Archive for April 2004

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[communards] Connecting Free Media. Exchange within and beyond Central and Eastern Europe

Tue Apr 27 19:42:08 GMT 2004


FM@dia Forum '04 (en)
Connecting Free Media. Exchange within and beyond Central and Eastern Europe.

Meeting and workshops of Free Media initiatives on framing diverse 
strategies for sustainable cultural cooperation and exchange.

10th- 12th June 2004 (Part 1)
13th  14th June 2004 (Part 2)

Prague (Cz) NoD Experimental space
Freistadt (A)


People from a variety of community-, free-, independent-, sovereign-, 
civic-, NGO media and social organisations will gather together in Prague 
and Freistadt to meet, discuss and develop strategies for the 
liberalisation of the information and communication situation in Europe - 
with special focus on Central Europe. It is set up for active members and 
representatives of a number civic, cultural and media initiatives from 
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Austria, 
including guests from both western northern, southern and eastern regions.


The rapid social, political, economical and technological shift of terms of 
the expanded "United Europe" pose a challenge to discuss, reframe and 
compare such topics as "free speech", "public access", "independence - 
media ownership", "creative commons", "digital gap" or "content exchange". 
All this and more requires a cross- referencing for establishing a common 
base and functioning platform for better collaboration among media 
activists, artists, free radios , 'zine publishers, internet publishers etc.

While the region is characterised by a relatively high potential of growth 
of media and civic activities, the inter-connectivity reaching beyond the 
borders remains by comparison rare. This meeting seeks to offer the 
opportunity for improving coordination and sharing experiences and know-how 
among the participants.

The issues of civic media and rights of communication shall be discussed 
within a broader public debate. Special internet web-streaming will take 
place during the meeting, in order to broadcast and archive the event.


Easier access to new digital technologies open new chances as well as 
threats for civic and community media as opposed to mass media and 
corporate structures. Activating and intensifying mutual communication and 
collaboration between different regions, languages and cultures is the aim 
of the "FM@dia" forum.

FM@dia 04 is divided in several block and working groups according to
special interests: (each working group has supervisor)

1. Media Landscapes - Media Wars

How have the Media-Landscapes developed since the fall of Berlin Wall (in 
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland,
Germany and Austria)?
How to define a role for European Free and community Media networks, what 
is their relation to corporate and governmental mass media? Different 
circumstances result in a multitude of approaches to the term of Free 
Media, still are there corresponding aims/ideals? What impact do the free 
and community media and initiatives have on the public debate and civic 
rights? What extent and impact of statutes related to community media and 
civic free media initiatives are and will be included in the European Union 
media policy (Community Media Fund)?

2. Survival Kit For Independent Media

Conditions, experiences, and possibilities for community-media in the 
extended European Union: a survey from different countries. Used practices 
and strategies, issues of legality and laws. Solidarity, interactivity, 
broader awareness and understanding of diversity of local dilemma, 
transcending the conforming and "national" attitudes. What changes do the
electronic networks bring forth and how are they currently 
(dis)functioning? How are they rooted in the local social patterns and 
specific conditions of different national and political entities?

3. Content Exchange  Free Flow Of Information

Content-exchange within Free Media in the new European Union. What are the 
advantages and interests of potentially cooperating parallel cross-national 
oriented broadcasting and information initiatives? Their accessibility, 
openness and will for strategy implementation, multi-lingual media 
channels, broadcasts, media jamming, etc. Can media solidarity and media 
education empower the sustainable models and democracy? ( 
, , , Europe from down 
below, etc)

4. Cross Border Media & Local Development

Community media as an intercultural communication tool - the emerging field 
of mobile media transmitters explores the convergence of data and location 
in environments, which are aside the main communication highways. Nowadays 
it is possible to use cheap, portable, networked, location aware computing 
devices for user-led mapping and interventions in which geographical and 
cultural minority expression can be voiced and integrated in the media 

Can these tools of locative media contribute to the social and cultural, 
political and ecological multi-layer projects? How can local community 
media benefit from them and in which way can this technology stimulate the 
interconnectivity, alternative channels for cultural exchange
and collaboration across "the borders"? (eg. issues of migration, 
immigration, "recovering" of the dialogues between the recently 
disconnected regions such as of Upper Austria, Bavaria and South Bohemia, 
Hungary and Slovakia or former Yugoslavia)?

Several speakers from national and international political structures will 
be invited to formulate and present their visions on the problem of media 
and communication in the region.

Proposed number of participants: 50-100

The formats of the conference will be panel discussions (plenary 
discussions), presentations (examples for best practice, marketing, 
networking) and workshops (split up into working-groups with practical 
questions as funding, how to start etc.).

The event will be accompanied by evening programs.

Alliance of Organizations:

Bundesverband Freier Radios Deutschland (BFR),
European Civic Forum,
Freier Rundfunk Freistadt, Freistadt (A)
Radio FRO, Linz (A),
Radio Akropolis, Prague
Transition Online
Verband Freier Radios Osterreich,
Centre for Contemporary Art Prague/Radio Jeleni
Linhart Foundation,


"Sovereign media are equipped with their own starters and do not need to 
push off from any possible predecessors or other media. They are different 
from the post'68 concept of alternative media and from the autonomous 
"inside" media of the 80s. The alternative media work on the principle of 
"antipublicity" and mirror the mainstream media, which they feel needs to 
be corrected and supplemented. This strategy aims to make the individual 
aware of his behavior as well as his opinion. This process will ultimately 
be seen in a changed public opinion. These little media have no general 
claims but work with a positive variant of the cancer model, which assumes 
that in the long term everyone, whether indirectly or through the big 
media, will become informed about the problem being broached."

Adelkino Theory of Sovereign Media


Thursday, June 10th 09:30 - 10:30 Opening, initial statement
   10:00 - 12:00 Media Landscapes - Media Wars
1. Media Landscapes
2. What do we mean by Free Media?
   14:00 - 16:00 Survival kit for independent media
Workgroups I
1. Campaigning/Lobbying
2. Funding
3. Bilinguality
4. Organisations/Technics
5. European lobbying structure
6. spontaneous
   16:30 - 19:00 Survival kit for independent media
Workgroups II
Plenary Presentations of workgroups results

Friday, June 11th 10:00 - 12:00 Content Exchange - free flow of informationen
Panel discussion
   14:00 - 16:00 Content Exchange - free flow of information
1. Networking
2. Content exchange projects
3. Future of FM@dia Forum
4. spontaneous
   16:30 - 18:30 Discussion and adoption of the FORUM Declaration
   19:30 Public debate (including local politicians, initiatives)


Saturday, June 12th 09:00 - 13:00
   14:30 - 16:30 Cross Border Media and Local Development I
   17:00 - 19:00 Cross Border Media and Local Development II
   20:00 - 24:00

Sunday, June 13th 10:00 - 13:00 General Assembly VFRÖ

Carpentier Nico (Phd)
Katholieke Universiteit Brussel - Catholic University of Brussels
Vrijheidslaan 17 - B-1081 Brussel - Belgium
T: ++ 32 (0)2-412.42.78
F: ++ 32 (0)2/412.42.00
Office: 4/0/18
Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University of Brussels
Centre for Media Sociology (CeMeSO)
Pleinlaan 2 - B-1050 Brussels - Belgium
T: ++ 32 (0)2-629.18.30
F: ++ 32 (0)2-629.28.61
Office: C0.05
European Consortium for Communication Research
E-mail: (Nico.Carpentier /at/

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