, Vice President for South East Asia in the AMARC Asia Pacific Regional Board. Expressing concerns over the closure of the stations and legal actions underway against community broadcasters, he has called to uphold the internationally accepted rights of community radio stations to freely and independently broadcast views on political, social, and economical, as well as all other issues that concern the lives of the communities that the stations serve.

As the world’s biggest broadcasting movement with more than 5,000 member community broadcasting stations and advocates worldwide, AMARC believes that democracy and social justice is only achievable when there is a free press.

 

6.- Natural Distasters

   

Solidarity with Community Radio Stations in Flood Affected Areas.

 

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Asia Pacific (AMARC-AP), sends it greeting to all community radio station affected by the floods which have recently occurred in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

AMARC-AP also offers its condolences to all those who have lost loved ones or been personally impacted by the unprecedented flood events.

In the recent past our region has been impacted by tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters.

In the aftermath of these catastrophes, Australians have demonstrated a generosity and warm heartedness that has brought relief, succour and friendship during and after the recovery and reconstruction period.

AMARC-AP recognises the important role many community radio stations have played in the aftermath of these disasters and we extend to all community radio stations, their volunteers, staff and their wider communities our solidarity and thoughts in this difficult time.

 

 

 

7.- Coming Activities

   



• 24 26 February, 2d AMARC Euope Conference:

• March 8, International womens day;

• March 21, Radio Voices Without Frontiers;

• Date to be confirmed, Conference in Haiti;

 

8.- The International Secretariat

   

Flor Maria Balbin, Administrative Assistant
Monica Sahagun, Administrative Assistant
Dominique Legendre, Accountant and Financial Assistant to Projects
Marcelo Solervicens, Secretary General
Ricardo Costa, Project Consultant
Nick Fillmore, Project Development Consultant
Armando Navarrete, Webmaster 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

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