Category Archives: CMI

CCMC Editorial: Why World Press Freedom Day is important for Cyprus

3 May is marked around the world as a day of celebration of press freedom.

Since the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this date as World Press Freedom Day in 1993, it has become a day to reflect on and evaluate the state of press freedom in our own countries and around the world, as well as to remind ourselves of the need to defend journalists and media professionals from attacks on their work and independence.

In Cyprus the rights of journalists to exercise their profession freely are still not fully guaranteed. Back in February 2011, the Turkish-language Afrika newspaper – which maintains a highly critical stance of affairs in the northern part of Cyprus – and its editor-in-chief Sener Levent were threatened by an armed gunman at the newspaper’s premises. In July that year Levent’s colleague Ali Osman was also attacked at gunpoint. In fact 2011 was a particularly difficult year for Turkish Cypriot journalists. Mutlu Esendemir, the news editor of the Kanal T and a reporter for Kibris newspaper, was injured following the explosion of a bomb placed under his car, while Cenk Mutluyakali, the editor-in-chief of Yeniduzen newspaper, was also threatened.  These are the last recorded incidents of direct threats against the lives of Cypriot journalists, but they remain a chilling reminder that in our divided country threats to the freedom of the press continue to exist.

At the time of the attack on Levent his Greek Cypriot colleagues from the Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) crossed the Green Line to show their support and solidarity. The UCJ has mobilised support for Levent on several occasions before the opening of the crossing-points when he was imprisoned for his and his newspaper’s writings. As welcome as this move was, it remains one of the few public gestures of good will between journalists across the divide in Cyprus. Unfortunately professional solidarity and collaboration between journalists remains politicised along the faultlines of the Cyprus Problem.

Event organised by CCMC in April 2011

Event co-organised by CCMC with the Turkish Cypriot Jounalists’ Association (April 2011)

It is clear that more needs to be done to strengthen the links between the media across the Cyprus divide. Over the last few years the UCJ has maintained sporadic contact with the Association of Turkish Cypriot Journalists, while dialogue with Basin Sen – their trade union counterpart – is limited to interaction within the frameworks established by the European Federation of Journalists, and remains tainted from past confrontations within the EFJ General Assembly.

UNESCO sees 3 May as an occasion around which initiatives can be encouraged and developed in support of press freedom. At CCMC we also believe that World Press Freedom Day offers an ideal starting point for journalists across the divide to start to build an understanding and common framework of action around shared principles and values. It is also an opportunity to sensitise all Cypriots about the need for the rights of journalists to be guaranteed, and to inform them that in Cyprus those rights will not be fully safeguarded until a just and lasting settlement is agreed, and a demilitarisation of the island takes place.

With the aim of kickstarting the dialogue to establish a framework for media collaboration in Cyprus, CCMC calls on all journalists’ organisations in Cyprus to attend the first meeting of the MEDIANE – Media in Europe for Diversity Inclusiveness programme, which will take place in Nicosia from 10-12 June, and to utilise this opportunity to build an action plan for the future.

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CCMC Incentive Awards announced tomorrow!

Photos from Day 2 of CMFE Conference 2011 #cmfe2011

Stop the press!

CCMC is announcing the recipients of its Incentive Awards for Media Collaboration tomorrow Tuesday 22 January, 11 am, at a ceremony at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia.

The Incentive Awards were launched in September 2012 under the MultiCommMedia project in order to promote professional collaboration between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot media, and to initiate a discussion about the importance of a common media space for all Cypriots.

At CCMC we believe wholeheartedly that the exchange of content as well as dialogue among media across the island can play a crucial role in helping all communities understand each other’s daily realities and concerns.

We can’t wait to announce the new partnerships, and we are convinced that their work will create new possibilities for cross-community understanding!

And the newly opened Crossroads Cafe will be providing us with the best coffee and cookies in town!

Need an Incentive? Check out our Awards for Media Collaboration!

The summer is well and truly over!

Following hot on the heels of the launch of Make Media 2012 CCMC is taking another bold step towards promoting deeper collaboration between the media across the divide with the launch of its groundbreaking Incentive Awards for Media Collaboration.

Many of you will remember, or will have been involved in, the Collaborative Media Initiative, or CMI for short, a project run under the auspices of CCMC. Well, the final report entitled “A Potential Untapped: Media Working Together across the Divide in Cyprus” (read the whole report on our issuu account) recommended that CCMC continue its work in promoting professional collaboration between the media in Cyprus, as well as position itself strategically as a ‘first point of call’ for all interested in working with colleagues based across the divide.

And we listened! The Incentive Awards aims to promote professional collaboration between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot media and encourage the emergence of a public media space for common use for all Cypriots, and CCMC is inviting proposals to be submitted for Awards in the following categories:

Institutional Collaboration: which establish partnerships between media outlets across the divide

Television Production: for the coproduction of public service announcements and other short-length co-productions on issues of relevance to all Cypriots

Radio Production: for radio stations and radio journalists to produce audio programmes on five assigned thematic areas

Print Journalism: print article proposals that will facilitate investigative reporting and research

Online Media: for the creation of web-based forums for information exchange and the sharing of opinions across the divide.

Help us spread the word, and encourage potential applicants to read the Terms and Conditions and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form. Both documents are available here. The total budget we have earmarked for the Incentive Awards is €15,000, and we are accepting applications in English, Greek or Turkish.

We’ve set a deadline for submission of the EOI forms on 30 September 2012.

We are waiting to hear from you!

A Potential Untapped: Media Working Together across the Divide in Cyprus

This article was first published on page 18 of today’s Cyprus Weekly (27 April).

In an increasingly globalised information environment, with the prevalence of multiple channels of communication, the media play a crucial role in encouraging or reducing the influence of conflict on societies. The ongoing Cyprus Problem places additional barriers to effective communication and information exchange between the island’s two main communities. The dominant narrative on the conflict has also had the effect of marginalising voices and opinions that speak of Cyprus in its entirety, as well as issues of relevance to all communities on the island.

The importance of bringing together media professionals in conflict and post-conflict areas has been recognised as a necessary step to promote a culture of trust and understanding between communities. Broadening people’s perspectives and opening them up to information and ideas is an important prerequisite to a fully functioning democratic media, as well as fair and accurate information dissemination within and between communities.

The Collaborative Media Initiative (CMI), implemented under the auspices of the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC), has tried to look at the media landscape as one, bringing together a variety of approaches and documenting initiatives and best practice that all aim to bring two distinct systems of media governance closer together. Its final report, published this week, identifies a series of recommendations for action which fall broadly into three categories:

Creating a vision for an integrated media landscape in Cyprus

The Cypriot media landscape should include the creation of a multilingual and multicultural islandwide broadcaster. Steps can be taken now to fulfil this vision. The example of ARTE TV, established by France and Germany could be utilised as a model of best practice for creating media that can be shared following a period of conflict, and can also help to further integrate a reunited Cyprus with the rest of Europe. This could serve as a platform for common media institutions in a future Cyprus that will foster a sense of ownership amongst all Cypriots. Political will on behalf of decision makers is a key element to showing Cypriots that positive change can be achieved despite years of division.

Encourage media collaboration on a professional basis

Media professionals from both communities stand to benefit from working together. Collaborative work is taking place, but has remained under the radar due to its nature and delicacy in the current political situation. Journalists’ organisations, directors, and editors-in-chief should encourage their staff to work with colleagues from the other community and participate in events that concern all Cypriots. International organisations with an interest in supporting this process of integration, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe, should also pay attention to work along parameters that encourage solid and sustainable partnerships.

Strengthening the links between media and democracy in Cyprus

Media is an essential element of a democratic society, where fair and accurate reporting can provide citizens with the necessary tools and access to information required to make informed decisions. For media to fulfil its role, conditions for media pluralism and freedom of expression must be established where a diversity of voices can enrich debate and accurately reflect all segments of the population. Improving the quality of access to media, and in particular new media through the internet, is crucial to strengthening levels of media literacy in Cyprus, and the capabilities of Cypriots to connect with each other. In this process, civil society will have an important role to play in creating a space for dialogue and cooperation. Organisations such as CCMC, with reach into all communities, can play an important and strategic role in this process.

A Potential Untapped: new report on media collaboration

At this morning’s press conference at CCMC, the new report from the Collaborative Media Initiative was launched. To read about the untapped potential for media collaboration in Cyprus, click here for a pdf of the report.

CCMC’s Michalis Simopoulos will be on SIM TV Tonight 6-7pm

CCMC’s Michalis Simopoulos will be on SIM TV tonight from 6-7pm, talking about the CMFE and the important outcomes of the conference. SIM TV can also be watched in the southern part of Nicosia too. The interview will be in English with simultaneous translation. http://ow.ly/7AjOc

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Journalists from the South Caucasus region visit CCMC

On Thursday 15th September, the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) hosted an information afternoon for visiting journalists from the South Caucasus region. The journalists are participating in a project financed by COBERM – Confidence Building and Early Response Mechanism, entitled “Media cooperation and peace journalism in the South Caucasus”.

The relevance of the meeting was heightened due to the fact that the project shares similar aims and objectives to the Collaborative Media Initiative (CMI), implemented under the auspices of CCMC, as both projects aim to contribute towards an environment of cooperation between media representatives through activities including networking and information exchange.

The meeting began with a briefing by Roland Gomez, Spokesperson for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), who outlined the history and mandate of UNFICYP, as well as the current state of negotiations aimed at resolving the Cyprus Problem. This was followed by a presentation by CMI Project Coordinator Michalis Simopoulos, who highlighted the most important features of the media landscape island-wide, and highlighted some of the major activities of the CMI.

The meeting was also attended by members of the CMI Working Group (WG), a team of media professionals who provide strategic advice and support for the implementation of the project. The Q&A session that followed enabled the visiting journalists to discuss with the CMI WG the issues of language and communication across conflict zones, as well as the importance of safeguarding freedom of expression as a necessary component for an environment of meaningful collaboration. The discussion also highlighted the importance of the internet, particularly as the access to new media offers previously unaccounted for opportunities in bridging the information and communication gap.

CCMC talks Community Media on CyBC Radio 2, Thursday 25 August

Tune in on Thursday 25 August, at 18:45, CyBC Radio 2, to hear CCMC’s Michael Simopoulos in conversation with Rosie Charalambous, on the ‘Round and About’ programme. The discussion will focus on CCMC’s upcoming collaboration with the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) on CMFE’s first Annual Conference on community media, to be held in Nicosia’s Buffer Zone on 17-19 November. The conference will focus on a whole range of issues, including the present state of Community Media in Europe, community media’s role in promoting intercultural dialogue and participation, as well as an assessment of the potential for community media in Cyprus. For more information visit the conference homepage – http://www.cmfe.eu/conference2011. Stay tuned!

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Collaborative Media Initiative Conference 23 and 24 June 2011

The Collaborative Media Initiative (CMI) two-day conference entitled ‘Collaboration in Media: Sharing experiences, Paving the way for the future in Cyprus’, took place on 23-24 June 2011, at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia’s Buffer Zone. The conference, inaugurated by Lisa Buttenheim, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus, aimed to strengthen dialogue on innovative approaches to media collaboration, and offer interim solutions for the future of media in Cyprus. Conference proceedings were in English, with simultaneous translation to Greek and Turkish. Download the flyer in English, Greek and Turkish. PRESS RELEASES AVAILABLE HERE IN ENGLISH, GREEK, AND TURKISH. POST EVENT PRESS RELEASE AVAILABLE HERE. For those of you unable to attend, you can download the presentations of the speakers here: Jean-Francois Pellier (ARTE TV) Presentation Dimitra Milioni (Cyprus University of Technology) Presentation Gordana Igric (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network) Presentation Holger Briel (University of Cyprus) Presentation Nico Carpentier (University of Loughborough) Presentation Dusan Babic (FTV, Sarajevo Broadcaster) Presentation.

CCMC welcomes the launch of Anahtar Media

Everyone associated with the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) was delighted to see the successful launch of Anahtar Media, a joint venture between Radio Astra and Radyo Mayis. The two stations produced their first joint, live, simultaneous, on-location broadcast from the Home for Cooperation on Friday 24 June, to mark the close of the two-day conference organised by the Collaborative Media Initiative.

As the third partner in the Anahtar consortium, CCMC looks forward to contributing further to the initiative in the months to come. It is our belief that the will, determination, and innovation displayed by Astra and Mayis can become an example to others who seek to improve relationships and collaboration with colleagues across the divide in Cyprus. CCMC stands ready to support organisations and individuals from across the island who share the same goals and aspirations.

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