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Presentation of Community Media Archive at #fome18

CCMN Office November 26, 2018 6

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The CCMN and its partner from the Community Media Network Sierra Leone (COMNET SL) presented the common project on archiving and documentation of community media and civil society content in West and Central Africa – the CMA – Community Media Archive West and Central Africa – at the FoME – Forum Media and Development (Forum Medien und Entwicklung)

The FoME “is a network of institutions and individuals active in the field of media development cooperation. It serves as the German platform for the exchange of experiences, research and further elaboration of concepts. It facilitates the dialogue between media practitioners, development politics and the scientific community.”

The FoME 2018 held on 23 and 24 November 2018 at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Berlin under the title “The Silent Takeover – Media Capture in the 21st Century“. This year’s FoME topic”puts the complex triangle of ”Politics – Private Interests – Media“ at the centre of debate. In many cases, people in power no longer need to openly exert their power over media through censorship or force. Instead, supportive and subtle – rather than repressive – forms of political and business-related intervention in the media sector seem to have become the method of choice. During the symposium, we will discuss the factors that foster what is referred to in academic literature as ”Media Capture“; the extent to which this expanding strategy influences democracy, pluralism, and freedom of the press; and strategies to prevent ”the silent takeover“ of the free media.

The opening key note by Anya Schiffrin (Columbia University)

Since 2 years the CCMN and COMNET SL collaborate on the challenges and opportunities of visualising, documenting and archiving content of community media and civil society organisations in the West and Central African sub-region. The common project addresses issues of lost of knowledge and visibility of these organisations and the possibilities of ICT documentation and archiving solutions for further collaboration in the region.

The CMA – Community Media Archiv in West and Central Africa is “an online community media platform. Community-based media production has always been an attempt to »recapture« the media and communication processes from the grass-roots level. Community media houses in West and Central Africa are at the forefront of uncovering processes of exploitation, corruption, marginalisation and discrimination, as well as the impact of violent conflicts on local populations. With over 120 members, the Community Media Network Sierra Leone (COMNET SL) and the Cameroon Community Media Network (CCMN) have developed an open-source software to make the efforts of local media organisations visible. The CMA is an open and participatory online documentation and exchange platform for community media and civil society actors. This presentation explores the potential of community media, as a counter-initiative against the pressure of economic and political elites on the media system.

The full FoME 2018 program is also available for download here


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