Monday, September 8, 2008
Community Media Study Released by Council of Europe
The Council of Europe recently released a study, 'Promoting social cohesion. The role of community media', authored by Peter Lewis.
The pdf is located at: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/media/MC-S-MD/H-Inf(2008)013_en.pdf
In the report, it is suggested that the Council of Europe should encourage member states to:
• create legislative infrastructure, without which community media cannot develop;
• preserve analogue frequencies that may in some countries continue to be needed after the digital switchover, and to ensure that community media are not disadvantaged in the digital environment;
• recognise the social value of community media and its role as a form of local public service by committing funds to support the sector, both directly, with schemes such as the French levy on the commercial audiovisual sector (FSER), the allocation of a portion of the licence fee (Ireland, some German Länder) or by lowering the cost of licences, and indirectly, through funding
projects as part of government programmes directed towards health, community development, education, social inclusion, support for minority ethnic communities, etc.
• commissioning studies of best practice in community media, surveys of emerging needs such as multicultural programming
and audience research on the Australian model;
• supporting a trans-European network to monitor policy, a community media observatory;
• encouraging training schemes as part of lifelong learning and media literacy;
• supporting programme exchange within the European community media sector and beyond, with regions which are the “homelands” of diasporic communities;