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October 2020

CMFE moving on after successful GA and
"Last chance for Media Pluralism" Conference

With this unclear screenshot of the CMFE 2020 Annual General Assembly on Zoom,I am pleased to say that we had a very clear and productive GA online on October 10. With two new board members in place plus four existing re-confirmed, we are set to do our utmost to fulfill our mandate and mission for the next year. You can read much more about this below.

We furthermore report on the Press Freedom conference organised by Radio ARA in partnership with CMFE, aiming at reaching the national legislators of Luxembourg with a strong message from around the continent that Community Media play a significant role in a balanced and pluralist media landscape. Also, Radio ARA had invited community radio initiatives from around the country to meet up for a first step in a process to form a national network of community media in Luxembourg.

You will also find a grateful mention of Vera Jourova- our commissioner's - invitation to collaborate.

In addition the newsletter reportsthe invitation by VFRÖ to Austrian community TV stations to collaborate in the new 'Verband Freier Rundfunk Österreich" (Association of community broadcasters in Austria); that the Council of Europe Community Media leaflet is now available in six languages; and a new 'I have Rights' campaign focused on refugees and asylum seekers.

The newsletter this month furthermore presents our member: the German 'Bundesverband Bürgermedien'.

The newsletter finally informs about CMFE being showcased by the GFMD on October 22- and the Classifieds section shares funding opportunities and a survey about online harassment of women journalists.

So, read on about our enabling environment, visibility, action and coordination!  Enjoy!!!

As the second wave rolls out: continue to stay safe !!!

Birgitte Jallov
CMFE President

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CMFE General Assembly Oct 10, 2020

This year's General assembly was planned partly in close cooperation with Radio ARA. (Luxembourg), the hosts of this year's GA and Conference; partly by a working group set up within the CMFE board for the CMFE internal aspects.

CMFE President, Birgitte Jallov, opened the meeting with a regret that we could not all be together in Luxembourg, thanking the local hosts - Radio ARA - for the wonderful conference that had taken place Friday and Saturday “Last chance for Media Pluralism. The mission of community media in Luxembourg and Europe” (see a separate piece on that below) and for hosting us.

Birgitte went on to recognize and celebrate all that community media around Europe – and around the world – had done to serve their communities during the crisis. Birgitte showcased Radio ARA, our hosts, as one such station leap-frogging their 5-year development plan and within a few days increased their number of languages to 9, in view of painful information-gaps identified among communities in Luxembourg, missing out on life-saving Covid-19 information.

The General assembly had invited Radio ARA to present this special story during the GA as one example where CMFE had supported their European outreach for their campaign to achieve a legal framework in Luxembourg, recognizing community media.

The GA went through all the formal steps, presenting and approving the minutes of last year's GA, the accounts and budget - as well as in the end, the new members elected to the CMFE board (see  more hereunder).

The president's report led into the discussion of CMFE priorities next year, where the following issues stand out: Structural funding for CMFE and an increased membeship to be able to drive our mission more effectively forward; continue our work with European institutions for advocacy and recognition of our sector as well as the work to map the present situation of community media in European countries.

Furthermore CMFE was encouraged to pay attention to EU digitization programme; the electromagnetic spectrum; future possible use of open source software; and we were reminded to look out for the new dates in 2021 of Refugee Radio Network's ‘Migration and Media Awareness 2021’, planned in partnership with CMFE.

With the new board members (presented below) the CMFE board is for the next year made up by:

   * Birgitte Jallov
  * Helmut Peissl
  * Dragana Jovanovic
  * Ragnar Smittsberg
  * Vladimir Radinovic
  * Lawrie Hallett
  * Lina Chawaf
  * Jean Ngendahimana
  * Larry Macaulay
  * Valentina Rajakovic
  * Nicolas Horber

The GA ended on a warm note, recognizing all the work done by many to make this, our first online GA, successful.

Two new CMFE board members
From Radio Student, Slovenia:

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 centre program manager and Erasmus+ youth exchange coordinator. Both her work in the local community and her work at Radio Študent have taught her the importance of fighting for the promotion of marginalized content.

From Campus Radio Network, France

Nicolas Horber

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 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 ( Starting with Radio WNE in the beginning of 2000’s, Nicolas furthermore developed the European Sound 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 band of frequencies dedicated to citizen and community media as well as Internet networks.

Strengthening an enabling environment
Radio ARA Conference
«Last Chance for Media Pluralism –
Community Media in Luxembourg & Europe»

On October 9th and 10th Radio ARA, the only independent radio station in Luxembourg, hosted an international Conference on the topic of media pluralism and community media, in cooperation with CMFE – Community Media Forum Europe.

On Friday, October 9th, CMFE Board member and Radio Rozana co-founder Lina Chawaf spoke about “The answer of Community Media to the big challenges of our time”.

On Saturday, the conference explored to which extent Community Media are an important tool to address today’s and tomorrow’s media pluralism challenges and hosted interventions from:

  • Raphaël KIES ( and member of the CoE MSI-REF Expert Group): Mediapluralism in Luxembourg
  • Martin RITTER (Landesmedienanstalt Thüringen): Erfolgreich Bürgermedien gestalten! Die Radios im Spannungsfeld von Finanzierung, Auftrag und Aufsicht. (Successfully designing citizen media! Community radios at the crossroads of financing, mission and supervision.)
  • Nadia BELLARDI (CMFE and member of former CoE MSI-JOQ Expert Group): Council of Europe standard-setting in relation to community media - see more here.

The Conference was live-streamed via YouTube and can be watched here:

CMFE supports our Media Pluralism and Press Freedom Commissioner, Vera Jourova

Our letter of support included the following:

"As 'our Commissioner', we, in the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), want to express our full support and solidarity to your stance on press freedom - also in Hungary.

We have closely followed - and spoken out against - the way in which the present Hungarian regime over the past years have, among others, slowly but surely suffocated the previously very dynamic community media sector, leaving only one community radio with citizen's voices on the FM-band.

We understand and agree that press freedom isn't – and has never been – something freely given. It is something we need to fight for and when we have it, we will need to always be alert to ensure that it is not being limited, as we have seen happen recently in many realities under cover of Corona measures.

We want to thank you and encourage you to go on, on behalf of CMFE's more than 100 members, counting 25 European national community media associations, community media stations, academics working with community media, engaged experts and others working in the field."

We look forward to take Mrs. Jourova up on her thank you letter's offer to collaborate.

Visibility of Community Media
News from the Community Media Association in Austria

At their last General Assembly in September 2020, VFRÖ in Austria reached another milestone. They have expanded the circle of their members as well as their mandate, formally representing also the interests of Community TV under their roof. So they are no longer the Association of Community Radios Austria but the Association of Community Broadcasting Austria (Verband Freier Rundfunk Österreich).

They welcome FS1 and OKTO as their new members!

At the same time, a new board was elected, with Christian Jungwirth, long standing media activist for the 3rd sector and Managing Director of OKTO, elected as new chair person. As Deputy chair person Charlotte Trippolt has been elected. With Charlotte on our board, VFRÖ are working towards generational change and more generational diversity in their leadership.

Council of Europe Thematic Leaflet on Community Media
now available in 6 languages!

The Council of Europe recognises the value of community media as a source of local content, cultural and linguistic diversity, media pluralism, social inclusion and intercultural dialogue. It endorses the commitment of community media to media and information literacy, through the development of critical and creative thinking and active participation in media content production.

The Thematic Leaflet Brief overview of the latest Council of Europe guidelines and activities to support community media is now available in 6 languages: English, French, German (upcoming), Italian, Slovenian, Spanish.

Action for Cooperation and Change
As a new member of the Global Forum for Media Development, CMFE presents itself to GFMD's 200 member organisations with a bold invitation to collaborate:
Community Media
have never been more important!

October 22 at 15:00 CET, GFMD has organised a Webinar, where CMFE has been invited to present ourselves to the GFMD membership, with the intent to embrace - and be embraced by - the platform for collaboration and change, which GFMD aims to be.

CMFE will therefore present our work along our three core strategic work areas: (i) Supporting an enabling environment for community media, (ii) advancing the visibility and understanding of these citizen communication platforms, and finally: (iii) engagement for cooperation and change.

The presentation will be inspired by the situation we are finding ourselves in, where community media in Europe - and around the world - have proven to be more important than ever.

If you want to take part in the event you can contact the GFMD (click the button) or us.

I Have Rights Campaign
Give People Access to Justice

The Refugee Law Clinic Berlin (RLC Berlin) recently launched its #AccessToJustice-Campaign in order to promote the legal tool Daily social media content on RLC Berlin channels highlighted the importance of access to justice for asylum seekers. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Our New Neighbours partner Media Diversity Institute is mentoring 4 civil society organisations around Europe in developing their campaigns. The #AccessToJustice-Campaign of Refugee Law Clinic Berlin (RLC Berlin) was one of the initiatives which benefited from a New Neighbours grant to develop and run their own campaigns under the mentorship of the MDI campaign experts.

IHaveRights is a website for streamlining requests for interim measures to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in order to protect the human rights of asylum seekers on Samos. The ECHR has already granted 42 out of 49 requests such as an interim measure for a pregnant refugee woman to be moved from a camp to an apartment in Samos. We invite anyone knowing  or working with asylum seekers to share this legal tool with those who might be in need for better access to justice.

Access to justice is the precondition to any human right – having rights is not the same as getting your right. Yet asylum seekers often lack adequate access to justice although they are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses. Over the years the European Asylum System has created a situation in which asylum seekers are forced to stay in camps and thus have limited or no access to justice.

Over the last years the European Asylum System forces asylum seekers to reside in inhuman and degrading living conditions – by itself  a subject of judicial scrutiny before the European Convention Human Rights. was created during the Corona-Lockdown and aims to give people access to justice who, due to the restriction of their freedom of movement, cannot establish personal contact. is therefore an important addition to the legal information offered by RLC Berlin on Samos.

More information:

here !
Who are we in the CMFE? A monthly member portrait
Bundesverband Bürgermedien (BBM) - The Federal Association of Citizen Media, Germany

The German Federal Association of Citizen Media (Bundesverband Bürgermedien) builds its objectives of the following cornerstones: Participation, strengthening the journalistic capacity and media education.

Citizen Media
* ensure citizens have equal access to radio and television on the basis of Article 5 of the constituion;
* offer local and regional content of social relevance. The citizen media serve the local diversity of opinions and topics and the local networking;
* are the driving force for intercultural dialogue and social coexistence;
* offer support from the idea to the broadcast through professional training and further education offers;
* promote media literacy through action-oriented learning. The citizen media impart social and communicative skills and create the conditions for the critical and self-determined use of media;
* fulfill an important training function in the media sector and serve for professional orientation and qualification;
* are active in civil society networks and
do not work commercially.

    More on BBM
    All that you did not know you might be missing...
    C L A S S I F I E D S
    Resource: Situation now, world-wide
    Global Community Media Dialogues

    The Hyderabad-based Chair on Community Media has launched a series of Global Community Media Dialogues, focusing on Community Media in the post-Corona world:

    The generic questions address what has been found to be the role and impact of community media during the Corona crisis, and what can we learn from it - and do next?

    CMFE has worked closely with the Chair on the European dialogues. All the recorded dialogues can be found here.

    UNESCO-ICFJ global survey on online harassment of women journalists
    The recently-launched UNESCO-ICFJ global survey on online harassment of women journalistsseeks to assess the scale of online violence targeting women journalists around the world, and to help identify solutions to the problem. Please consider sharing the survey among the journalists and media professionals in your network.

    You will find here the links to the survey: English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese.

    The results of the survey will feed into a UNESCO global study on online harassment of women journalists, implemented in partnership with the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), which will be published next year, and is part of a broader effort by UNESCO to tackle this issue, which involves research, capacity building and awareness-raising.

    The hashtag for this initiative is #JournalistsToo.

    Are you planning to develop tools to counter freedom of expression challenges posed by AI?
    OSCE funds available!

    The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media is open to fund small projects (budget: 2000-5000 EUR each) for the development of tools to counter freedom of expression challenges posed by AI. For example: educational and awareness-raising activities; podcasts; documentaries; mini-series; exhibitions; and storytelling.

    Please note that RFoM can only contract and pay independent expert(s) / supplier(s) directly, not an organization. So you should apply as independent experts, journalists, academia, and representatives of civil society.

    More information below and attached, deadline October 31!

    Community Media Forum Europe -

    Rue de la Linière 11, Bruxelles

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