Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prometheus Radio Barn Raising, Hudson, NY

The transmitter takes flight.
Andrew Lynn interviews Sakura Saunders as the Sanctuary for Independent Media covers the 
barnraising raising in Hudson, NY
Kaya of WGXC speaks with The Sanctuary for Independent Media
Prometheus' 12th Radio Barnraising   September 24th- 26th in Hudson, NY with WGXC: Hands on Radio.!

Workshop participants build transmitters and puppets for the parade.
More information:  

Those workshops look great
WGXC volunteers pouring over the barnraising schedule
Friday, Sept. 24
Noon-1 p.m.
Automation: The In/Visible Programmer
Nick Ring (WBCR)
Automation system keeps the music and the programming going even when you can’t have a live DJ in the studio. Learn how automation can help your station be on the air ‘round the clock.
Drawing out the Wisdom in Groups and Meetings
Cory Fischer-Hoffman (Prometheus), Andy Turner (Cornell Cooperative Extension/WGXC)
This workshop is designed to give people the opportunity to explore different tools for working with groups. Through participatory exercises, sharing, and reflections we will learn together about techniques that can be useful in any group, and especially when facilitating or leading workshops. Anyone who wants to begin to build on their skills for working with groups as well as experienced facilitators are welcome.
The Campaign for More Low Power Radio
Pete Tridish (Prometheus), Diane Foglizzo
The Local Community Radio Act is getting close to the finish line! The bill has only a few months to pass before the legislative session ends, and we would have to start from scratch. If you would like to start a community radio station in your town, or want your LPFM station to be treated with more respect by the government, this is the workshop for you! Learn more about how you can get involved to help pass the LPFM bill once and for all, and also view testimonials from the People Powered Radio Project.
The Nuts and Bolts of Building Your Base
Twa-le Abrahamson, Kaya Weidman (WGXC)
Is anyone listening? Facilitated discussion about strategies for diversifying listener and membership base for a community radio station.
Radio Theater Workshop
Andrew Joffe (WGXC)
Radio Theatre is a key component of any community radio station. station. Thespians and non-theatre people alike, come join us to help to produce a radio play for our opening broadcast on Sunday! You can then utilize all your radio drama experience to produce radio in your own communities.
3-4:45 p.m.
Build an Itty Bitty Transmitter, Part 1
Pete Tridish, Allan Gomez, Sharp Hall
This is a hands on workshop where we will build some of Tetsuo Kogawa’s “simplest transmitters.” These transmitters have 12 parts and run on a nine-volt battery. They have a microphone and can be hooked up to an audio source and broadcast up to about 30 feet, if the wind is blowing right. They are great for learning the building blocks of radio electronics. We will also work on slightly larger versions which will be used in the launch event.
Hosting a Show and Sounding Good
Karen Michel, Sakura Saunders
What’s the role of a radio host? How much is pre-scripted, how much extemporaneous, how much does it matter? Differences between dj-ing, talk, and news shows. Using your voice to create conversation and a connection with the audience: some voice exercises, some practice.
Prison Radio: Connecting Families
Nick Szuberla, Lillie Branch-Kennedy, Marcie Crim Thousand Kites
Join this exciting workshop that explores the power and impact of producing grassroots programming for those inside our nation’s prisons. Learn strategies for working with families and friends of prisoners in a process of creating powerful cultural and human rights programming that bring communities together. Participants will learn approaches to building local community support, as well as outreach strategies to prisoner families, corrections staff, and prisoners. Media examples, and stories, will be shared, along with a series of hands on exercises that will explore different approaches for creating programming for your station.
Fighting Poverty and Media Injustice
Aliza Dichter, Tina Sharpe, Antoine Haywood
What’s needed to solve poverty-related problems in our region, and what’s the media role? From phone costs and affordable internet to information access and media coverage, what are the issues for our neighbors struggling to become self-sufficient and improve their life conditions? What can we do as community media builders?

Saturday, Sept. 25

9:15 – 11 a.m.

Build an Itty Bitty Transmitter, Part 2
Pete Tridish, Tianna Kennedy (free103point9)
This is a hands on workshop where we will build some of Tetsuo Kogawa’s “simplest transmitters.” These transmitters have 12 parts and run on a nine-volt battery. They have a microphone and can be hooked up to an audio source and broadcast up to about 30 feet, if the wind is blowing right. They are great for learning the building blocks of radio electronics. We will also work on slightly larger versions which will be used in the launch event.
Covering the Distance: Rising to the Challenge of Rural News Coverage
Paul Smart (WGXC), Lisa Phillips
Rural news unfolds at its own pace in a somewhat archaic mix of monthly meetings, sudden news events, cultural activities, and corrosive rumors. Yet today’s listeners also want to hear the loud issues of the day reflected in what they hear. This seminar presentation by two veteran rural news editors and reporters, from both the print and radio worlds, will explore the ways in which rural population’s news needs are met in an entertaining and enlightening fashion, highlighting the many challenges inherent in this often-overlooked niche market. Facilitated discussion will expand the workshop’s horizons to engage participants’ questions and suggestions.
Interviewing and Recording for Community News
Anabel Khoo, Candace Mooers
Learn how to present a focused brief news/current affairs radio interview that inspires social change. It includes a section on pre-interviews, the difference between a topic and a focus, how to order your questions, and interviewer etiquette for allied media-makers. Also, learn how to capture the best sounds for radio using a digital recorder. Participants can attend the Digital Editing workshop to learn how to edit their pieces.
Legal Clinic for Non-commercial Broadcasters
Michael Couzens, Alan Korn
Key Legal Topics, Mainly Intended for Programmers and Hosts: Indecency – Safe Harbor – Underwriting Announcements – Political Broadcasting – Copyright – Program Ownership – Libel and Slander – FCC Record
Keeping and Compliance – Using the FCC Data Base and FCC Web Site.
The Long March to Community Media
DeeDee Halleck, Nicole Hummel
Community media can take many forms– from scroll painting singers who go village to village in India to laser graffiti against the World Bank in Korea. This workshop will see samples and discuss how people around the world communicate to their villages and barrios.
Listen Up!
Karen Michel, Adi Gevins
We are our own worst critics. In Listen Up! participants will bring work in progress, completed work, ideas to hear and discuss. Adi and Karen will also bring some pieces they think are transcendent radio to listen to and
feed from. Please note this workshop will not be at St. Mary’s but instead take place nearby at 348 Warren St Hudson, NY 12534
11:15 a.m.– 1 p.m.
Antenna Masts, Towers and Poles
Al Davis (WGXC), Alan Gomez
The most important factor in radio coverage is height of antenna. So how are you going to hold that thing up? Get the skinny on tall things.
Volunteer Love: Preventing Burnout
Aliza Dichter, Sandra Valentin
A strategy session to develop recommendations for the radio station and other groups on how to support and sustain each other as volunteers, plus ideas for groups and services that can help.
Oral History Workshop: Method and Practice
Suzanne Snider
The workshop will be a whirl-wind tour of all that oral history has to offer us. We’ll cover interview techniques, ethics, and oral history project design, with an eye/ear toward the exciting ways in which radio can make use of oral history and vice versa. We’ll discuss life histories, community histories, family histories, institutional histories, testimony, and other sub-categories, while looking at the range of subjects that oral history can address (public health, war crimes, gentrification, memory…). I’ll be introducing some innovative and unusual project designs, including the oral history chain letter.
Radio as a Tool to Organize and Build Community/Radio: una Herramienta para Construir Comunidad
Oscar Otzoy, John Jairo, Candace Mooers, Andalusia Knoll (Prometheus)
What is community radio’s role in community transformation? How are radio stations across the country using innovative programming to strengthen community organizing? In this bilingual session, Oscar Otzoy
from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers will speak about the role their LPFM station Radio Conciencia has played in their fight for economic justice, John Jairo from Radio Callejera will share stories about radio and immigrant rights and Candace Mooers will talk about the role radio plays in Anti-Poverty organizing in Canada. This discussion will be moderated by Andalusia Knoll of the Prometheus Radio Project. Participants will walk away prepared to utilize radio in their hometowns in ways that serve to catalyze community engagement and empowerment.
Start a Summer Radio Camp for Youth
Aaron Lakoff, Neil Griffith
This workshop will cover the ins and outs of creating a fun and enriching summer program for youth at your community radio station. For the last two years, CKUT radio in Montreal has been running week-long sessions for teen-agers to come in, get hands on experience, and go on the air with their own productions. The camp councilors from CKUT will share their experiences with this radio camp (and some audio clips of the kids’ productions too) in the hopes of inspiring other stations to start their own.
Get on FM: Legal and Tech Clinic
Gavin Dahl
Representatives from groups with FCC construction permits will have the opportunity to ask experienced engineers and attorneys all their legal and technical questions. What does the FCC think about this? How do you get your signal over a mountain?
1–2 p.m.
NCE Full Power Caucus
This will be an opportunity for new NCE Full Power stations to share their experiences applying for licenses, getting CP’s and getting on air including challenges, success stories and more in an informal lunch caucus setting.
2–3:45 p.m.
Building Your Station’s Web Presence
Galen Joseph-Hunter (free103point9), Gabriel Farrell (WGXC)
How do you integrate your website into your general station operations and engage your audience through it? How do you link it to social media, live and pre-recorded programs, community calendars and more. Listen to
a few case studies of stations similar to yours who have built themselves successful websites and online communities and are developing new programming using online technology.
Calm Down, Breath, Now Let’s Talk About the Conflict
Erubiel Valladares Carranza II, Melissa Roberts Weidman
This is a workshop that is interactive with attendees; Warning! high emotions, some profanity and a new way to learn and most importantly having fun while doing so. Conflict inevitably arises in every organization and
project, and radio stations are no exception! It’s how we deal with and address those conflicts that make the difference in whether they become crises that wear people out, or opportunities to learn and grow the relationships that make a project flourish. Come learn about conflict resolution techniques and communication strategies from some folks who’ve worked as mediators, and first hand from a member of KPCN in Woodburn, OR about conflicts that have arisen there and how they’ve dealt with them. This will be an interactive participatory workshop.
Organizing Your News Department
Vanessa Graber, Molly Stentz
To prepare newsroom producers and aspiring newsies for planning, producing, and leading an effective community news operation.
Making Policy that Works for Us
Brandy Doyle
How will communities access spectrum in the future? Who should be eligible for an LPFM license? What can we do to protect our stations from encroachment? This workshop will focus on the policy issues that matter most to this community. After tallying the votes for a participatory workshop agenda, we’ll facilitate a conversation about our shared priorities and policy goals.
Youth Radio
Emily Bennison
For teens interested in learning how to produce a radio show, this is the workshop for you! Brainstorm ideas for show segments, listen to examples from other youth producers, hear from experienced producers, and practice making radio.
4–5:45 p.m.
Intro to Audio
Stephanie Alarcon, Robin Collier
What are all these audio plugs and how do they work? How does my voice get from a microphone to speakers? How can I keep feedback from ruining my day, and why can I use headphones as a mic in a pinch? Come learn the basic science of sound, how to wire up a mixer, and how to troubleshoot common audio problems. We promise that by the end you’ll know an RCA cable from an XLR.
Behind the Scenes: Community Approaches to Radio Governance
Norm Stockwell, Sharmeen Khan
You got the license, the equipment and the people but how do you organize the station? This workshop will look at various ways of organizing the structure of your station, governance models and ways of getting things done. This workshop will also address how to create egalitarian and empowering stations when you have a combination of staff, volunteers and board members.
Digital Editing with Free Software/ Edicion Digital con Software Libre
Ana Martina, Vanessa Graber
In this workshop you’re going to experiment mixing and editing sounds, and words, the raw material radio!! Create your own audio collage with a free software open source, you don’t have to pay or have any brand computer to create your audio masterpiece! Close your eyes and open your ears. Ideal for those who attended the interviewing workshop who can then learn to edit their pieces.
En este taller vas a experimentar con mezclando y editando sonidos y palabras. Puedes crear su propio arte de colaje con software que es gratis. Sierra sus ojos y abran sus orejas. Este taller es ideal para los que van
a asistir al taller de intrevistas porque pueden aprender como editar sus piezas.
Inclusive Media in Divided Communities
Marcie Crim (WMMT)
This workshop will focus on the ways WMMT is in constant negotiations with staff, programmers, and listeners in order to be truly “fair and balanced” in an extremely polarized region.
Hacked FM Transmitters: ExiTrip
Ed Bear, Lea Bertucci (free103point9 Fellows)
For this workshop, we will teach participants to hack the iTrip Nano so it will work with audio inputs other than the iPod. By repurposing this device, we give new life to an otherwise obsolete generation of consumer electronics, expanding its potential for subversive and creative actions. No prior electronics experience is necessary.
¿No pasa naranja? La noticia explicada
Mariel Fiori (Bard College, WGXC)
Todo periodismo empieza con la noticia ¿Pero qué es la noticia? ¿Lo que se lee en los diarios? ¿Lo que el editor dice que es noticia? ¿Cómo se escribe una noticia? ¿Qué es la estructura de la pirámide invertida? A través de ejercicios prácticos y divertidos en el taller responderé a estas preguntas, y otras que puedan tener los participantes.

Sunday, Sept. 26

9:15-11 a.m.

Streaming and Podcasting
Ana Martina, Fred Nagel
In this workshop you are going to learn how to do audio streaming, that means to broadcast live to all listeners with access to internet in the world. Also you will set up your Podcast, so if listeners don’t have time to be in front of a computer, they can just download your show, and take it with them in their audio device.
Grassroots Fundraising Strategies
Twa-le Abrahamson, Norm Stockwell
Most community stations do it. So should you. For many stations, this is the biggest fundraising strategy and the way they acquire the most new members. When you’re trying to reach people, remember, you run a radio station. Get on the air and ask for what you need! We will provide an overview of the questions your group needs to ask and the preparations that need to be made before undertaking this. We will also have some short video clips from an on-air fund drive that has taken place a week before this training event at a community radio station in Spokane, WA.
We Begin by Listening: Methods of Transformative Community Organizing
Diana J Nucera (Allied Media Projects)
Allied Media Projects (AMP) has been bringing people together to share models for how community media can be used for community transformation. Over the past 12 years we have learned form our network that the best strategies are rooted in a set of shared principles. The most import of these principles is: “We begin by listening.” In this workshop we will use popular education to break down the principles that guide the AMP network and share examples of what these principles look like in practice.
Asuntos Comunitarios
Jose and Rosa Briceño
Asuntos Comunitarios. Una charla que toca estas temas: ¿Como podemos ayudar nuestra comunidades? ¿Como podemos usar este opportunidad del radio?
Brainwave Music
Zach Layton
An introduction to brainwave music, this workshop will introduce, display and sonify brainwave data. Participants will be given an opportunity to make music with their brainwaves, learn about the different rhythms that correspond to various states of relaxation and explore concepts of mental telepathy through the interface between radio transmission and biofeedback.
11:15 a.m.-1 p.m.
Studio Transmitter Links: How to Get the Audio From Here to There
Andy Gunn
The methods for sending audio from a radio studio to the transmitter site have expanded and changed over the years. As Plain Old Telephone Service fades in to history, what are our options for the future? What won’t break the bank? What can we do ourselves, and when do we have to pay for it?
Diversity and Power-Sharing at Community Radio Stations
Nan Rubin, Sharmeen Khan
Because community radio stations rely on a large and diverse cohort of volunteers, there is always a question of where the power rests over policy and programming decision-making. Often there are equal but conflicting interests jockeying for control, and entrenched positions which keep people away can be hard to alter. How can community radio stations address accessibility and diverse political interests that are empowering and fulfill the mandate for ‘alternative’ radio? This workshop will examine how different community radio stations approach diversity and anti-oppression through policy, practice and programming. Hear stories of workshops, programming decisions and other approaches, along with their outcomes -– both positive and negative -– in efforts to strengthen the responsiveness and access of various interest groups to a community voice.
Writing for Radio
Selina Musuta, Adi Gevins
Writing for radio’s special, not like writing for print, blog or TV. We’ll explore writing with sound, leading with the ear not the eye. We’ll discuss truthfulness vs. truthiness; balance, perspective, and voice. We’ll play with painting pictures, setting scenes, and presenting characters. We’ll also talk about the role & character of the reporter/narrator/host. Be ready for sharing: Discussion, Small Groups, and Exercises.
Experiencias de Radios Hispanas
Juan Basilio Sanchez
A traves de este taller los participantes podran exponer sus logros, sus obstaculos, el caracter participativo de los esfuerzos y los retos en un país, en el que la cantidad de medios de comunicacion, no se corresponden con la cantidad de hispanos recidentes.
Circuit Sniffing
Philip Stearns
Electronic devices silently emit gobs of electromagnetic energy, their signals leaking out into public space and permeating the world around us. In this workshop you’ll learn how to make “Circuit Sniffing” devices that let you literally listen to what is going on inside a circuit! Once we’ve put together our circuit sniffers, we’ll create an improvised musical performance using the electronic devices we have available to us in the workshop environment.
Young Producers Project
Jeremy Thal, GideonCrevoshay
In this workshop, young Hudsonites will develop a one-minute radio short, featuring music, poetry, and interviews. We’ll learn how to record, edit, and mix sounds using Ableton Live. This workshop is for youth only.

1-2 p.m.
LPFM Caucus
This will be an opportunity for Low Power FM stations to share experiences, challenges, success stories, jokes, stickers and more in an informal lunch caucus setting.
2-3 p.m.
PTFP Clinic
Nan Rubin
PTF-what? Interested in learning more about this federally funded program for public radio stations? PTFP expert Nan Rubin will be on hand to explain this funding opportunity and answer questions.
Insights Into Hispanics in the Hudson Valley
Mariel Fiori
Are you aware to what extent Hispanics influence life in our counties and what services and programs these Hispanics are being offered? Find out more on Sunday, September 26. Mariel Fiori, journalist and three time recipient of the Ippie award for best overall design from the New York Community Media Alliance, will be speaking both about her magazine, La Voz, as well as her insight into the Hispanic presence in the Hudson Valley.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Argentina: Classes in the Streets as Students Protest; Overview of Media Legislation

Occupations by secondary school and university students
 Buenos Aires, September 2010. 
A video by Michael Chanan.
Students take to the streets
Students in Buenos Aires have taken to the streets in protest against the appalling conditions to be found in many of the city’s schools. A lack of heating in the cold winter just coming to an end has brought to a head a state of neglect which has been building up for several years. In the inimitable style of Argentine tradition, there have not only been occupations of at one point as many as forty of the city’s secondary schools, but classes have been taking place in the street. The protests have been going on for a month, and have now been been joined by university students belonging to several faculties where buildings are in similarly bad condition.

This was not what I was expecting to find when I arrived in Buenos Aires to give a talk about teaching documentary at an event promoted by the Ministry of Education and intended primarily as a showcase for creative practices in the universities. I was also supposed to be speaking at the University of Buenos Aires, which was cancelled when Social Sciences, the faculty where this was due to take place, was occupied when a window fell on one of the students. So instead I go to film the occupation, and the demonstration being mounted outside the Ministry of Education....

What I did expect was debate about the new audiovisual law introduced by la Presidenta, Cristina Kirchner, which is exercising the numerous film departments in universities up and down the country because the universities are among the beneficiaries. On the face of it, the measures appear progressive. The object of the new law is to limit the monopoly of the two leading media groups belonging to the newspapers Clarín and La Nación, and to promote plurality and diversity by allocating television channels to non-profit organizations, including unions, human rights groups, churches and universities. However, there are several catches which reveal the peculiar nature of what is called Kirchnerismo (Cristina’s husband having been President before her).

Supposedly the Kirchners belong to the Peronist movement, but since Peronism is extremely difficult to define—it has its own left and right wings—this leaves plenty of room for political vacillation. Moreover, Kirchnerismo does nothing to counter a high level of corruption among politicians. I am told, for example, that what lies behind the schools crisis is that Mauricio Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires, has appropriated huge sums of money to support his campaign for next year’s presidential elections, thus reducing the city’s education budget to a few per cent of what it’s supposed to be. The students are trying to obtain commitments for a programme of works to put the schools in order and remain dissatisfied with what has been promised so far, so for the moment the occupations continue—and indeed La Presidenta herself has given the schools protest her approval (but not that of the university students, because the universities fall under the national budget, not that of the city).

The story behind the new audiovisual law is much more complicated. For one thing, it goes back to 1976, when the military dictatorship bought into Papel Prensa, the country’s monopoly supplier of newsprint, and thus the basis of the newspapers’ media empires. No government until now has dared to challenge the old arrangements, and a revision of media legislation dating back to the military dictatorship is clearly long overdue. For this reason, some of my friends in Buenos Aires, without being Kirchneristas, nonetheless support the measures now proposed, along with the producers. Others, however, point out that this is no solution, since the package is designed to keep the Kirchners in power by giving the advantage to media interests who are more friendly to them—or easier to buy off. The most unpopular part of these measures is the order now coming up for debate in the legislature to close down the Internet service provider Fibertel, which has 55% of the market, and last year merged with cable television provider Cablevisión, owned by Clarín. A more radical answer is the proposal by Fernando (Pino) Solanas, who will be known to readers of this blog as a film-maker, co-director of The Hour of the Furnaces back in 1968, and co-author of the manifesto ‘Towards a Third Cinema’, but now an elected senator at the head of a grouping called Proyecto Sur. Solanas has proposed that both Internet and mobile phone provision should become public services. He is also a possible candidate in next year’s presidential elections, and has just formed an alliance with the Socialists, despite certain differences but with the aim of creating a strong centre-left platform.

Meanwhile, one of the problems with the proposal to allocate television channels to the universities is where production funds are to come from. It seems that programme-makers will either be dependent on the state film institute INCAA, or the universities will have to subcontract content to commercial operators. Another problem is that content will be controlled by a series of gate-keepers, in a structure that seems to be designed to ensure that politically critical programming will be practically impossible. Nevertheless, Argentine cinema, both fiction and documentary, continues to thrive, and Buenos Aires remains a city of cinephiles as well as tango.

As for the students, their protests are part of wider polarisation between the political and the popular classes, an observation made by both Adrian, the political science student in the video, and the socialist politician (and ertswhile presidential candidate) Luis Zamora, who I met on the street observing the secondary school students’ demo. Zamora, and my friend Guillermo De Carli, my host in Buenos Aires, who teaches documentary in the very department which is under occupation, also both remarked on the spontaneity of the students’ actions and the joyous and celebratory atmosphere. In other words, despite the official disposition to suspect the hand of militant revolutionary groups like the Trotskyists (of whom there were only a few at the demonstration), the collective resolution of the students, their sense of discipline, the vigorous debate in their assemblies (judging by the one I Iistened to on the street), and the possibility and even likelihood that the protests will spread—all this suggests that something else altogether is afoot.

A final observation. These occupations have not been reported in the English-speaking media, and judging by a quick Google search, hardly in Spanish outside Argentina itself either. A student interviewed in the Argentine publication Pagina 12 comments that the students’ growing politicisation is rejected by both the political leaders and the mass media, who do not want to see young people developing a critical consciousness that could bring about change. One can only suppose that this also applies elsewhere. Politicians live only for short-term gain, the media inculcate amnesia, but in both cases they themselves doubtless remember the student movement of the 1960s, and I expect they’re becoming scared.

From Michael Chanan's blog: A Putney Debater

and finally the NY times printed this:

Students Protest Education in Argentine Capital
Published: September 16, 2010
Filed at 9:46 p.m. ET
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Thousands of young Argentines marched to the presidential palace on Thursday to protest the quality of public education, joining a student rebellion that accuses politicians of neglecting schools and universities that were once the envy of Latin America.
High schoolers have occupied about 30 public schools in Buenos Aires to protest their deteriorating conditions. The takeovers later spread to public universities, with students occupying a half dozen, this week, teachers joined the rebellion, putting 700,000 students out of school.
Students carrying a giant model of a pencil on their shoulders like a coffin and crosses symbolizing the death of public education on Thursday marched from Argentina's Congress to the presidential palace. They cite abysmal conditions in schools, including a lack of heating gas, poor electrical systems, leaky ceilings and broken windows, among other problems.
''For a long time, years, decades, a policy of cutting funding to public education has been carried out and this policy has reached such an extreme that the conditions needed to study almost do not exist,'' said Itai Hagman, president of the Buenos Aires University Federation.
Early in the 20th century, Argentina had a public education system considered a model for Latin America that assured most citizens access to free schooling. But that system came under fire during Argentina's dictatorship and was later subjected to financing cuts under market-oriented democratic governments.
Thursday's march coincided with the 34th anniversary of the ''Night of the Pencils'' remembering a group of high school students who were abducted and killed during the 1976-1983 dictatorship.
The protesters' ire is directed at conservative Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, who handles high school financing, and center-left President Cristina Fernandez, whose government administers public universities.
''Our recent governments have not paid attention to public education. We want that to change,'' said Agustina Scattolini, 20, who is one of the students occupying a Buenos Aires high school for almost two weeks.
Buenos Aires' Education Ministry says that only 100 of the city's 1,200 schools have budget problems and that its education budget for 2010 is the highest in the last eight years.
The federal government says it spends 6.45 percent of GDP on public education, one of the highest figures in recent decades.
In both cases, however, most of the money is spent on teacher salaries and not on infrastructure.
''Unfortunately we have been very patient over the years, but out patience is over. We want practical solutions,'' said Hagman.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Plural Plus: UN NGO film festival on youth media

Youth around the world are invited to participate in PLURAL +, a video festival focusing on migration, diversity and social inclusion.

Recognizing youth as powerful agents of social change in a world often characterized by intolerance, cultural and religious divisions, PLURAL+ is aimed at involving youth in addressing the key challenges in their communities related to migrant integration, inclusiveness, identity, diversity, human rights and social cohesiveness.  MORE INFORMATION:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Communication is Your Right

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." On December 10, 1948 the United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today in 2010, more than 60 years later, we are dealing with entire groups of people who don't have access to factual news and information in order to better their lives, community and country and make a positive impact in this world.
Corporate media censors people's opinions and appeases sponsors rather than disseminating information in the public interest. We ask the United Nations to consider the destructive consequences that corporate media consolidation has on universal communication and the solutions to every problem the UN seeks to solve in their Millennium Development Goals. It is crucial that people are empowered to fully express themselves through all communication mediums. Right now most mainstream sources of news and information have the sole purpose of entertaining and advertising to the public.
Our communication mediums are vital and precious forums of dialogue that everyone needs to access, in order to serve the public interest. We also see the control of repressive governments who do not allow journalists the freedom to investigate and report as equally destructive to human communication. In Iran, Burma, North Korea and many other countries, repressive regimes do not allow journalists to freely investigate and report human rights abuses.
The full extent of the abuses are unknown due to a stranglehold on journalism. The people of the world need universal, uncensored access to the internet as well as the liberty to impart information through it. According to Internet World Stats only 26.6% of the world's population use the internet. According to Internet for Everyone, in America “only 35% of homes with less than $50,000 in annual income have a high-speed internet connection. Moreover, nearly 20 million Americans live in areas that are not served by a single broadband provider; tens of millions more live in places where there is just a single provider of high-speed Internet service.” We, the undersigned and under-heard, petition the United Nations to take a closer look at Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and critically analyze the state of communication in our world.
We hope that the United Nations will re-evaluate their commitment to and advocate for the importance of Article 19, so that people everywhere can truly exercise their right to have their voices resonate throughout the world. for more info:
AHM. Bazlur Rahman-S21BR
Chief Executive Officer
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
[NGO in Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council]
Head, Community Radio Academy

House: 13/1, Road: 2, Shaymoli, Dhaka-1207
Post Box: 5095, Dhaka 1205 Bangladesh

Phone: 88-02-9130750, 88-02-9138501
Cell: 01711881647 Fax: 88-02-9138501-105

Friday, September 10, 2010

Voz Mob: Mobile Organizing

Voces Moviles (vozmob) es una plataforma para que trabajadores y trabajadoras inmigrantes en Los Ángeles puedan crear historias sobre sus vidas y comunidades directamente desde sus teléfonos celulares. Vozmob le ayuda a la gente lograr una participación más amplia en la esfera pública digital.
Vozmob es una colaboración entre la Escuela de Comunicacion de Annenberg de la Universidad del Sur de California (ASC) y el Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA), una organización sin fines de lucro en la cual su misión es de contribuir a la transformación de la sociedad hacia una más humana y democrática con el uso adecuado de la Educación Popular, y responder a las necesidades de los trabajadores inmigrantes de bajos recursos en Los Ángeles.

Mobile Voices (vozmob) is a platform for immigrant workers in Los Angeles to create stories about their lives and communities directly from cell phones. Vozmob helps people with limited computer access gain greater participation in the digital public sphere.

The project is a collaboration between the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California (ASC) and the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to to create a more humane and democratic society by responding to the needs and problems of disenfranchised people through leadership development and educational programs based on Popular Education methodology.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Scraper Bikes in Oakland Go Green
Scrapertown from California is a place. on Vimeo.
"In order to become a member of the Original Scraper Bike Team, you must: Be a resident of Oakland, CA. Be at least 7y/o or older. Retain A 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA), Create your own Scraper Bike…(It Has To Be Amazing, Or Else You Can’t Ride.) A single-file line when riding. After 10 rides The Scraper Bike King and his Captains will decide if your bike is up to standards and if you can follow simple guidelines. After your evaluation we will consider you a member and honor you with an Original Scraper Bike Team Shirt. Only worn when Mobbin’ Stay posted to our website for all upcoming Scraper Bike Rides..." -- The Scraper Bike King
A film by Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari

To really understand the Scraper Bike movement, one must experience it in its element: the turfs of East Oakland.  “The Deep East,” as it’s known, is a seemingly endless stretch of inner city, which begins at the east end of Lake Merritt and continues all the way to San Leandro. Like the rest of Oakland, its population is diverse, yet there are more African Americans and Latinos than in other parts of the town.

It’s not uncommon to see graffiti ominously announcing “BB 187” on a wall over a crossed-out Border Brothers tag on a wall. Churches are as numerous as liquor stores. There are plenty of well-maintained single-family homes, along with not so-well-maintained housing projects and apartment complexes. Car culture is big; since homes are generally modest, a clean ride is a source of pride – 22” rims, and sometimes larger, are a status symbol. And shiny Japanese sports cars, big-body American muscle cars abound, as do vans, SUV’s and pick-up trucks. 
The Deep East is as pleasant as almost anywhere else in Oakland during the day, especially when there’s sunshine and blue skies. But at night, it’s a different story. Some of the parks where children play during the morning hours aren’t places you want to go at night. In the evening, the violence that comes along with the economic reality of the drug trade is unavoidable. Needless to say, a high percentage of the city’s homicides come out of the East.

This is the environment from which the Scraper Bike movement was born.  --Oakland Local

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Academics Look at Media Pluralism

The International Journal of Communication (IJoC), has just published a special section on structural media pluralism that aims to analyze the complex phenomenon of media pluralism.

Theoretically, this systemic perspective refers to the broader—political, geographical, cultural and economic—environments within which media (as institutions, outlets and services) operate. Combining a description of media system arrangements with normative considerations and analysis of regulatory models, invited authors have chosen national perspectives, focusing on Greece, the Czech Republic, Spain and Germany. 

The special section is an outcome of the collective work by a group of scholars gathered under the framework of COST A30 Action East of West: Setting a New Central and East European Media Research Agenda.  Earlier versions of the papers were presented during the Second ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) Conference in Barcelona, November 2008.  

Visit to read this collection of articles.  We look forward to your feedback.  

Manuel Castells & Larry Gross                   
Beata Klimkiewicz
Guest Editor
Arlene Luck
Managing Editor