World Summit on the Information Society by Mg7kd8


									                        Report of the Moderator of the
                      Sub-Group on Community Media
               WSIS Action Line C9 Media (Geneva, 18 May 2011)


1. The WSIS 2003 Plan of Action states, in Action Line C9 Media: “The media - in
their various forms and with a diversity of ownership - as an actor, have an essential
role in the development of the Information Society and are recognized as an important
contributor to freedom of expression and plurality of information.”

2. At the 2007 WSIS follow-up meeting on Action Line C9, it was agreed to establish
a Sub-Group on “community media, particularly radio and multimedia centres”. The
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) was invited by
UNESCO to act as Sub-Group Moderator and to prepare an annual report.

3. This is the fourth report of the Sub-Group Moderator. In the first report, which was
presented in Geneva, 21 May 2008, we proposed a set of indicators for community
media development, mapped against the objectives of the WSIS Plan of Action, and
we reported progress against those indicators. Subsequent reports of the Sub-Group
were presented in Geneva on 19 May 2009 and 12 May 2010. While using the same
indicators in this fourth report we also give particular attention to media regulation.

New community media services established

4. In the year ending May 2011 there has been significant progress on community
media development reported in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Haiti,
Kyrgyzstan, India, Nigeria, Tunisia, United States and Uruguay, among others.

Legal and/or regulatory provision for community broadcasting

5. Significant country level developments in legal and/or regulatory provision for
community broadcasting have taken place in, among others: Argentina – new media
legislation adopted that provides for three tiers of broadcasting – public service,
private commercial and community; Nigeria – in October, President Goodluck
Jonathan announced that guidelines for the licensing of community radio had been
adopted by the Federal Executive Council; Tunisia – following the January 2011
revolution, the Instance nationale pour la réforme de l’information et de la
communcation has invited proposals for new radio and television services including
community broadcasters; Spain – new audiovisual law under discussion including
recognition of community media, but with significant limitations; United States –
Local Community Radio Act 20101 passed into law on 4 January 2011 providing for
hundreds of new community radio services. Sweden – concerns are growing among
community broadcasters about the commercialisation of frequencies assigned to not-
for-profit services as a result of amendments to the broadcasting law in August 20102.

6. Community media organisations and community media workers faced various
threats, harassment and attacks around the world, including: Nepal – killing of Devi
Prasad Dhital (Hemraj) Chairman of Community Radio Tulsipur on 22 July 2010 3;
Thailand – closures of at least 26 community radio stations4; Haiti – arson attack on
Radio Tèt Ansanm Carice, by armed political supporters of the INITE party5;
Honduras – harassment of radio journalists of La Voz de Zacate Grande6; Hungary –
Tilos Radio threatened with action by new Hungarian Media Council7; Iraq
(Kurdistan) – armed attackers destroyed broadcast equipment of Radio Deng, the first
independent community radio station in Iraqi Kurdistan8; Mexico – closure of
community radio stations Radio Xalli in Puebla and Radio Diversidad in Veracruz9;
Philippines – killing of the veteran broadcast journalist Marlina ‘Len’ Flores Sumera
of DZME-AM in Malabon City on 24 March 201110, the fourth journalist to be killed
in less than a year since the new Philippine government of Benigno Aquino III.

Development of codes of practice

7. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the
Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression in his Annual Report 2010 11 to the UN
Human Rights Council endorsed AMARC Principles on Democratic Regulation for

Community Broadcasting12 and highlighted the role of community media in enabling
minority and excluded groups to exercise their right to freedom of expression.

8. AMARC Latin America and Caribbean presented to the Inter American
Commission of Human Rights, on 29 October 2010, “40 Principles for Guaranteeing
Diversity and Pluralism in Broadcasting and Audiovisual Communication Services”13

9. The Tenth World Conference of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC 10, held
in La Plata, Argentina, agreed the “La Plata Declaration of Community Radio
Broadcasters”14 calling for legal frameworks that recognise community media and
that guarantee the right to information, freedom of expression and communication.

10. AMARC Asia-Pacific facilitated the Citizens Media Seminar in Hong Kong in
partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong15. A concluding statement
emphasized the importance of citizens’ media to strengthen governances and efforts
towards democracy especially in transitional societies like Hong Kong.

11. Community broadcasters from Australia, India, Nepal and UK took part in the
New Delhi National Consultation on Community Radio, in December 2010. They
called for the ban on news reporting to be revoked. Proposals for a community radio
support fund gained in principle support from Government representatives.

12. AMARC members and community media broadcasters participated in the
consultation on Community Media- Promoting Social Development, organized by the
National Commission of UNESCO and Community Radio Radio Most in Bishkek,
Kyrgyzstan in January 2010. The consultation focussed on legal challenges and the
role of community radio and ICTs in strengthening development.

International partnerships and networks

13. The Asia Media Summit, held in Beijing, 25 to 26 May 2010, featured a plenary
panel on the theme “On air diversity: the case for community broadcasting”. It was
the first occasion in China for international experts on community media to speak in a
major public forum attended by media managers, policy makers and public officials.

14. AMARC Africa held the Community Radio Capacity Building Conference (July
19-22, 2010) attended by community radio sector bodies from 13 African countries.

15. Community broadcasters collaborated with the FAO on 16 October 2010 in the
United Against Hunger campaign to mark World Food Day 2010.

16. The Tenth World Conference of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC 10,
gathered together more than 500 community broadcasters and stakeholders from 87
countries in the city of La Plata, Argentina, from 8 to 13 November 201016. A new
International Board of AMARC was elected and strategic lines of action agreed for
the movement. The AMARC Solidarity Prize was awarded to Haiti’s community
radios and their support organisations, SAKS and REFRAKA, for their resilience and
role in supporting populations affected by the earthquake of 12 January 2010.

17. Community broadcasters took part in joint broadcast coverage of the United
Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, 29 November to 10 December 2010,
and highlighted the importance of local communications on climate change.

18. Community broadcasters were active participants at the World Social Forum
2011, held in Dakar from 6 to 11 February 2011, highlighting alternative media and
the importance of communication rights in addressing global challenges.

19. Community broadcasters marked International Day against Racism on 21 March
2011 with the international broadcast campaign, Voices Without Frontiers.

20. AMARC-Europe organised the European Conference of Community Broadcasters
in Dublin, 24-26 February, with the theme “Communicating Diversity”, and elected a
new Board of Directors to with responsibility for AMARC’s European Region.

21. The first AMARC Caribbean Conference of Community Broadcasters was held
from 4 to 6 May 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with the theme “Communication,
vulnerability, disaster management and climate change: the role of community radio”.

Gender equality

22. From 25 November to 10 December 2010, community broadcasters collaborated
in the “16 Days Against Gender Violence” campaign to end violence against women.

23. On International Women’s Day 2011, community broadcasting campaigns
focussed on the theme “Voices for women and participation in political processes”.

24. West African community radios jointly initiated “Parole de femmes” as a platform
for production and exchange of programmes on gender issues and women’s rights.

25. The AMARC Women’s International Network Gender Policy was adopted by the
Community Radio Forum of India at its General Meeting in March 2011.

Access to ICTs and connectivity

26. AMARC promoted use of the Internet for programme sharing and exchange
among community broadcasters, through joint campaigns (including International
Women’s Day and International Day against Racism), international events coverage
and support for the Latin American and Caribbean radio news service, Pulsar17.

27. AMARC and Pakistan Press Foundation organised a field survey and report on the
communication needs of flood hit communities in Pakistan, in October 2010. The
assessment highlighted the role of local radio in emergency response and highlighted
the potential benefits of establishing community radio services to aid reconstruction.

28. Japanese community broadcasters responding rapidly to the earthquake and
tsunami of 12 March 2011 in Japan by establishing emergency radio stations, and
providing timely disaster response communications, again highlighting the vital
importance of access to media, communications and connectivity in times of disaster.

Forthcoming events and activities

29. The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2011, to be held in Bonn, from 20 to 22
June 2011, will feature a panel of international experts speaking on “Community
media to promote diversity and human rights for marginalised communities”.

30. The International Association of Mass Communication Research (IAMCR) 2011
Conference, to be held in Istanbul, 13 to 17 July 2011, will include panels and events
on community media organised by the IAMCR Community Communications Section.

31. The AMIC Media and Globalisation Conference, to be held in Hyderabad, 24-27
June 2011, includes a stream on public service broadcasting and community radio.


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