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June 2020 Newsletter

Community Media

Countering Racism & Discrimination

Black lives matter demonstration in London in solidarity with the US movement

While 'Black lives matter' has swept the world - including Europe - few of us are left without a heigthened awareness of the history and rooting of structural racism in the US and what it means to societies everywhere - including Europe, where racial inequalities range from overt police violence to more systemic issues. In a UK overview we learn that Black people are arrested at more than three times the rate of white people in England and Wales, and that an undercurrent of economic and social inequality  flows through society, affecting households from Black African communities the most.

We knew already that Community Media are powerful channels for dialogue and understanding during periods of crisis - now so strongly documented during the Corona emergency. We all have a strong challenge to also use that power now!

June's newsletter has a focus on one of CMFE's priority projects in the field of countering racism, namely 'New Neighbours'. It is the last in a series of projects where CMFE has engaged with other partners in enhancing the media industry's abiity to adopt diversity and non-discrimination as its core principles.

We also this month present information of relevance to community media in our other strategic priority areas 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 Membership fee - 10% discount

If you have not yet benefited from the early bird discount, you still have two weeks left: Pay your membership fee before the end of June and save 10%.

CMFE Newsletters
Past newsletters
Strengthening an enabling environment
EC fights back against Hungarian lock-down - also of free expression

European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova, wearing a protective face mask, attends a debate on Rule of Law in Hungary during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 14 May 2020. [EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET]

As reported earlier, the last community radio on air in Hungary was turned off by the authorities in December last year. Since then - partly under the disguise of Covid-19 protection - the Orban-regime has continued to tighten not only the space for citizens' voices, but all civil liberties.

In May, authorities passed a new regulation, which allows national authorities to restrict data rights “by way of a legislative measure.”

To this, Máté Szabó of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union
responded that “We believe that this modification was not necessary to maintain quarantine rules, as the amendment does not make possible the collection or monitoring of data but concerns the restriction of rights to information, rectification, erasure and the right to protest, as well as the postponement of enforcement.”

Jourová said that the Commission expects Hungary “to come along with the other member states, to release confinement measures and to come back to at least the old normal.”

We will keep you posted!

A community media advocate at the helm of IAMCR

Nico Carpentier, IAMCR president-elect

CMFE congratulates the result of the elections of new leadership of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). We are pleased to note that Nico Carpentier, who will lead the organisation for the coming years, is an active member of the CMFE Experts Group, who key-noted our Community Media session in Siena last year together with Caroline Mitchell.

We trust that having Nico at the forefront of the IAMCR's work will secure the needed space - also at policy level - for community and alternative media.

Community Communication and Alternative Media (CAM)

At the same time we congratulate the new leadership of 'our' IAMCR section, Community Communication and Alternative Media (CAM):
Co-Chair: Andrea Medrado
Co-Chair: Vinod Pavarala (UNESCO Chair on Community Media / University of Hyderabad, India).

CMFE wishes you much success and looks forward to collaborate with you all in addressing the many pressing issues for our sector specifically, and for freedom of the press in general!

More info
Action for Cooperation and Change

If you haven’t yet looked into our New Neighbours project, now is definitely the time to do so! As protests against systemic racism and discrimination sweep through cities and countries around the world, we are reminded that change needs to start with us.

New Neighbours works with:

    • Public service media
    • Community media
    • Civil society organisations

to challenge stereotypes and expose commonly held myths, placing migrant voices at the heart of discussions on migration and delivering innovative messaging in order to help promote the integration of migrants into local communities.

Led by the European Broadcasting Union, the project will run until the end of March 2021 and has produced the third edition of the documentary film series New Neighbours, involving 9 European Public Service Broadcasters from Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal.

The films explore real stories of new encounters between ‘locals’ and ‘newly arrived’ citizens, showing the complexities and richness of intercultural integration processes. In the development of the series, the broadcasters cooperated with local civil society and community media organisations in order to explore creative angles and ideas.

Alongside the film productions, a series of complementary productions, trainings and research activities are taking place, under the responsibility of the project partners CMFE – Community Media Forum Europe, COMMIT, COSPE Onlus and MDI – Media Diversity Institute.

In this edition of the CMFE newsletter we are putting a spotlight on the New Neighbours documentaries, which build the heart of the project. All nine films are being made available one after another via – read more about them in the following articles!

In the Ghost Town

The NEW NEIGHBOURS film journey starts in Sutera

Co-produced by RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana and the EBU Intercultural and Diversity Group, “In the Ghost Town” follows John and his family who arrive to Sicily from Nigeria and meet their local neighbour Franco. Their fragile relationship reveals how meeting one other is always the first step in breaking prejudices.

Situated at the foot of a mountain, Sutera in Sicily has no more than 1000 inhabitants, mostly elderly. Life in Sutera is tough: there are no jobs. And like many Sicilian towns, Sutera is a doorway and a gate to Europe for people who come from Africa. In 2013, after one of the deadliest migrant tragedies, Sutera’s municipality was asked to bury almost 400 victims. But Sutera’s cemetery was full, so the Major of the village decided to do something crucial for the living. Sutera became a new home of the survivors.

According to RAI’s chief editor and scriptwriter Daniela Attilini, “New Neighbours is an incredible experience. Not only for the meaning of the documentary but also because co-productions are the future. I think that we must work together. To be European means to be a team, with all the differences and richness that it entails.”

You can watch “In the Ghost Town” subtitled in

English here
Across the Road – Worlds Apart

The documentary by EBU-DW pays tribute to the unforgettable Eva Sternheim-Peters

The New Neighbours journey takes us from the ghost town of Sutera, Sicily, to the metropolis of Berlin and its new Syrian residents. Across the Road – Worlds Apart” by EBU-DW pays tribute to the unforgettable life of Eva Sternheim-Peters and documents her friendship with Syrian refugee Amer Kassab.

At the age of ten Mrs Sternheim-Peters joined the league of German Girls, the girl’s wing of the Nazi party’s youth movement. She afterwards recognised the horror of the movement and spent her life welcoming people from all around the world in her apartment. Her last “roommate” was Syrian refugee Amer Kassab. The film follows Amer as he visits a German pub frequented by local regulars opposing Muslim newcomers. Will the encounter with Amer shift their views?

Dasa Raimanova, film director, recounts a memorable moment of the shooting:

During a severe heat wave in Berlin, together with our protagonists, Eva (94) and Amer (27), we visited the concentration camp Sachsenhausen. It was a harrowing experience, difficult to describe in words. While we were mostly worried about Eva managing in the heat, quite the opposite happened: Amer and the crew were melting while Eva kept going without complaining even once about the heat.

    Eva Sternheim-Peters died in 2020 as one of the victims of the corona virus pandemic in Germany. The co-production team of the New Neighbours series is proud and grateful to have managed to capture part of Eva’s life on camera.

    You can watch “Across the Road – Worlds Apart” subtitled in:

    English here
    One Step Closer

    The Slovenian New Neighbours documentary captures the power of hugging our neighbours

    One Step Closer”, the third episode of the New Neighbours film series to be released online, holds a small surprise and teaches us that happiness can take a long and winding road, even if you’ve never left your home country. Co-produced by the EBU Intercultural and Diversity Group and RTV Slovenia, the documentary follows a Kurdish family of six in their encounters with the new Slovenian neighbours.

    The Hasan Khalils had a good life in Syria. Romat was a childcare worker and her husband Ismail was a tailor. When the war broke out, they had to flee with their two children to save their lives. They left everything behind: their family, house, friends… They have been on a journey without a known destination for eight years – Iraq, Turkey, Greece. During that time, two other sons were born. They have lived in Slovenia for the past three years and built their new lives there.

    Their Slovenian neighbour, Zinka, explains that many people from the city have moved to the village in recent years. She tells us that they have no problems with the new Syrian neighbours. She confirms that they don’t know each other and have only fleeting encounters. This can stay unchanged for an unknown period of time, since Slovenes mostly don’t establish more profound ties with neighbours. But Zinka has a story of her own to tell…

    You can watch “One Step Closer” subtitled in:

    English here

    The Belgian New Neighbours film shows us that women can change the world

    In “Danielle’s Choice”, Belgian film director Safia Kessas followed an extraordinary woman who opened her house to refugees. Why Danielle? “Because despite obstacles, she follows her choices to the end, she is an active citizen who resists” says Safia.

    Danielle – because the most welcoming people are women and in Europe they are the ones we see on the screen the least. Danielle – because she is a strong, courageous and determined woman who shows us the human face of migration. Co-produced by the EBU Intercultural and Diversity Group and RTBF, the documentary tells her story as she joins a platform of volunteers helping new refugees find accommodation and get on their feet. But in the process, Danielle’s own family is left feeling forgotten. How can she reconcile her need to be a part of her own family, while creating a new one?

    Danielle’s Choice had its premiere at the Centre for Fine Arts Bozar in Brussels on the occasion of the World TV day in November 2019. After the festival "Elles tournent" in January and the "Millenium" festival in March, the film was selected in April of this year for the ONE Country ONE Film international film festival as the only representative for Belgium in the short film category. Each year, one country is honoured, and several films are selected from that country. Since its creation in 2010, ONE Country ONE Film has selected 111 countries.

    You can watch “Danielle’s Choice” subtitled in English here.

    New Neighbours interviews:
    Expert Talks on Media and Migration

    For the New Neighbours project, project partner COMMIT commissioned a series of interviews on media, migration and integration issues to local researchers in different European countries. The talks provide expert analyses and perspectives on the reporting and portrayal of refugees and migrants in the media and complement the country-specific Fact sheets.

    We invite you to read more about the issue around media and migration in some of the countries where the documentary films have been produced. Read more here.

    Annalisa Camilli is one of the film makers - an award-winning Italian journalist.

    New Neighbours thematic focus ends here

    How do Somali diaspora remember or reimagine this once cosmopolitan city?

    "Mogadishu is a city that exists in the stories of its inhabitants, now displaced in various parts of the world, and only thanks to their memories can it be reconstructed." - Shirin Ramzanali Fazel, author, Far from Mogadishu

    This short documentary offers an intimate portrait and unprecedented glimpse into the lives (past and present) of those who have been forcibly displaced by political instability and conflict. Ultimately, this film reveals the realities of how members of the Somali diaspora in Canada reconstruct and reconcile their memories of a once cosmopolitan city.

    Historical dialogue offers a significant opportunity to confront the past, find connections with one another, share personal truths and facilitate healing. Ultimately, the film reveals the realities of how post-conflict societies reconstruct and reconcile their memories.

    Please help share their stories by sharing this film with your network and joining the conversation on social media via the channels below.

    To watch the full film on the Memories of Mogadishu, cick:




    Who are we in the CMFE? A monthly member portrait
    Red de Medios Comunitarios (Spain)

    The ReMC was born with the mission “to promote and defend Human Rights and the democratic principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with special reference to freedom of expression and the Right to Communication as fundamental rights for the exercise and development of other rights “, as it appears in its statutes (ReMC, 2009).

    The ReMC is a space that brings together, coordinates and defends the aims of a variety of media, initiatives and communication practices within the so-called Third Sector of Communication (AMARC, 2008) in Spain. Our activity began in 2005 promoted by various community radio and television projects but we legally constituted as an associations on  May 24, 2009.

    More on ReMC
    All that you did not know you might be missing...
    C L A S S I F I E D S
    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

     CMFE has also prepared a member repository on a google drive, available for upload of change stories and information - and for download of inspiration.

    Global Community Media Dialogues

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

    • South Asia on June 16;
    • Australia on June 23;
    • UK and Ireland on July 3.
    • Eastern & Southern Africa, TBC
    • Western & Central Africa, TBC
    • Latin America, TBC
    • Europe, TBC (CMFE on board, waiting for more).

    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.

    See below the poster for the first dialogue - tomorrow:


    Shared responsibility: Safeguarding press freedom in perilous times

    International Media Support has since 2003 worked in more than 30 countries across four continents promiting press freedom, good journalism and safety for journalists. IMS is the biggest media development organisation in the Nordic region and works in more than 30 countries across four continents promoting press freedom, good journalism and safety for journalists.

    Building on previous IMS research and drawing on country experiences predominately in Afghanistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Somalia and the Philippines, this report identifies the challenges for developing national plans for safety of journalists and how stakeholders are tackling them. Five major points addressed in this report concern gaining engagement by state actors in safety of journalists, uniting and focusing efforts of disparate stakeholders into a durable, well-anchored structure, increasing commitment by the media sector to safety of journalists, integrating a gender perspective throughout safety mechanisms and supporting stronger tools for combating impunity.

    Info & download
    Media Viability Indicators - evaluating individual media outlets or entire information eco-systems.

    DW: Media Viability Indicators (MVIs) provide a practical tool that allow media managers, media development experts, donors and academics to gather data and evidence sorely needed for more effective strategies––by evaluating individual media outlets or entire information ecosystems. The framework considers a range of aspects covering politics, economics, communities, technology, and content.

    You can download the Discussion Paper, a full list of indicators and a detailed methodology below:


    Info & download
    Call for articles on local and community media

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

    More here
    Open call for "(Audio) Moves”

    The SONOHR Radio & Podcast Festival in Bern is asking: how does audio move (us)?

    For the next Festival edition (26 to 28 February 2021), SONOHR is looking for submissions that demonstrate the varied ways in which movement can be translated into sound or that put people in motion in public spaces.

    • Audio pieces up to 20 minutes max.
    • Live formats such as performances, interactive session, live podcasts up to 60 minutes max.
    • Innovative formats, audio- and soundwalks, audio games or similar layouts that can either be experienced regardless of location or are flexible enough to be adapted to Bern

    If you are a producer or author of audio pieces, radio features, podcasts or audio art, a sound researcher, trainer or inventor of rich, new sound formats, you can submit until August 3 here or contact for more information.

    Know your trolls!!!

    ‘Know your trolls’ courses on tackling online harassment - "Know your trolls" - include tools for journalists to help identify their online abusers and the tactics they use.

    Courses in different languages including English, Arabic and Spanish, are annonced on an ongoing basis through the link below:

    Direct link
    World Forum for Democracy

    Civil society is invited to take part in work to realise the Sustainable Development Goal 16 on building just and peaceful societies in Strasbourg, 16-18 November 2020. Something for you? Read on:

    Initiated in 2012, the World Forum for Democracy is a platform for dialogue and innovation in democratic governance, which promotes the Council of Europe principles across the world. A unique event of its kind, it addresses key CHALLENGES facing democracy taking as a starting point ground-breaking initiatives, and fostering debate between different actors in order to find concrete SOLUTIONS. A democratic exercise in itself, the Forum aims at giving the people – demos – their rightful place in political decision-making. It thus contributes to the evolution of democracy towards more participatory and inclusive structures and institutions, and to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 on building just and peaceful societies.

    Read more
    CMMA Conference postponed for a full year - See you then!
    Community Media Forum Europe -

    Rue de la Linière 11, Bruxelles

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