FM@dia - Forum 2004
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FM@dia Forum 2004  
Concept FM@dia Forum 2004
FM@dia Forum '04 (en)

Connecting Free Media. Exchange within and beyond Central and Eastern Europe.

Meeting and workshops of Free Media initiatives on framing diverse strategies for sustainable cultural cooperation and exchange.

10th - 11th June 2004 (Part 1)
12th - 13th June 2004 (Part 2)

Prague (Cz) NoD Experimental space
Freistadt (A) Salzhof


People from a variety of community-, free-, independent-, sovereign-, civic-, NGO media and social organisations will gather together in Prague and Freistadt to meet, discuss and develop strategies for the liberalisation of the information and communication situation in Europe - with special focus on Central Europe. It is set up for active members and representatives of a number civic, cultural and media initiatives from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Austria, including guests from both western northern, southern and eastern regions.


The rapid social, political, economical and technological shift of terms of the expanded "United Europe" pose a challenge to discuss, reframe and compare such topics as "free speech", "public access", "independence - media ownership", "creative commons", "digital gap" or "content exchange". All this and more requires a cross- referencing for establishing a common base and functioning platform for better collaboration among media activists, artists, free radios , 'zine publishers, internet publishers etc.

While the region is characterised by a relatively high potential of growth of media and civic activities, the inter-connectivity reaching beyond the borders remains by comparison rare. This meeting seeks to offer the opportunity for improving coordination and sharing experiences and know-how among the participants.

The issues of civic media and rights of communication shall be discussed within a broader public debate. Special internet "web-streaming" will take place during the meeting, in order to broadcast and archive the event.


Easier access to new digital technologies open new chances as well as threats for civic and community media as opposed to mass media and corporate structures. Activating and intensifying mutual communication and collaboration between different regions, languages and cultures is the aim of the "FM@dia" forum.

FM@dia 04 is divided in several block and working groups according to special interests: (each working group has supervisor)

1. Media Landscapes

How have the Media-Landscapes developed since the fall of Berlin Wall (in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Germany and Austria)?
How to define a role for European Free and community Media networks, what is their relation to corporate and governmental mass media? Different circumstances result in a multitude of approaches to the term of "Free Media", still are there corresponding aims/ideals? What impact do the free and community media and initiatives have on the public debate and civic rights? What extent and impact of statutes related to community media and civic free media initiatives are and will be included in the European Union media policy (Community Media Fund)?

2. Survival Kit For Independent Media

Conditions, experiences, and possibilities for community-media in the extended European Union: a survey from different countries. Used practices and strategies, issues of legality and laws. Solidarity, interactivity, broader awareness and understanding of diversity of local dilemma, transcending the conforming and "national" attitudes. What changes do the electronic networks bring forth and how are they currently (dis)functioning? How are they rooted in the local social patterns and specific conditions of different national and political entities?

3. Content Exchange � Free Flow Of Information

Content-exchange within Free Media in the new European Union. What are the advantages and interests of potentially cooperating parallel cross-national oriented broadcasting and information initiatives? Their accessibility, openness and will for strategy implementation, multi-lingual media channels, broadcasts, media jamming, etc. Can media solidarity and media education empower the sustainable models and democracy? ( , , , Europe from down below, etc)

4. Cross Border Media & Local Development

Community media as an intercultural communication tool - the emerging field of mobile media transmitters explores the convergence of data and location in environments, which are aside the main communication highways. Nowadays it is possible to use cheap, portable, networked, location aware computing devices for user-led mapping and interventions in which geographical and cultural minority expression can be voiced and integrated in the media landscape.

Can these tools of locative media contribute to the social and cultural, political and ecological multi-layer projects? How can local community media benefit from them and in which way can this technology stimulate the interconnectivity, alternative channels for cultural exchange
and collaboration across "the borders"? (eg. issues of migration, immigration, "recovering" of the dialogues between the recently disconnected regions such as of Upper Austria, Bavaria and South Bohemia, Hungary and Slovakia or former Yugoslavia)?

Several speakers from national and international political structures will be invited to formulate and present their visions on the problem of media and communication in the region.

Proposed number of participants: 50-100

The formats of the conference will be panel discussions (plenary discussions), presentations (examples for best practice, marketing, networking) and workshops (split up into working-groups with practical questions as funding, how to start etc.).

The event will be accompanied by evening programs.

Alliance of Organizations:

Bundesverband Freier Radios Deutschland (BFR),
European Civic Forum,
Freier Rundfunk Freistadt, Freistadt (A)
Radio FRO, Linz (A),
Radio Akropolis, Prague
Transition Online
Verband Freier Radios Osterreich,
Centre for Contemporary Art Prague/Radio Jeleni
Linhart Foundation,


"Sovereign media are equipped with their own starters and do not need to push off from any possible predecessors or other media. They are different from the post'68 concept of alternative media and from the autonomous "inside" media of the 80s. The alternative media work on the principle of "antipublicity" and mirror the mainstream media, which they feel needs to be corrected and supplemented. This strategy aims to make the individual aware of his behavior as well as his opinion. This process will ultimately be seen in a changed public opinion. These little media have no general claims but work with a positive variant of the cancer model, which assumes that in the long term everyone, whether indirectly or through the big media, will become informed about the problem being broached."

Adelkino Theory of Sovereign Media

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