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Growing Interest in European Community Media

The “European Media Policy” newsletter (No.1/2007) by Nordicom reports on the growing interest in Community Media by European institutions and mentions the importance of the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) in this process.

Lately, European institutions have shown a growing interest in non-profit-making media serving local communities.

Recently the European Parliament commissioned a comprehensive survey of non-commercial local radio and television in all EU Member States. There are approximately 3500 such stations in the Union. The study will include an analysis of social, regulatory and financial aspects of these media.

The Council of Europe, too, seems to be increasingly aware of the importance of community media. In a Recommendation on media pluralism and the diversity of media content– adopted in January 2007 – the Committee of Ministers emphasizes the importance not only of public service media in this context. Member States should also “encourage the development of other media capable of making a contribution to pluralism and diversity …These media could, for example, take the form of community, local, minority and social media”.

CMFE members contribute to academic publications on the European community media.


Several members of CMFE have contributed to the May 2010 issue of “Telematics and Informatics. An interdisciplinary journal on the social impacts of new technologies“,  titled Community Media – The Long March.

The contributions presented in this issue present the opportunities and challenges that are characterising the sector at this time, as the switchover to digital broadcasting platforms, and the need of constant presence at the European Union and Council of Europe levels to make sure that community media are considered with equal dignity among other broadcasters in media policy debates.

Practice-based accounts also show the contribution of community media to intercultural dialogue, an impressive range of interactions with civil society organisations present in their communities, and the potential of giving voice to local and diasporic communities through innovative combinations of FM and web-based broadcasting.

The new generation of media technologies and the success of the so-called ‘Web 2.0’ platforms has put at the centre of academic and industry discussions the participatory potential of internet-based media. ‘Old’ participatory platforms, alternative and community using traditional broadcasting or print outlets, though, have a long history of close involvement of their audiences in practices that have put communities’ communicative needs at the centre of their everyday work and fought for the democratization of media systems. Despite their financial and organisational weaknesses as individual stations or projects, community media are being increasingly recognised as the third and distinct sector of broadcasting by recent policy and regulatory developments in Europe and across the globe.

Finally, this special issue also shows evidence of the important role that civil society plays in the production of situated knowledge along, and in collaboration with, ongoing academic research in this area of study.

The issue is dedicated to the late member of the CMFE Board and German media activist Thomas Kupfer (1964-2009).

Guest Editors: Nico Carpentier & Salvatore Scifo

Contributors: K. Jakubowicz, H. Peissl, O Tremetzberger, N. Jimenez, S. Scifo, M. Sandoval, C. Fuchs, L. Hallett, A. Hintz, M. Santana, N.
Carpentier, S. Tenner, A. Borger, N. Bellardi, T. Kupfer, F. Diasio and S. Milan


Table of contents
Introduction: Community media’s long march
Pages 115-118
Nico Carpentier, Salvatore Scifo

Community media: “Flavour of the decade” worldwide. A keynote address at the AMARC Europe Conference
Pages 119-121
Karol Jakubowicz

The legal and economic framework of the third audiovisual sector in UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Niedersachsen (Germany) and Ireland
Pages 122-130
Helmut Peissl, Otto Tremetzberger

Community media in the context of European media policies
Pages 131-140
Núria Reguero Jiménez, Salvatore Scifo

Towards a critical theory of alternative media
Pages 141-150
Marisol Sandoval, Christian Fuchs

Digital broadcasting – Challenges and opportunities for European community radio broadcasters
Pages 151-161
Lawrie Hallett, Arne Hintz

Mapping the rhizome. Organizational and informational networks of two Brussels alternative radio stations
Pages 162-176
Maaika Santana, Nico Carpentier


Community Media Projects and Organisations
GAST:ARBAJTERSKI R:ADIO – Migration and media in Serbia
Pages 177-181
Stefan Tenner

From coexistence to cooperation: Experiments in intercultural broadcasting in Swiss community radios
Pages 182-186
Adriane Borger, Nadia Bellardi

CMFE – Community Media Forum Europe
Pages 187-192
Thomas Kupfer

AMARC and more than 25 years of community media activism
Pages 193-195
Francesco Diasio


Conference Reports
Conference report: Community media at ECREA’s ECC08
Pages 196-199
Salvatore Scifo

On the edge. AMARC Europe between ‘movement entrepreneurs’ and the grassroots. Notes from the Bucharest meeting
Pages 200-204
Stefania Milan

  • Access the information about the issue

  • Further information on Telematics and Informatics

(please note that full articles are available only by subscription)

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