Founder of EMPOWERHOUSE and a life-long advocate of people’s right to found, define, manage, own and fill their own media, Birgitte has since the early 80s been active in and around community media as a broadcaster, a manager, a midwife, a trainer, a donor, an advocate, an evaluator and an activist in many countries in especially Europe, North America and Africa. Birgitte co-founded Denmark’s first women’s radio in Denmark’s first community radio kickstarting a 3-year period of experiments with community radio and local TV back in 1983 – inspiring debate while challenging those traditionally setting the agenda. A long-time member of AMARC’s Women’s International Network (WIN), Birgitte never misses a chance to work to secure women’s engagement on all levels and in all areas of the media and was until recently among others on the board of the International Association of Women in the Media (IAWRT). Birgitte operates within a vast international network and was among others the manager of UNESCO’s to date biggest national media development programme for a 6-year period in Mozambique. Birgitte’s community media book: “EMPOWERMENT RADIO – Voices building a community” is now available as a free e-reader. Reviews highlight the book’s focus: “If you want to read only one book on sustainability of community radio, this is the one to read!”
Helmut is involved in community media since the 80ies and is actually managing director of COMMIT, a community media organization which develops and offers trainings and realizes research projects for the community media sector in Austria. He was responsible for several studies for the Austrian media authorities and the ministry of education on community media policy, public value of community media, and on the contribution of community media to lifelong learning. He also worked as an expert for the Council of Europe’s report on “Regional Media and transfrontier co-operation” and has specific research interest on media in multilingual societies. He is a founding member of the CMFE and was member of the board 2004-2011, before being elected treasurer in 2015.
As a founder and editor in chief of the media operating within the civil society organisation (UPSMedia, www.upsmedia.ba), I am very interested in development of encouraging environment for community media in the Western Balkan countries – legislation, funding, and freedom of expression. My possible contribution are in the fields of project cycle management – especially, in the projects design phase. I am an economist by vocation. Currently, I am enrolled in the phd programme in the field of communicology. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work in a diverse and multicultural environment, which is crucial part of this engagement.
Ragnar Smittberg (Sweden)
Ragnar Smittberg has been manager for Radio Eskilstuna between 1990 – 2012 and from 2010 and still manager for TV Eskilstuna. Today he is also manager and editor for etunanytt.se, a local online news media in Eskilstuna. He has been a teacher in media at senior high school level. He has participated in several Leonardo projects in Europe and has attended AMARC Europa meetings. Ragnar is a board member in NRO (Swedish National Organisation for Community Radio) and in CMS (Community Media Sweden).
Vladimir Radinović (Serbia)
Communication & PR
Vladimir has spent half of his life in community radio. As a practitioner, producer and advocate he has been closely following the development of the scene in the Balkans and has actively worked across the region in order to support it. His work in the field led him to cross paths multiple times with colleagues from CMFE which eventually led to the idea of joining the organization and representing the Balkan region in it. His current work focuses on developing various IT tools and solutions for radios and podcasters.
Executive manager in Rozana for Media, Paris, France since June 2013. Over 25 years experience in broadcasting, management directing, and producing. A journalist who has been working for TV, radio, newspaper since 1992. She has made hundreds of TV commercials and many TV clips for Unicef. She has established 2 radios station in Syria (Arabesque – Mussika) and she has been a program manager of Arabesque radio for 7 years. She has written some articles for newspapers (Baladna in Syria – Almoustakbal in Canada) and Magazines (Shabablek and Sabaya in Syria ). She has been working as a media consultant with IMS and she works as a trainer for journalists. She has been working as a TV reporter (Orient TV) and she had her program on the radio for 2 years (Arabesque). which defend human, women, and children's rights. She is now the Editor in Chief in Radio Rozana, the Syrian radio that exists in Paris /France. It’s a radio which is the voice of all the Syrians and to whom have no voice.
Jean Ngendahimana is the Founder and Director of Migration Heute, an Oldenburg-based non-profit advocacy organization focused on communicating migrant and refugee inclusion policies. In addition, Jean is a graduate and researcher in European Migration Studies at the University of Oldenburg. He is a country representative in the Erasmus Mundus Association in Rwanda and is an outspoken public advocate for migrant rights in Germany. He has lived, worked and studied in Rwanda, Germany, Norway, and Slovenia.
Campaigning for community radio since the 1980s, Lawrie Hallett teaches radio and journalism at the University of Bedfordshire. He is a trustee of Future Projects in Norwich, which runs the local community radio station there, Future Radio. Formerly a consultant to the Community Media Association in the UK Trained as a radio journalist, Lawrie is also a former broadcast radio regulator at Ofcom, where he worked on community radio licensing and digital radio planning. A regular evaluator of applications to the Broadcast Authority of Ireland’s Sound and Vision Scheme, his research interests are currently focused on digital broadcasting and the regulation of community-based services in a changing broadcast environment.
Larry is an award-winning Founder of Refugee Radio Network, a political commentator, public affairs analyst, and social critic with experience in refugee rights advocacy.
Larry has been an open critic of Mainstream Media’s lack of ethnic diversity and inclusion in its programs and reporting on migration issues. This has seen him present his opinion in keynotes, talks with Q&As in Europe, Africa, and the Middle east. Based in Rome, Italy, and Hamburg Germany, Larry daily inspires tens of thousands of Refugees via his Radio show and motivational speeches, workshops, and seminars. Larry is also the Founder / convener of the CMMA Conference.
Valentina Rajakovic is currently completing her studies at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. She is working as a project office assistant at Radio Študent, one of the oldest independent non-profit community radio stations in Europe, which provides a media platform to various social groups, minorities, and marginalized communities. Along with two of her friends, Valentina herself co-authors a biweekly Croatian minority broadcast. She has been gaining experience in project work since she was 15 when she joined a local voluntary cultural association as a board member. There she contributed to the projects as a festival and youth center program manager and Erasmus+ youth exchange coordinator. Both her work in the local community and her work at Radio Študent has taught her the importance of fighting for the promotion of marginalized content.
A representative of the French radio Campus network to the national and international partners (audiovisual authority, public services, the state), Nicolas’ role is to help new stations with their organisational structure, to get authorization to broadcast (FM and DAB+ frequencies), to sign an agreement with partners, and for them to be able to debate their project autonomously in the democratic manner of a non-profit organisation.
Furthermore, Nicolas is, since the onset, in charge of the only autonomous and independent DAB+ Multiplex (Mulhouse, Dreyeckland), and involved in an experimental radio station called Pi Node (p-node.org). Starting with Radio WNE at the beginning of 2000s, Nicolas furthermore developed the European Sound Delta.eu project involving more than 100 sound artists on the Rhine and the Danube (2008). Fan of experimental radio approaches, not only contents but radio art, Nicolas would be very pleased to support the idea of a band of frequencies dedicated to citizen and community media as well as Internet networks.