World Social Forum 2016The WFFM is a thematic space of the WSF of Montréal.
Financial partnersThe World Forum on Free Media 2016 is supported by: Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Dean of Arts Development Fund (McGill), Department of Art History and Communication Studies (McGill), Chaire de recherche du Canada en éducation aux médias et droits humains (Teluq) Chaire de recherche UQAM sur les usages des technologies numériques et les mutations de la communication (UQAM), Ritimo, Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications (McGill), James McGill Chair in Culture and Technology (McGill), Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy (McGill), Institute for the Study of International Development (McGill).Sites des organisations partenaires du processus du FMMLPortail Internet « E-JOUSSOUR » de la société civile Maghreb/Machrek Ritimo Intervozes IPAO - Institut Panos Afrique de l’Ouest : Institut Panos Afrique de l’Ouest Association Mondiale des radiodiffuseurs communautaires (AMARC) América Latina en Movimiento (ALAI) Inter Press Service (IPS) The South African Civil Society Information Service (SACSIS) World Forum on Free Media - Ciranda Forum Social Mondial 2015 Media@McGill World Social Forum TV
The Movement launches the creation of the World Charter of Free Media
- Tuesday 2 July 2013
The initiative was approved during the third edition of the World Forum of Free Media, held in Tunisia. The document seeks to bring together the most diverse actors within this sector, around the fundamental principles to exercise the right to communication and freedom of expression, around the world.
(Translation from Spanish - Tomasina Contu)
Last month took place the launch of the creation process of the World Charter of Free Media at international level. The initiative, approved during the third edition of the World Forum of Free Media (WFFM) - as part of the activities of the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunisia - seeks to bring together the most diverse actors in this sector, on the fundamental principles and rights to free communication in different countries. The goal is to create a reference document for the joint mediums and activists in this field, which can be used to assess the media situation over time and to compare it with the reality of other countries. The Charter will also be a strategic platform for joint actions of movements and organizations fighting for media democratisation throughout the world.
"Since the year 2009, when the first World Forum of Free Media took place in Belem, the communication movement has been growing internationally. The creation of this Charter will be an opportunity for gathering and articulating both actors and militants of free media in different countries and discuss the challenges to be met in order to ensure freedom of expression," says Marion Bachelet, from E-joussour, which is the civil society’s portal in the Maghreb-Mashriq’s region (North Africa and Middle East).
For Mohamed Legotas, also from E-jossour, the Charter should be an instrument for the movement’s mobilisation, furthermore the World Forum of Free Media could become the meeting place for those who wish to adhere to this Charter.
It is not a small challenge. The very definition of "free media" encompasses a large multitude of media, community radios and TV stations associated with blogs, sites and alternative publications, possibly even through public media. In the free media sector are also included journalists, communicators, edu-communicators, bloggers, video producers and developers of free technologies involved in building alternatives to communication models that are monopolised or controlled by economic powers.
"What they all have in common is the effort for transformation and social justice", explains Ms. Diana Senghor from Senegal, representing Panos Institute of West Africa. "But as there are plenty initiatives unaware of each other, the World Charter of Free Media can be an instrument for geographically articulating different types of media for different types of strategies," she says.
Finally, the document may also contribute to social and popular movements, which are part of the World Social Forum process, so that they understand that the struggle for free media is a central challenge in the struggle for another globalisation, not only as an instrument of communication but as a right in itself.
Whirlwind of principles
The activity promoted in the III WFFM in Tunisia was the kick-start for the creation of the World Charter of Free Media. In Tunisia, the participants put forward the first ideas of the fundamental principles and rights to entitlement to be included in the document.
One of them is the recognition of the communication as a right and the recognition of pluralistic information as a basis for the formation of truly democratic societies and for a critical and independent public opinion. In the same vein, another right to entitlement in the Charter is the reaffirmation of social movements as essential informers to broaden the diversity of messages circulating within our civil society.
Another issue mentioned in the debate was the importance of a democratic regulation to curb the concentration of media ownership and the development of public policies on communication with popular participation. It was also stressed the strategic aspect of universal access to new information and communication technologies, such as the Internet, which in a scenario of technological convergence, should remain free from purely economic interests. In the same way, it was reaffirmed the need to create an economic model for free media, independent from market powers and not dominated by audience dictatorship nor advertising.
Faced with threats by political and economic authorities and with repression by authoritarian governments, the participants of the WFFM also stressed the need to ensure the protection of journalists, bloggers and popular communicators during the exercise of their activities. At the same time it was also highlighted the importance of media education and the decolonisation of knowledge production.
"At the same time, it will be a comprehensive and objective document; we will work on it during this year and it will be ratified at the next edition of the World Forum of Free Media, in 2012 ", explained Danielle Moreau, president of the French NGO Ritimo. In order to develop the first draft of the Charter, an international working group will be created, which will involve the participation of the Brazilian organisations Intervozes and Ciranda. In August, the first draft of the document will be placed on the Internet for public consultation in five languages, in order to receive any text contributions such addenda, modifications and deletions.
At the end of the year a new draft will be made available to collect initial adhesions, with a view to its launch in the first half of 2014. Next edition of the WFFM, in addition to launching the Charter, will have to discuss strategies for the appropriation of the document by free media’s social movements and actors, and for its use to defend the right to communication in different countries, in conjunction with civil societies and governmental and multilateral agencies, like the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression.Articles de la Rubrique