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<nettime> Euro Manifesto to Support Minority Community Media
geert lovink on Tue, 17 Feb 2004 20:58:19 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Euro Manifesto to Support Minority Community Media


From: "eslube" <eslube {AT} miramedia.nl>
http://www.multicultural.net/manifesto/index.htm

A EUROPEAN MANIFESTO
to support and to underline the importance of minority community media

In the member states of the European Union there are thousands of minority
community media initiatives, involving tens of thousands of people. These
media groups use mainly magazines, newspapers, Internet/web-based media,
radio and television stations as well as programmes produced by, for and
about immigrants and ethnic minorities. Minority community media are often
local, sometimes regional or national initiatives, if appropriate using the
language of their audiences and providing them with information about
participation and education in their country of residence. They provide a
platform for discussion and exchange within the immigrant and other ethnic
minority communities as well as between the minority and the
indigenous/majority communities.

The minority community media groups reach out potentially to an audience of
millions of citizens in the Member States, as evidenced in France and the
UK, with the aim to provide them with essential information to help them to
participate as full citizens of their country of residence. Although working
under different national, regional and local conditions, minority community
media groups throughout Europe encounter similar obstacles on both national
and local levels in executing their activities.

In order to improve their situation a range of minority community media
groups decided to work together and to join their efforts on the European
level in asking for attention and support to improve their situation. To do
so a European Manifesto was drafted. The Draft has been discussed
nationally, regionally and locally across Europe. Based on these discussions
the Manifesto was amended and approved by all involved groups.

In the Manifesto minority community media call upon the European Parliament,
the European Commission and the Governments of the member states

 to recognise the important role that minority community media play
in Europe as actors to implement social inclusion policies.

  to see the minority media being recognised as a public community
service and that, as such, they will be contained in all European and
national media legislation and will obtain a "must carry" status on all
relevant broadcast platforms.

 to ensure that freedom of speech, the right to receive information
and to the right to communicate for all, including the right for minorities
to receive media in their own language, are recognised as basic human rights
for all citizens. These rights should be included as part of the concept of
civic citizenship and they should be enshrined in all media policies,
legislation and social inclusion policies of the European Union and national
member states.

The Manifesto will be presented during the European elections in 2004 to the
President of the European Parliament, after all minority community media and
supporting organisations have signed the Manifesto. For more information on
how to joint the initiative you can call or email:

United Kingdom:
Community Media Association (CMA)
The Workstation
15 Paternoster Row
Sheffield S1 2BX
Tel.      0114 279 5219
Fax.     0114 279 8976
Email: eumanifesto {AT} commedia.org.uk
http://www.commedia.org.uk

Irleand:
The Media Co-op
Alan Braddish
Northside Civic Centre
Bunratty Road
Dublin 17
Fax:     (+353) 01 848 5211
Phone: (+353) 01 867 101 6
Email: nearfm {AT} iol.ie
http://www.mediacoop.ie

Secretariat: On Line/ More Colour in the Media (OLMCM)
Website: http://www.multicultural.net/manifesto/index.htm

--

The European Manifesto

Minority community media initiatives and organisations from member
states of the European Union, are committed to contribute to the full
participation of immigrants and ethnic minority communities in their country
of residence, aware of their potential to support their immigrant and ethnic
minority audiences and determined to develop their own media as an effective
means of communication within their communities and as platform to inform
the mainstream society, discussed and approved the following text in their
local, national and trans-national meetings:

Taking into account

- that the new European Union intends to constitute an area of
freedom, security and justice, in which its shared values are developed and
the richness of its cultural diversity is respected.

- that member states of the European Union include a great number
of citizens belonging to immigrant and ethnic minorities of which a growing
number originate from countries outside the European Union and who
contribute in a large part to the richness of the cultural diversity and the
economy of the new European Union.

- that the European Commission introduced a concept of civic
citizenship, guaranteeing certain core rights and obligations to immigrants
so that they are treated in the same way as nationals in their country of
residence.

- that immigrant and other ethnic minority communities already make
great efforts to engage themselves in community life and other social,
cultural and political activities in order to contribute as equal citizens
in their country of residence.

Being aware:

- that sensitising the majority populations to the benefits and
challenges of immigration are core elements in a pro-active social inclusion
policy and that the mass media have a major responsibility in their role as
educators of public opinion.

- that for the successful implementation of civic citizenship, the
dialogue between key actors and visible, recognisable and the equal
involvement and participation of immigrant and ethnic minority groups in the
public debate are of prime importance.

- that mainstream media have great difficulties in attracting
ethnic minority audiences and to make their mainstream products a real
reflection of the multicultural society.

- that, unlike the mainstream media, minority community media are
able to link into networks of spokespeople and community leaders and thus
can act as a mediator.

- that minority community media, as part of the public service, and
as evidenced in France and the UK, can play a major role in encouraging
equal and full participation of immigrants and ethnic minority groups, by
addressing issues of importance to immigrant and ethnic minority audiences
and by offering them a platform for discussion within their own communities
on important national and local issues, as well as providing them with a
platform to share these views with the rest of the national population.

-  that in most member states minority community media, despite
their present efforts, cannot produce or further develop their own media, as
they often do not have independent access to frequencies and other broadcast
facilities, like regular training and media funds, due to the fact that
minority community media are not part of the public service structure and
because the national media environment on all levels is highly competitive
and very difficult to penetrate for new groups such as immigrant and ethnic
minorities because of the existence of well established indigenous media
networks.

Convinced:

- that freedom of speech, the right to receive information and the
right to communicate for all, are basic human rights for all citizens as
part of the concept of the civic citizenship in the enlarged European Union,
to ensure equal participation of all citizens in the member states, which
have to be enshrined in all legislation and social inclusion policies of the
European Union and national member states.

- that minority community media can contribute enormously to the
participation and emancipation process of immigrants and ethnic minority
groups within the concept of civic citizenship, by the improvement of
intercultural communication, common understanding and dialogue.

- that by using the language of their audience, minority community
media are able to effectively reach out to immigrant and ethnic minority
audiences, which cannot  normally be reached by other national and local
media.

- that minority community media can have an important supporting
role to mainstream media, as mediator between the minority communities and
the mainstream society, in providing access to minority networks and to
alternative sources of information.

- that minority community media is a basic public service and that,
as such, they should be a structural part of the national and European media
environment.

- that minority community media need meaningful and relevant
support in order to fulfil their important role.

Referring:

- to the European Convention on Human Rights,1953, Article 10,
which reads that 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.

- to the Final Act on Security and Co-operation in Europe in
Helsinki in 1975, which included the right for minorities to receive
media/information in their own language.

- to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,
Article 11, Freedom of Expression and Information: Everyone has the right to
freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and
to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public
authority and regardless of frontiers

- to The Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National
or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, adopted by General Assembly
of the United Nations resolution 47/135 of 18 December 1992

- to the Treaty of Amsterdam, 1999, which enhances in Article 13
the right to equal treatment and freedom from discrimination on the basis of
nationality as well as to that based on sex, race or ethnic origin, core
principles underlying all policies of the European Union.

- to the Communication from the European Commission on immigration,
integration and employment (COM 2003, 336 final) to the Council, the
European Parliament, the European Economic ad Social Committee and the
Committee of the Regions

- to numerous European and national conferences, like the
Conference of the Council of Europe "Migrants, Media and Cultural Diversity"
in Noordwijkerhout 1988, which called upon the governments of European
countries to acknowledge the right of migrants and other ethnic groups to
receive through the media adequate information appropriate to their needs
and to express themselves in the media and to ensure that these rights are
enshrined in legislation on the media and in texts laying down the duties of
the public sector media.

We ask the European Parliament, European Commission and Governments of the
Member States to ensure:

- that freedom of speech, the right to receive information and the
right to communicate for all, including the right for minorities to receive
media in their own language, are recognised as basic human rights for all
citizens as part of the concept of the civic citizenship and that they will
be enshrined in all media policies, legislation and social inclusion
policies of the European Union and national member states

- that minority community media are being recognised as a basic
public community service and that, as such, they will be contained in all
European and national media legislation and will obtain a 'must carry'
status on all relevant broadcast platforms.

- that minority community media will be recognised as important
participants to implement the social inclusion policies.

-  that the European Commission will make earmarked funds available
within the Media Programme in order to encourage training programmes for
immigrant and ethnic minority media professionals, trans-national
co-operation of minority media and exchange of programmes and productions.

- that special attention will be given to media education for
immigrants and ethnic minorities in the national and European educational
and vocational programmes.

- that national governments create a Media Fund, to provide
start-up and continuing funding on structural basis.

The Manifesto is supported by:

Minority Community Media initiatives
Ethnic minority organisations
NGO's
Others

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