Tag Archives: ccmc

You really need Community Media, and this is why

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It is universally acknowledged, at least within western liberal democracies, that freedom of expression is an essential component of the society. Every kind of opinion is welcomed as far as it does not violate the rights of third parties. As democracy is all about dialogue and debating and involving the whole of the society in decision-making, what people think is the most important part of all. And whether we like it or not, the media shape the way we think.

We live in a world where people constantly comment on the fact that the media in our days have been more influencing than they have ever been before. It is said that their importance is so great, that it actually breaks the trias politica principle and emerges as the 4th power. We get to know what is going on around the world through the media, whereas this could be a magazine, newspaper, radio, television or the newest version of getting informed; the web. If one considers the fact that a happening can be delivered in so many different ways, through so many different points of view, simply because our world is not just black and white, then the role of the media is crucial. What we are actually reading, watching or listening to is in one way or another news through somebody else’s point of view.

So it seems like the media have a lot or even too much power in their hands. Especially when someone considers that the opinion of a whole society is shaped by entities that have never been democratically elected, and there was never a debate on whether they are indeed capable of delivering news, then the whole issue becomes even more complicated. What I am trying to point out here is that more often and most easily than we think, citizens are influenced by media which in their turn might serve interests of third parties even if such interests are conflicting those of the citizens. This doesn’t mean that all media are like this of course and most importantly we should not confuse bias with serving someone else’s interest. Every opinion is biased simply because it’s personal. What my point is that we cannot control the extend to which this occurs. But it’s happening, I know it, you know it, but quite frankly there isn’t much we can do about it.

Or there might be something. This is listening and generally getting yourselves involved to community media. Community media serve as a platform of exchange of ideas and opinions between the citizens of the community. It should be highlighted that nowadays, thanks to the internet, a community cannot only be defined by geographical means  but by others such as ethnic, political and so on. The nature of community media is clearly one of non-profit, thus eliminating further the danger of having the interests of third parties prioritized over to the interests of the citizens. Community media are operated in the community, for the community about and most importantly by the community. Thus it is a clear reflection of the needs of the community that it operates to.

Now, as far as Cyprus is concerned, Community Media are present in our littler island thanks to MYCY Radio which is managed by the NGO Cyprus Community Media Centre and is the only web multilingual radio in Cyprus. Being an example of community media, it gives the chance to people from all different backgrounds, amateurs and professionals to raise their voice on issues that concern not only themselves but also fellow citizens. MYCY Radio is a place where you know that what you’re listening to, represents merely the opinion of the person involved. Transparency is something that the Cypriot society desperately needs as we are now for good into the 21st century and MYCY Radio can offer that. It is a place where everyone can get him/herself involved in a dialogue which will serve as a mean for improvement in our community.

Support your local Community Media!

bingo

https://www.facebook.com/events/871812449562796/

As MYCYradio does not run ads in order to remain community-focused, a Bingo fundraising event is being organized with our friends at Brickyard. Being there is of crucial importance. It is not about supporting another NGO. It is about securing that a platform that will give you the chance to speak up and demand or question things will be there whenever you need it to. The work that has been done so far is great, and you can actually listen to it by visiting MYCY Radio’s website: http://mycyradio.eu/

You are all welcome to join us, have fun, enjoy the night with DJs, drinks and food, and at the same time help raise funds for the station, in order to help it remain alive and vibrant and to continue meeting its cause! MYCY Radio needs us as much as we do!

Marita is 18 years old and will graduate from high school in June 2016. She is interested in current affairs, debate, journalism as well as dance and music. She is currently an intern at Cyprus Community Media Centre.

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Decode the article on http://www.altphabet.org/?art=ccmc01

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The Role of Mass Media in the Settlement of the Cyprus Problem

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By Orestis Tringides

This is a short version of an article included in the publication “Managing Intractable Conflicts: Lessons from Moldova and Cyprus” available here.

If it is agreed that in order for the mass media to be able to play a positive role in the peace-building process and cooperation in a conflict region they first have to ensure impartiality in both the way they present the news and in the way they operate, then the media in Cyprus cannot fulfill that role. Some of the problems regarding the media in Cyprus playing an effective role in peace- and trust-building between the two communities (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots), are; the tendency of advocacy journalism (the kind of journalism that deliberately and transparently employs a non-objective perspective for political or social intentions) and the reliance on external (official).

As a percentage of the population, the readership of newspapers is relatively low – the broadcast media is a preferred source of news and opinion. News programs frequently feature developments regarding the Cyprus problem, although due to a limited number of sources, and heavily politically influence, they often resort to advocacy journalism with a dramatized and sensationalized delivery of news about a political development. In many cases there is lack of investigative journalism, with the news falling short of informing the audience as they lack crucial, or background information required to understand and present the issue thoroughly. Very frequently party-centric (male-dominated) and heated debates take place, thus diminishing (and sometimes, deliberately undermining) the role of those who can provide technocratic expertise, or a non-partisan view.

Civil society events that work to bring the two communities together have been largely excluded in the “traditional” media outlets – although in recent years civil society organizations (CSOs) have started employing and increasing their skills capacity in the new media (social media) that indirectly tend to attract more attention by the mainstream media. Exemplar cases of cooperation in the media across the divide (Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot) have largely taken place “outside” of the established administrative structures; mainly by individuals’ initiatives.

Problems and obstacles in the media having an effective role in peace- and trust-building between the two communities are:

  • Financial Dependencies and Political Influence. Media’s susceptibility to either commercial or political influence and pressure is in large part the result of the difficulties encountered in establishing an independent economic base upon which any non-state media enterprise depends on.
  • Practical and Legal Obstacles; Press Freedom and Access to Information. Journalists on both sides of the island are not (entirely) free to deviate from the agreed political modus operandi between their editors/outlet management and political party/ies, or other poles of political influence. Also, journalists on both sides are being hindered to perform their duties due to a lack of an effective access to information legal framework.
  • Cooperation Obstacles Due to Non-Recognition. The fear of “implied” recognition has developed obstacles on basic issues, such as how to address and acknowledge the other side; journalists have employed a terminology when referring to the other side (e.g. “pseudo-state”; the “Greek Cypriot Administration” etc.) that is plainly offensive for the other side.
  • The Barriers of Language and Information. Media outlets communicate in two different languages, Greek and Turkish; therefore, it is difficult for journalists from the opposite side of the dividing line to follow the news on the other side and to have a clear picture of the prevailing opinions on the other side of the dividing line.
  • Mass Media being part of the problem by emphasizing the hardships and obstacles to a settlement, and almost no mention of any prospects for a solution.
  • Neutral or negative Portrayal of Bi-communal, Collaborative and Reconciliatory Civil Society Efforts by the Mass Media.
  • The Portrayal of the “Other” Community by the Mass Media reinforcing a common public perception that one community does not want a peaceful solution with the other by giving disproportional coverage to the few extremist voices of the other side, rather than of those who wish for a solution.
  • During the Annan Plan era, most of the Greek Cypriot media favored its rejection, attacking those in favor, emphasizing the negatives and dismissing, or not mentioning, the positives.

There are various examples of cooperation/communication and flow of Information from and to Each Side. In 2003, when, for the first time since the war of 1974, the moving restrictions from one side to the other were eased, journalists from both sides had the opportunity to meet and cooperate with each other. Currently, this cooperation is mostly conducted in an un-strategic manner via the formal structures of the media outlets; most of the times it is e.g. based on a journalist’s personal connections with another journalist on the other side. Nevertheless, since 2003, some media organizations have established forms of direct cooperation between journalists and media organizations on the other side thus helping each other not only to get access to primary information on the news, but also helping their colleagues to understand the background of a story; this included featuring articles of journalists from the other community.

Because most attempts at collaboration remain hidden below the surface and informal, collaboration at the institutional level remains low. Also, the Internet remains an underutilized forum for media and information exchange. The civil society sector, engaged in cross-community issues, has used social media to promote dialogue and debate on issues of common concern.

For these abovementioned reasons, as an alternative to the established traditional media, joint initiatives in the Community Media (an umbrella term that also includes Social Media) have recently been taken by CSOs and individuals from both sides. As a result, the established Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) acts as a “transcommunal” CSO (by this term emphasizing that its scope goes beyond the “exclusivity” of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities) that aims to increase civil society’s capacity in providing CSOs with the skills and tools to both communicate their message in the wider public and also to find ways to communicate with the traditional media. CCMC was established as a result of the identified “media gap” that the CSOs were facing and to counteract the disregard that the CSOs have been treated with by the traditional media and, as a result, the broader society. Community Media has been identified as an (alternative) means for building cooperation in the media sector – a sector that is very important for the peace process.

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Photos from our photo exhibition at Bandabulya 28 February 2013

Organised by CCMC with support from the European Union and in partnership with UNDP-PFF.

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GREAT JOB OPPORTUNITY AT CCMC

CCMCCommsJobAd_Final
Communications and Advocacy Coordinator
We are looking for an experienced Communications professional, with good working knowledge of media, civil society, development and public relations to work with the CCMC to raise its profile through a range of channels including social media.
You are enthusiastic, proactive, creative, take initiative, have great writing skills and an eye for detail. You have the technical expertise in updating websites,… writing electronic newsletters and managing social networks. You also have a good understanding of Cyprus civil society.
Ideally you also have experience in implementing training workshops, and running advocacy campaigns. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a great team and help the CCMC and its members communicate their messages in new and interesting ways.
Fluency in English is essential as well as fluency in either Greek or Turkish.
Send your CV and cover letter describing why you are perfect for this position or request more details: larry@cypruscommunitymedia.org
Deadline: 11 March 2013.
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World Radio Day marked on 13 February

wrd2012The United Nations Secretary General has released a statement to mark World Radio Day on 13 February 2013. The full transcript is available below:

“Since its invention more than 100 years ago, radio has sparked the imagination, opened doors for change, and served as a channel for life-saving information. Radio entertains, educates, and informs. It promotes democratic expression and influences ideas. From short-wave to FM to satellite transmission – radio connects people wherever they are. In conflict situations and times of crisis, radio is a lifeline for vulnerable communities. Radio is both valuable and cost-effective. From day one, the United Nations has been using radio to reach the peoples of the world. UN Radio sheds light on all issues on the United Nations agenda – from sustainable development … to the protection of children … to peacekeeping and conflict prevention. We are proud of our rich history of radio production in many languages, and the innovative ways we use radio to inform and serve the world. On this World Radio Day, let us celebrate the power of radio and let us work together to tune the world to the frequency of peace, development and human rights for all.”

Stay tuned for new developments from CCMC on the radio front!

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Archana Kapoor at CCMC for event tonight!

The CCMC team is privileged to have a community media activist in our midst today – Archana Kapoor, who will be speaking at a public talk on community radio in India tonight at CCMC, 6pm. (For directions to CCMC click here.) Here’s a link to the invitation and see below for a sneak peak of the interview we are recording with Archana – look out for more soon and see you all tonight!

Archana1

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Community Media activist Archana Kapoor at CCMC this Monday 28 January

ARCHANA QUADRATThe Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) is hosting a prominent community media activist from India as part of its ongoing advocacy campaign for the recognition of this sector in Cyprus. Entitled ‘Community Media: Giving Voice to the Voiceless’ this public talk followed by discussion will feature a keynote speech by Archana Kapoor, a filmmaker, author and activist. Ms Kapoor is also the publisher of Hardnews magazine, an independent political monthly in India, and founder of the NGO SMART that works with marginalised communities in India. Two years ago Kapoor launched a community radio station in an impoverished rural community outside Delhi. The radio station went on to win a National Award from the Government of India in 2012. Kapoor is also on the governing board of the Community Radio Association, an organisation established in order to promote and lobby for the community radio movement. The event will be followed by a reception. Look forward to seeing you there! Download your invitation here.

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Recipients of CCMC Incentive Awards for Media Collaboration announced today!

The Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) just announced the winners of its Incentive Awards for Media Collaboration at a ceremony at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia (22 January 2013). The Incentive Awards Sceheme, launched in September 2012 under the MultiCommMedia project, aims to promote professional collaboration between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot media. The recipients were NRG TV with Media Works for a project on Cyprus nightlife across the divide, and CyprusNews.eu with Baris Gazetesi for Voices & Echoes – an online news portal.

Have a look at our gallery of photos from today’s ceremony  – we can’t wait to see the collaborations in action!

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Cyprus Community Media Centre EOI – Studio

CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR

Technical expertise in supporting the development of a multimedia studio (design and technical specifications)

The Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) is seeking to commission specialised services to assist with the design and installation of a multimedia studio for the premises located in the UN Buffer Zone/Ledra Palace Grounds Nicosia.

Potential technical experts are hereby invited to submit their Expressions of Interest (EOI) in providing the following types of services:

  • The design of a multimedia studio
  • Development of technical specifications for installation of a multimedia studio and/or refurbishment of existing spaces into studios

Suppliers interested in qualifying should submit their Expression of Interest along with the following documents:

  • Detailed description of previous experience and/or CV
  • Detailed description of relevant past experience in studio design and/or refurbishment/installation
  • Reference list of major clients in the past three years

The Expression of Interest and accompanying documents must be received no later than 29 November 2012, 16:00hrs at the following address: Cyprus Community Media Centre, P.O. Box 24359, Nicosia CY 1703

or

info@cypruscommunitymedia.org

Please clearly mark postal submissions and electronic submissions indicating:

Cyprus Community Media Centre EOI-Studio

Expressions of Interest received after the above deadline will not be considered. CCMC reserves the right to accept or reject any Expression of Interest.

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