Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Letter from Seoul:Mediact

Thanks to many people's support..... Mr. Hee-moon Cho, the chairperson of KOFIC has been recently fired by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Toursim. (as of Nov. 8, 2010) He was absolutely responsible for all the problems and regressions that KOFIC has caused during last 1 year. So this dismissal surely means a victory when seen from the film/media movement's perspective but we need to see who will be the next person to take charge after him.  And moreover, KOFIC's 2011 budget plan contains many serious problems including total budget cutting of film production support for independent films and art films. MCST/KOFIC is also planning to run the media center and independent film theaters for themselves based on the low performance of these facitilies this year. This means a regression in terms of autonomous governance model of these public facilities, which used to be run by civil society so far.  And KOFIC doesn't seem to have enough capability of running these public media facilities well, either. So judging from KOFIC's current budget plan, it seems that 2011 will be another tough year.

Mediact is doing their best to survive and keep a hopeful spirit. Now we are trying to be more systematic in building a more sustainable operating structure and expanding our supporters and fundraising/revenue sources. For example, we are trying to get the status of "preliminary social enterprise" so that we can get fund from the Seoul City government. We are also contacting Mapogu local government if they can fund our activities, too. Of course, these are done with the perspective of advocating and strengthening public media policies and buidling networks with local civil organizations...

We are also keeping our eye on the 2011 budget of Korea Broadcasting and Communications Committee esp. regarding their participatory/citizen media related activities. Recently they have submitted 2011 budget plan which contains budget cutting of public access program by 40% from 2.5 million USD in 2010 to 1.5 million USD in 2011...

And besides working for winning public funds, we are also considering fundraising from the private sector such as enterprise sponsorships.We are considering over the implications and terms of these sponsorships...

We are also trying to expand our individual supporters. We have now reached 120 regular donors who submit a monthly payment. I hope you guys can spread the word and recommend your friends for possible monetary support for MediACT using fb MediACT 3.0 Cause page.

And celebrating our 200th day of survival since the re-opening in Sangam-dong, we are having a little event with our supporters on December 19th, 2010.  (Actually the exact date of 200th is Nov. 29 but we needed some time to prepare for the event because we wanted to involve our community members in the preparation stage.)  On this day, we will be holding a flea market and a screening of films made by Mediact students.

So these are some of the current news about Mediact and its struggle. Hope this was of interest to you and please forward the message to those who would be interested in.
best regards,
jihyun kim
Media policy and research dept.


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