"The lack of proper enabling legislation is the single principal barrier to community media's social impact", as the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) highlighted in its 2007 'Community Radio Impact Evaluation'. The policy environment will be at the core of discussions when community radio activists and advocates will meet at the 10th AMARC congress on November 8th-12th in La Plata, Argentina.
Several hundred participants from around the globe will also discuss the role of new technologies in an ever-changing media environment, experiences of community radio in disaster response, the contributions of community radio to a socially and ecologically sustainable future, gender issues, and various aspects of radio production and management.
Media@McGill is co-sponsoring the event and will contribute a workshop on the international project 'Mapping Global Media Policy'. The project allows to identify and analyze issues, actors, processes, outcomes and resources of media policy, and thereby enhances the capacities of civil society to intervene into policy settings. It enables activists, advocates and researchers to share knowledge on national media laws, international policy debates, institutional processes, and the agendas of various actors. Providing necessary knowledge to participate in the shaping of media policy is one of the project's key goals.
Workshop participants will learn how to use the project's online platform to investigate and contribute information on media policy worldwide. Community media researchers and advocates will provide insights on the policy situation in their regions, and discuss the use of the project for their purposes. Commentators will include Kate Coyer (Central European University, Hungary), Damian Loreti (Counsellor in Legislation and Communication Rights, AMARC Latin America) and Bazlur Rahman (Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication, BNNRC).
Convened by McGill Postdoctoral Research Fellow Arne Hintz, the workshop will show participants how to get involved with mapping activities. It will be the starting-point for building a dedicated section on the project platform that maps the policy situation for community radio across various regions.
'Mapping Global Media Policy' is an independent project initiated by the Global Media Policy Working Group of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). It is hosted and supported by a consortium led by Media@McGill, a research and public outreach hub based at McGill University, and including McGill University, University of Padova and Central European University.
Daily updates from the conference will be available on Media@McGill's website in the blog section.