On Saturday I went to the Community Media Association, see AGM. I blacked my way in as I said I would be from Indymedia. So there were all the professional community media makers trying to make decisions, and most of them had only one aim: give more money and give a frequency. Both main objectives seem to feed primarily into one: Secure my job! Sadly enough, actually rarely anybody seemed to be concerned with Community Media as a tool for change, as a tool for empowerment. There was hardly no practical approach and so much infighting over power which doesn’t even exist yet.
As well as the CMA seems to be a rather dull lobbyist club. They honestly believed that it would be their 20 years of lobbying which brought the change to community media, and NOT the internet.
Believe me or not, but in my opinion, if the internet wouldn’t have come along there would still be only commercial media and mainstream media which would try to secure and control the media output and the release of news.
I left a pile of Counterinfo and it was nice seeing somebody from Variant.
Less nice was the speaker of OFCOM, the licensing authority for frequencies for community radio. He sees one of the major criteria as being “excellence” and “quality”.
More revealing were the questions at the end when well-suited businessmen were mobbying and lobbying for “their” project, kind of “we have done so fantastic things, give me a frequency, give me some money”.
The other revealing statement certainly came from a London radio for the blind. “What are you doing against the pirates”.
And that was the secret main aim of the day. Selfishness.
Other underlying messages:
– Give me an archive, but I won’t share my content.
– I won’t help or cooperate with you. I want a frequency only for myself and you are a competitor.
– Lobbying is the most important issue at the CMA; we don’t provide any other service, but uselessly slime around politicians.
Actually, I was quite disappointed with the AGM. I hoped to find more lefty political people there as in Germany, who are cooperating with each other to make the best of programs, the best of funding, the best of their resources.
I hoped people come together to change circumstances together for the better.
Instead, there was so much competition. The Scottish media workshop was a waste, even more. Everybody seems only to want to gather more power.
Actually, it is really rather sad. Maybe it is just evil capitalism which always and everywhere destroys our lives, our relationships.
We all want to have nice work and community media seems the best work ever to be in. But there are so many competitors as in every job which is fun, and exactly this takes so much fun out of the job, because then starts the infighting, then starts the emotional blackmailing and the secret backstabbing.
It was a very formal meeting, with hardly any practicalities.
At the end of the day, I felt like going back to Germany and taking up veterinary medicine again.
Not because of the joy of it, but at least the AGMs were nicer.
Comment by Neare Flammer on 2006-07-20 03:20:37 +0100
Hmm I love the idea behind this website, very unique.