Greetings and welcome to the April 2015 issue of the CMFE newsletter! We want to share with you recent news and reports:

  • DAB+: News from Vienna/Austria and Sweden
  • Community Video Toolkit needed
  • From Bangladesh to Nijmegen: AHM. Bazlur Rahman meets Pieter de Wit
  • Report from the AER conference in Brussels
  • Crowdfunding to beat new Spanish Decree in DTT
  • RadioDays 2015 – Report
  • Report from the event “The Promise of the EU”
  • Community Media in Greece
  • Upcoming Media Conferences: Updated Overview
  • New series: Themes and Topic

Read more about it: 

DAB+: News from Vienna/Austria and Sweden

DAB+: Major Participants Drop Out of Vienna DAB+ Test
Sweden: Plan for a transition from FM to DAB+ rejected by expertise and major authorities. Also thumbs down by community radio.

DAB+: Major Participants Drop Out of Vienna DAB+ Test

The planned DAB+ test for Vienna and environs, originally scheduled for the middle of April, has now been pushed back to the end of May. Two important participants, Austrian public broadcaster ORF, and the national commercial broadcaster Kronehit, have dropped out of the test, according to

The remaining participants in the test are rumored to include Radio Maria, ERF Lounge FM, Radio Arabelle, and the German station Absolute Hot.

The management of Kronehit made a sudden ‘180 degree’ turn according to the same article. DAB+ is a “full, frontal attack on FM. It would only be good for the wallet of the electronics industry, as listeners will have to buy a new radio to receive DAB+.” Kronehit is the only national commercial station in Austria, now seeing a profit after 10 years of operation. A nationwide DAB+ network will give them 15 new competitors. ORF had plans to test a youth channel FM21 / Ö3Plus.

Sweden: Plan for a transition from FM to DAB+ rejected by expertise and major authorities. Also thumbs down by community radio.

The proposal for a transition from FM to DAB+ 2016-2022 has been rejected by central public institutions and many experts in Sweden. Although not considered in the proposed plan community radio was also rejected by Community Radio Assn. Only some minor authorities are behind the proposal together with established DAB proponents. This confirms the unison negative opinion in media when the proposal was presented to the Government in December 2014.

After receiving an inquiry report by the National Audit Office on April 14 the Ministry of Culture will consider the next step; a proposal to the Parliament for a transition to DAB, to continue with more inquiries or to scrap the idea of replacing FM and thus end 20 years of efforts to introduce DAB radio in Sweden.

Read more details about the consultation on
Read on our site…»

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Community Video Toolkit needed

AHM Bazlur Rahman mentioned plans to start with community video projects in Bangladesh. What is needed is a comprehensive community video toolikit, as available for radio (

CMFE would very much like to take up that idea and welcomes contributions and expressions of interest to take part in the development of a Community Video toolkit! Please contact
Read on our site…»

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From Bangladesh to Nijmegen: AHM. Bazlur Rahman meets Pieter de Wit

Bazlu_NijmegenOn Friday 13 March Free Press Unlimited was awarded theGeuzenpenning, a yearly accolade for people and organisations who fight for human rights and oppose dictatorship, discrimination and racism. Pieter de Wit was present at the ceremony where Liliane Ploumen, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, presented the award to Director Leon Willems on behalf of the Stichting Geuzenpenning.

On March 17th, AHM. Bazlur Rahman (Bazlu), Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), and Dessi Damianova, programme coordinator at Free Press Unlimited, visited Nijmegen and met with Pieter de Wit, CMFE-treasurer.

studioBazlu was in The Netherlands on invitation of Free Press Unlimited. BNNRC is partner in a project with Free Press Unlimited, called ‘Why Community Radio Matters in Bangladesh’, a project supported by the European Union.
They also paid a visit to the N1 local radio station in Nijmegen, where Ferry Molenaar was presenting his daily afternoon show.

Bazlu also mentioned plans to start with community video projects in Bangladesh. What is needed is a comprehensive community video toolikit, as available for radio (

CMFE would very much like to take up that idea and welcomes contributions and expressions of interest to take part in the development of a Community Video toolkit! Please contact
Read on our site…»

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Report from the AER conference in Brussels

AER_confAER 2015: ‘Radio in a converging world’

February 24th AER, the Europe-wide trade body representing the interests of over 4,500 private/commercial radio stations across the EU28 and in Switzerland, held is annual conference in Brussels. On behalf of CMFE Pieter de Wit was present.

The focus was on issues like regulation (should radio be subject to the new AVMS-Directive: Audiovisual Media Service Directive? – No, says MEP Sabine Verheyen – Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats : no cross border issues….), new platforms (different regulations on platforms hinder level playing fields), going to IP-radio (massive extra costs for radio stations and listeners, no ‘free to point of access’ delivery). Also the importance of ‘findability’ was addressed in the light of big players as Google. Search engines operate more and more as the new ‘gatekeepers’ and can manipulate ranking.

Regarding IP-radio, it was stated that this should be an extra service, not to replace broadcasting by traditional analogue and digital networks. As so, the mobile (smart-)phones should be enabled to also receive this radio via these networks within the service areas of radiostations. Reception on smart phones via telecom-networks should be focused on listening outside these service areas. Broadcasting networks are much more efficient, cheaper, less privacy issues, free to the point of consumer, and smart phones use 7 times less battery energy when receiving ‘traditional’ broadcasting then reception via telecom-networks. Also in disaster situations, traditional radio is much more reliable – in this situations mobile networks tends to be overloaded.

Contrary to all predictions, radio is still a very popular medium. For example in Finland, in 2014 there was an all time high advertisement revenue.
Read on our site…»

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Crowdfunding to beat new Spanish Decree in DTT

CMFE supported the campaign with a contribution and welcomes everybody in a position to do so as well to help this important cause!

The Spanish Community Media Federation (ReMC) and two community televisions (Tele K, Madrid and RTV Cardedeu, Barcelona), have launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay the court expenses that they need to denounce the Spanish government. Although the law says that all people have the right to receive information from community media (article 4 of the Audiovisual General Law, 2010), the government has recently approved a decree for DTT which ignores the community television and does not ensure frequencies to it.

So, for this reason, this non-profit organizations have presented and administrative appeal to the Supreme Court against Royal Decree 805/2014, of 19 September, which establishes the National Technical Plan for Digital Terrestrial Television.

The crowdfunding is meant to cover / contribute to the following costs:
– Court fees: EURO 450
– Legal costs: EURO 1000
– Attorney: EURO 500
– Fees lawyers: EURO 5,050
In total, EURO 7,000, plus contingencies that may arise.

Entities that are advancing this campaign can only cover part of the expenses. So they ask for your support. If they collect 5,000 euros or more, they could beat the Government and the Royal Decree.
Read on our site…»

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RadioDays 2015 – Report

next_radiodays“Passion Meets Progress…”
… was the slogan of this year’s Radiodays Europe, according to the organisers, the world’s greatest international radio conference. During two and a half intense days March 15-17, more than 1300 delegates from 60 countries took part in the 50 sessions with more than 100 speakers and presenters.
Read Birgitte Jallov’s Report from Radio Days Europe 2015 (pdf)

Looking into the future, with RadioDays 2016 taking place in Paris in March 2016,
CMFE would like to support the organisation of two panels next year:
– On the importance of having women in community radio
– On the challenge of CR in Europe with a focus maybe on Cyprus, Hungary and Greece
Find information on the upcoming conference here: or read their latest newsletter.
Read on our site…»

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Update: Report from the event “The Promise of the EU”

promise_5502“The Promise of the EU” was a keynote event organised by the Italian Presidency and the European Commission in Rome, 12-13. Sept. 2014. Gabriella Velics, Vice-President of CMFE, took part in the event and her report can be found here. Now, the proceedings to the conference were published: Link to the pdf

During the event three major questions were examined by six working groups:

  • How much unity do citizens want and what are the areas in which integration should take place?
  • What would make the EU more democratic?
  • What is the overall expectation of citizens from the EU?

Gabriella Velics, as a member of the CMFE board, was invited and worked in the “Editorial independence as democratic value” working group.

The group of experts examined and discussed four questions:

  • Can editorial independence be realistically ensured when many mass-media outlets are owned by large, transnational media conglomerates?
  • Is it possible to communicate and provide information in a positive way about the EU on political actions and institutions without compromising editorial independence?
  • How does ownership of mass-media outlets make a difference to the level of editorial freedom? Does it influence the quality of the content?
  • Is editorial independence guaranteed on social networks and blogs?

The discussion mainly focused on public media, but also community media was represented in the debate by CMFE, Gabriella Velics. The conclusions of working group were presented by Asunción Gómez Bueno, Chair of The EBU News Group to the event participants.

Some details word for word from the speech:

  • First of all, editorial independence is not possible without freedom of speech, a universal right that is in danger in several countries, some of them quite close to us.
  • The main principle of journalism is independence. It is a herald of liberty and an essential ingredient of democracy. It is giving every citizen the right to share, express, and hear the views of others. (…) Citizens deserve this independent information and we, journalists, are obliged to give it to them, to ourselves. Free information must be in the citizens’ hands. (…) Since we are witnessing big concentration in the media and telecommunication sectors that might threat pluralism we make one recommendation: When competition law is applied, in particular in merger cases, media and telecom sectors, the aspects of media pluralism should be adequately taken into account.
  • European institutions shouldn’t be afraid to fuel the debate, be criticized – because this is one of the findings of democracy – and the way they can fuel the debate is to support a wide range of media without taking a side, with training, and seminars and partnerships. Always of course respecting editorial independence, because only this way information is credible and public can make up their own minds. Self-censorship is the worst enemy of truth. And media needs the trust of the audience to survive and serve the citizens.
  • We also suggest public schools and institutions promote values, to teach youngsters what media is, to teach what independence is and make them seek it.
  • In one sense social media promotes access to information, but at the same time we find it threatens quality information somehow. Verifying information is crucial, it always is, even more now that web is the main source for immediate information. Pluralism of sources doesn’t per se guarantee pluralism of information and points of view.
  • Finally we would like to stress the need for the balanced media ecology system, in which different types of media can successfully coexist and flourish: public service and private as traditional elements of the dual system, but also community media as an important element of the media system. Editorial independence should not exist only on paper, but it should function in practice. The political majority should not use democratic tools to dominate media.

Developments in certain countries pose the question on EU competences and need for proportional measures that could be applied in defence of fundamental values and rights in the EU, including the freedom of expression and media pluralism.
Read on our site…»

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Community Media in Greece

CMFE Community Media Forum Europe addressed a letter to Minister Pappas, regarding the development of the community media sector in Greece. We hope the Greek government will take these policy recommendations into consideration when revising the Greek media legislation.
CMFE, with expert Prof. Angeliki Gazi from the Faculty of Communication and Media at Cyprus University of Technology, welcomes the plans of the Greek Government to reform the country’s media and to reinstate ERT. We support the government’s vision of a holistic reform and regulatory approach, aimed at building a media ecosystem based on pluralism, diversity and universal access.

Read the Letter CMFE_Greece
Read on our site…»

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Upcoming Media Conferences: Updated Overview

— Radiophrenia — ‘Radio, Sound and Internet’ — Civilmedia — BOSIFEST — ‘Les frontières de la radio’ — ‘Media and PR’ — IFoLT — Radio Research Section (ECREA) —

Radiophrenia: Open Call for Sound & Radio Works
Radiophrenia is a temporary FM art radio station broadcasting in Glasgow during April 2015, announces an open call for sound and transmission artworks.
Call closed on February 28th, 2015
More details:

International conference ‘Radio, sound and Internet’
University of Minho/Portugal, in 23-24 April 2015
This conference is organised in the light of the research project ‘NET Station: shaping radio for web environment’, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for the Science and Technology. More info:
More information on the conference:

Civilmedia 2015
7th to 9th of May 2015 in Salzburg
Find upcoming information here:

BOSIFEST 2015 The Sixth Belgrade International Film Festival for and by People with Disabilities
will be held from 1st to 3rd June 2015.
Venue: Belgrade Youth Centre, Makedonska 22/IV, Belgrade, Serbia
Submissions are open from 19th January until 5th April 2015.
The slogan of this year’s festival is “Labyrinth of possibilities”, and the topic is work and life of the people with disabilities.
More information:

GRER / Université Perpignan, France
«Les frontières de la radio / The borders of radio»
4th and 5th of June 2015
Participants were invited to send proposals in French, English or Catalan before 2nd of March 2015.
More information:

Union of Local Public Broadcasters of Montenegro, the Academy of Social Sciences, Local Public Broadcaster Radio Bijelo Polje, Journal Media and Communication/ Mediji i komunikacije:
Third International Scientific-Expert Conference MEDIA AND PR
Theme: Public Media Service and Public Interest
19 – 21 June 2015, Bijelo Polje, Montenegro
Submission date for abstracts: 15th of March 2015
More information:

IFoLT International Festival of Local Televisions
17. – 20. Juni 2015 in Košice, Slovakia and Uzhgorod, Ukraine, organized by the City TV Foundation.
We encourage you to enter your films/programmes into competition for the Golden Beggar Award in one of the *three competition sections* ( Local Televisions, Production Companies, Young Authors).
We expect entries that reflect the lives and fates of people living where you live. We also welcome works that uncover serious problems of present-day society, such as corruption, blackmail, minority and cross-border problems and the fate of children.
The deadline for films/programmes to reach Košice is 17th April , 2015.
More information:

Radio: Diversity, Innovation & Policies
The next conference of the Radio Research Section of ECREA will be held at the Getafe campus of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), from 28-30 October 2015.
More information:
Read on our site…»

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New series: Themes and Topics

CMFE is comprised of experts for a wide range of topics related to Community Media. In this series, we want to collect documents, information and expertise. Watch the series grow…

Digital Community Radio, February 2015

Networking and working in Community Media is very often pragmatic, practical and to-the-point. Exchange around different topics is of great interest but gets easily put aside if more urgent issues arise. We are planning to collect short information and links regarding different topics to be used as first information in moments of doubt, as a backup for discussion within the stations, for local lobbying and as a collection of community media related knowledge…
These collections are not complete and we will take the time to rework them every once in a while – if you can add to it, please do so!

For more in-depth information, please get in contact with the relevant people from our board and expert group.
You are very welcome to contribute with your knowledge – please suggest topics and contents to

Topics so far:
Digital Community Radio, February 2015

Topics preparation:
Multilingualism and Community Media, March 2015
Gender and Community Media, in preparation
Religion and Community Media , in preparation
Community Media in Central and Eastern Europe, in preparation

Read on our site…»

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The CMFE was founded to strengthen the participation of the “Third Media Sector” in European discussion and decision-making processes at a moment when freedom of expression and free access to information are increasingly endangered by the consequences of concentration in the media field.

More Informations about our Aims and Objectives:

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