Nov 23 | 1:45pm Why Democracy Needs Community Media; Why Community Media Need Policy Support

Click here for more detailed information on the session: http://commediaconverge.ca/node/212

SESSION NOTES:

1) Robert Hackett: Community media offer many counter balances to profit-driven media, including serving underserviced communities and regions, allows for greater experimentation, provides training for volunteers in the context of supportive organizations and provides accountability to the broader public.

2) Robert Hackett: He identifies eight key democratic deficits that result from profit-driven media systems: 1) cutbacks to editorial functions, 2) centralization of ownership and power, 3) inequality due to bias toward affluent consumers, 4) homogenization of discourses and content, 5) undermining community and accentuation of “mean-world syndrome”, 6) the promotion of authoritarian solutions to community problems, 7) increasingly stringent copyright rules and 8) elitist policy making.

3) Robert Hackett: He argues that we look at corporate media as a case of market failure because it over produces market externalities. For example, the impact of advertising on children’s socialization. The flip side is corporate-driven media under-produces well-informed publics and a strong sense of community.

4) Daniel Ahadi: Ahadi identifies many benefits to ethnic media, including providing employment for immigrant populations, fostering community building, providing educational opportunities, bridging “home” and “host” societies, fostering civic literary and political participation, and creating intercultural ambassadors.

5) David Christopher: Open Media worked with CACTUS in its fight to re-imgiaine and reinvigorate community media. Developed an online campaign that helped deliver a petition to CRTC for the community media trust to be taken out of the hands of the big broadcasters.

6) David Christopher: There is intensifying media concentration on the one hand and on the other, the internet has opened up the means of production to many and led to decentralization of media production. But the missing piece is access to media literary and media production skills. One solution to this creation of community media centres – spaces that resemble marker labs and offer the opportunity to better leverage the full potential of the open internet and foster empowerment and a democratic urban culture.

7) Katherine Reilly: Big TV networks provide free advertising to certain humanitarian groups on community channels during crises, but this contributes to a “transactional” understanding of global conflicts. Programming on local TV channels that are owned by the big networks also tends to be parochial and often fails to link local issues with broader, global concerns. Communities need to understand themselves in a global context and they need the tools to be able to do so.

8) Katherine Reilly: Community media organizations in Latin America are developing systems to share content among communities to fight parochialism and build a greater sense of inter-community solidarity and awareness of issues in other communities.