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September 2020

Language and Community Media

On Thursday, September 17, the last of three Europe-focused 'Global Dialogues' takes place in one of the world's new online meeting rooms - via zoom and live on facebook. You will here meet representatives from 6 European community radio stations (see below under 'Classifieds' where you also find recordings) just like we on September 2nd hosted representatives from 6 European national community media associations. Much earlier, on July 3rd, UK and Ireland shared their experiences during Corona - and beyond.

Through the work with, listening to and taking part in these global gatherings, the power of community media - once again - stands out as the platforms for the anchoring of democracy at the grassroots level. The testimonies were clear, community media is where you can take part, have a voice, be an active citizen - no matter who you are. It is where fundamental (human) rights are talked about and defended, and it is where you, we, learn to operate and influence policy and thereby conditions of life.

This is possible through the authenticity and credibiilty of the community media, our colleagues shared, as an empowered and focused civil society, based upon values - and a source of information the listeners trust in our challenged world of 'fake news' and aggressive agendas.

So: listen in, take part, share your observations, opinions, experiences on September 17, 2pm CET!

This leads me on to a fond acknowledgement that the present issue of the CMFE newsletter is edited by our former CMFE President Judith Purkarthofer, focusing on 'Community media and languages'.

This includes items within the CMFE strategic priority areas: (i) Enabling environment; (ii) Visibility and communication and (iii) Action and coordination. - and in our classifieds section we - as always - share information about upcoming events, new publications for inspiration, and relevant calls. Enjoy!!!

Continue to stay safe !!!

Birgitte Jallov
CMFE President

CMFE Newsletters
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CMFE General Assembly & Conference
October 9-10, 2020
* Last Chance for Media Pluralism *
Radio ARA hosts CMFE GA and Media Pluralism Conference

The challenges Luxembourg's media landscape is facing give an outlook on general challenges for the European general public and its media actors. Almost 50% of Luxembourgs population do not possess its nationality, there are three official languages (Luxembourgish, French and German) and 3 additional languages considered the main language for bigger parts of the population (Portuguese, English, Italian).

Almost a third of Luxembourgs work force are people crossing the border every day. What does this diversity mean for media institutions in search of their public? How to secure representation and participation? And how is media pluralism guaranteed? These questions hit Luxembourg's media landscape during a time of preoccupation with other, global crises: the decline of revenue, audience and credibility.

July was a important month for the future of Luxembourg's media sector. It saw a political debate about the “public media service” and at the same time a law was presented that aims to reform the state's press funding. Have the right tools been chosen?

Community media have for the first time been a real part of the debate but were deceived by the preliminary results: No real recognition of the third pillar, no funding that would address its problems.

The conference “Last chance for media pluralism” aims to keep the discussion around Luxembourg's media landscape and the local media players focused on the greater goals. It explores the question to which extend Community Media are an important tool to encounter today's and tomorrow's challenges.

The CMFE Annual General Assembly takes place
October 10 at 6 - 8 pm CET
On-site or on-line

Sign up for participation here!

***September's Thematic Issue***
Language and Community Media

Community Media have, in many parts of the world, gained a reputation for being close to the people, representative of lived diversity and often times speaking of and with those with limited power. Among the many who have felt underrepresented in the media, are speakers of languages other than the national language. Minorities, migrants, multilinguals are drawn to Commuity Media as it offers space for local and regional languages and dialects, as well as transnational connections.

When media is associated with nation states and market power, it is more often than not linked to a small set of languages with high prestige and large international visibility. However, those languages are not always the first and home languages of their listeners and viewers - and thus, media in a plurality of languages is needed.

This newsletter aims to showcase some theoretical texts, projects and examples of multilingualism and languages in Community Media. We hope that this inspires thinking about one's own language experiences, inside and outside media, but also about the goals of Community Media when it comes to access and representation of diverse speakers, listeners and viewers. And finally, it was a lovely chance to combine my two passions: language and CM! Enjoy,


Judith Purkarthofer was a former board member of CMFE as well as president of the board between 2015 and 2019. In her work life, she researchesl anguage and integration, multilingual families and education and teaches at the University Duisburg-Essen. Read more about her projectshere: [in German for now]

Strengthening an enabling environment
26.9. European Day of Languages

At the Council of Europe’s initiative, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September - together with the European Commission. The European Union has recognized the value of languages as means of communication: already 20 years ago, a goal was formulated: everyone living in Europe should speak the language of the state or the region, one neighboring and one international language. In addition to family languages and others. The European Day of Languages unites initiatives in education, in politics and the media – join the programme by getting in contact with your national coordinators and read more:

Minoritised languages – Language policy and media policy

 Being able to speak one’s language, to raise concerns of interest for individuals and groups and to speak up on behalf of others is important: legal conditions are relevant for smaller media as much as for smaller languages. On a European level, the Charter for Regional and Minority languages provides a framework for ensuring protection for some minoritised languages like Sorbian in Germany, Frisian in the Netherlands, Slovene in Austria. “Regional or minority languages are part of Europe’s cultural heritage and their protection and promotion contribute to the building of a Europe based on democracy and cultural diversity.” says the Council of Europe.

Speakers of many languages however, have no access to the Charter – this concerns in particular languages that are not bound to fixed territories or cannot claim a long tradition in Europe. In the fight for recognition, language rights are good allies of media rights: both are interested in free expressions, ensuring that persons get to have a say in whichever way and language they choose.

It is thus no coincidence the for example the media pluralism monitor includes access to media for (linguistic) minorities in the criteria for a pluralistic media landscape. In the same way is media coverage and access to media in different languages one of the criteria evaluated in the country reports referring to the Charter of regional and minority languages.

Visibility of Community Media
Languages and pluralism in the Media Pluralism Monitor reports

Pluralism of the media constitutes one of the essential pillars of democracy. Freedom of expression and freedom and pluralism of the media are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 11), and their protection is underpinned by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This report presents the results and the methodology of the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM2020), a tool geared at assessing the risks to media pluralism in EU member states and selected candidate countries (30 European countries in total).

The Media Pluralism Monitor 2020 (MPM2020) has confirmed the findings of the previous four rounds of monitoring – showing that none of the countries analysed are free from risks to media pluralism. The study comprises the European Union Member States (UK included, considering the timeframe of the project-the UK left the EU in 2020) as well as in candidate countries, Turkey, and for the first time, an assessment of Albania.

Read more about this scientific and holistic effort to document the health of media ecosystems, detailing threats to media pluralism and freedom in European Union member states and some candidate countries:


The Social Inclusiveness area considers access to the media by various social and cultural groups, such as minorities, local/regional communities, people with disabilities, and women. In addition, the Monitor considers media literacy as a precondition for using the media effectively, and examines media literacy contexts, as well as the digital skills of the population.

On average, the area of Social Inclusiveness scores 52% (i.e. medium) risk. This is 2 percentage points lower than in MPM2017 (54%), but is still in a medium risk band. Two thirds of the countries (22) score a medium risk (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain), 5 countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Turkey) score a high risk, while only 3 countries (France, Sweden and the United Kingdom) are in the low risk band for Social Inclusiveness.

Access to media for minorities, and Access to media for women, are the two highest scoring indicators in this area. The risk is particularly prevalent with regard to minorities who are not recognised by law.

Women continue to be heavily underrepresented in both media management and reporting. Male experts are more often invited to comment on political programmes and articles than are female experts, and no country scored a low risk on this matter.

Minorities, languages and the MPM

In the MPM, access to media for minorities is covered: (full report, page 90).

“The Monitor assesses minorities’ access to airtime on public service media, both in terms of legal safeguards and in practice. It further assesses whether the minorities have access to airtime on private TV and radio, and it takes into account both those minorities that are legally recognised and those that are not. Variables have been elaborated on the basis of Council of Europe (CoE) and OSCE documents.

The OSCE’s Oslo Recommendations (p. 6) state: “Persons belonging to national minorities should have access to broadcast time in their own language on publicly funded media. At national, regional and local levels the amount and quality of time allocated to broadcasting in the language of a given minority should be commensurate with the numerical size and concentration of the national minority and appropriate to its situation and needs.”

The Council of Europe’s European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (Council of Europe 1992, Article 11) and its Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities emphasise that the Convention Parties shall ensure, within the framework of their legal systems, that persons belonging to a national minority are not discriminated against but are facilitated in their access to the media (Council of Europe, 1995, Article 9).”

Results from 2020: Netherlands, Germany and Denmark for example

  • The Netherlands scores a very low 4% risk on the indicator Access to the media for minorities. The Frisian minority has its own Frisian-language regional broadcaster: Omrop Fryslân, and the different broadcasting associations and special-task public service broadcasters, NOS and NTR, ensure the representation of social, cultural, and religious diversity. The NPO (national public broadcasting service), in general, also strives for the proportional representation of non-western groups, monitoring its progress since 2010 (Rossini 2020).
  • In the country report for Germany, the risk for media access for minorities is accessed at medium level, whereas the risk of access to community media is at low risk - good indication of the important work that CM is doing for social cohesion!
  • For Denmark, a surprisingly high risk assessment is mainly based on research suggesting that minorities are under-represented in the media, which is particularly pronounced for immigrants. Furthermore, the Danish public service media, DR, has stopped producing news in immigrant languages, such as Arabic and Somali (Borberg 2020). Knowing about Community Media however, we know that in particular immigrants are an integral part of Danish media culture, with Aarhus Global Media ( and others working tirelessly to bring plurality of opinions, languages and perspectives on air.

All country reports as well as executive summaries and graphics can be found 


Local/National teams of experts are commissioned to collect the data for the report, and most national teams consult additional experts – do find out about your national team and do not hesitate to contribute your knowledge about access to the media!

Action for Cooperation and Change
Multilingual Information in Community Media

Community Media have taken up multilingual information in different circumstances. During earthquakes in New Zealand, it was the CM stations that were in contact with people and informed them in several languages about health and safety related issues (Beatty 2017,

In the spring of 2020, numerous CM have organised their volunteers - Radio LoRa in Switzerland even broadcast on how to broadcast remotely in five languages: (German, English, Italian, Spanish, Turkish)

And many were incredibly active in broadcasting information on Covid19 – find a small selection here:

Radio Dreyeckland, Germany: Was ist Covid-19 / What is Covid-19 (and how to prevent it): ( German, Arabic, Farsi, Setswana and French)


Radio Helsinki, Austria: Frequently asked questions - the daily Corona Update in German


Radio ARA, Luxembourg: Our news program with the latest updates on COVID-19 in Luxembourg in 9 languages (albanian, arabic, english, farsi, italian, portuguese, russian, spanish, tigrinya): on FM, 102.9 - 105.2 - Radio ARA, on and on our FB-Page Radio ARA / SALAM SHOW

New Neighbours trainings on multilingual broadcasting

Foto: Pawel Kaminski

Three training workshops are taking place in September and October in the framework of the EU-funded project New Neighbours. The CMFE workshops aim to empower more migrants and refugees, women in particular, to produce their own media contents on community media. Tools and techniques for multilingual broadcasting (using more than one language within the same program) will be a core element of the trainings, referring to materials developed by community radios and training institutions in the past fifteen years.

CMFE is working with three local partners in Italy, Slovenia and Spain who wish to strengthen the role of intercultural broadcasting in their organisations. The workshops will focus on core competencies such as presentation and interviewing but also on workable methodologies for creating intercultural programming teams and motivating volunteers from migrant communities.

The first training will take place at Radio Student in Ljubljana, Slovenia, one of the oldest community radio stations in Europe, with Birgitte Jallov, founder of Empowerhouse and CMFE President. The Catalan radio and TV station RTV Cardedeu near Barcelona, Spain, will host the second training with radio journalist Bianca Miglioretto, whereas the intercultural centre Fondazione Mondinsieme in Reggio Emilia, Italy, will close the circle with Refugee Radio Network founder Larry Macaulay. Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, CMFE and its partners have devised a training format composed of online and on-site elements. Training participants and local mentors will work together at the chosen locations, while the international trainers will join via online sessions.

We are also inviting the authors of the New Neighbours fact sheets on media and migration to present their research from the three countries and moderate a session on the topic of intercultural integration.

Finally, a special focus on changing the narrative on refugees and women will come via a session with Auriane Itangishaka, anchor of VOA Africa Our Voices, a TV round table discussion program with a pan-African cast of four women.

Radio training resources on multilingual broadcasting
Established in 2009, the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) works to empower civil society organisations and community groups with the tools to communicate their message to a wider audience. Through training and dedicated production support, equipment loan and access to a state-of-the-art production studio, CCMC promotes the benefits of community-based media by giving people the skills to be in control of their own messages. We believe that through our work we can be an example of best practice, aiding the establishment of a vibrant community media sector in Cyprus.

Based in the heart of Nicosia’s Buffer Zone, CCMC is accessible to all communities across the whole of Cyprus. We aim to act as a bridge between the mainstream media and civil society, and to facilitate the development of sustainable relationships between the media across the Cyprus divide.

Through our work we strive to be inclusive, collaborative, transparent, equitable and nonpartisan, promoting the creation and broadcasting of productions that contribute to community reconciliation, diversity and multiculturalism.

CCMC is a member of the Board of the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), the European-wide umbrella organisation for community media organisations, practitioners and academics. We are also active participants in the Council of Europe’s campaigns (MARS and MEDIANE) against racism and discrimination in the media.

Who are we in the CMFE? A monthly member portrait
Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC)

Programs in the native languages of minorities and migrants started appearing in European community radios in the 1980s. Underrepresented and marginalised by private and public service media, migrant groups identified alternative media projects as a natural channel to reach out to their communities. Producers were either individuals or associations, aiming to share relevant information and news in their mother tongue and clearly addressing the diaspora community as target audience.

Community radios thus evolved naturally into multicultural projects, where one would often hear statements like: ‘‘We broadcast in 12 different languages!”, ‘‘We have six Turkish programmes”, ‘‘We have 15 non-German speaking programmes.” Community radios were reflecting the diversity of the multicultural cities in which they were based, with several cultures and languages coexisting next to one another, but not necessarily communicating with one another.

In the late 1990s a group of radio activists from Austria, Germany and Switzerland started promoting closer cooperation between radio producers of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds through multilingual programming. The working group babelingo focused on how to conduct programs using two or more languages within the same program (multilingual programming) versus plurilingual programming (different programs in various native languages). Some of the methods implemented by the activists participating in the workshops were language hopping, the use of a bridge language or summarizing. The listeners could enjoy multilingual productions by broadcasters with different backgrounds, some of whom had never before used a language different than their own on air. This led to several joint projects to develop and implement intercultural radio training schemes and toolkits, which are still used today.

It became evident that intercultural programming could bring a number of benefits to volunteer-based organisations like community radios: a stronger cooperation between different sub-groups, a shared sense of responsibility for the organisation as a common project and the facilitation of participatory processes. Whilst multilingual methods are now included in most basic radio trainings offered to volunteers, specific funding from governmental authorities and private foundations is needed for more articulated intercultural projects. (from Spaces of Inclusion - An explorative study on needs of refugees and migrants in the domain of media communication and on responses by community media)

The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of resources on multilingual broadcasting:

  • SMART Specific Methodologies And Resources For Radio Trainers
  • RAWIK Radio Aus- und Weiterbildung im Interkulturellen Kontext, Union nicht-kommerzorientierter Lokalradios UNIKOM with Radioschule klipp+klang, Zurich (2012)
  • Interaudio Materialien für die interkulturelle Radioausbildung. Antje Schwarzmeier und Ulrike Werner. Hessische Landesanstalt für privaten Rundfunk, LPR Hessen (2007)
  • Inter.Media Intercultural Media Training in Europe. Handbuch für TrainerInnen, MitarbeiterInnen und RedakteurInnen. kopaed, München (2006)

More on CCMC
All that you did not know you might be missing...
COVID-19 resources

For resources - journalistic and financial - related to the Corona-virus outbreak, do go back to the CMFE April news letter here:

April 2020

 The CMFE Covid-19 member repository is found on a google drive, available for upload of change stories and information and for download of inspiration.

Global Community Media Dialogues
Join us September 17 at 2pm CET !!!

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 works closely with the Chair on the European dialogues.

All the recorded dialogues can be found here.

“Does the subaltern speak? Migrant voices in digital Europe” by Myria Georgiou:

This article examines a number of digital initiatives where refugees and migrants speak with/to Europe in the context of the “migration crisis.” The analysis of four institutional and grassroots initiatives illustrates digital Europe’s symbolic articulations of borders that divide people and territories.

Info & download
Handbook Media and Migration:
The SAGE Handbook of Media and Migration offers a comprehensive overview of media and migration through new research, as well as a review of present scholarship in this expanding and promising field. It explores key interdisciplinary concepts and methodologies, and how these are challenged by new realities and the links between contemporary migration patterns and its use of mediated processes. Although primarily grounded in media and communication studies, the Handbook builds on research in the fields of sociology, anthropology, political science, urban studies, science and technology studies, human rights, development studies, and gender and sexuality studies, to bring to the forefront key theories, concepts and methodological approaches to the study of the movement of people.

Info & download
From coexistence to cooperation: Experiments in intercultural broadcasting in Swiss community radios

Adriane Borger, Nadia Bellardi, Telematics and Informatics, Volume 27 Issue 2, May 2010

    An explorative study on needs of refugees and migrants in the domain of media communication and on responses by community media
    Spaces of Inclusion

    Birgitta Busch, Jonas Hassemer, Helmut Peissl, Salvatore Scifo, Nadia Bellardi, Council of Europe, 2018

    Interkulturelle Arbeit und Mehrsprachigkeit im Kontext Freier Medien
    Wer spricht

    Fiona Steinert, Helmut Peissl, Katja Weiss, Verband Freier Radios Österreich (2006)

    Handreichung für SendungsmacherInnen im nichtkommerziellen Rundfunk
    Lust auf Sprachen

    COMMIT (2016)

    Call for articles on local and community media

    Call for papers – Discussing local and community media | OJCMT journal - Deadline Sept 30 2020:

    More here
    Terra di Tutti Film Festival

    Since 2007 the Terra di Terra di Tutti Film Festival is a platform for documentary and social film productions shining a light on voices from the Southern hemisphere. This year the Festival takes place from October 6th to 11th with a combination on live events in Bologna, Italy and online sessions.

    Two sessions on media and diversity involve CMFE Board member Larry Macaulay from Refugee Radio Network:

    • · SEMINAR “Media and migration: exploring language and creating new narratives”
    • MASTERCLASS - “Let's Diversity - diversity and creativity in TV productions” in collaboration with the University of Bologna, moderated by Nadia Bellardi, CMFE

    October 8th from 9:00am

    October 8th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm

    Community Media Forum Europe -

    Rue de la Linière 11, Bruxelles

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