Community Radio Network reiterates Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media

CAPTION: Sharon Bhagwan Rolls. File Photo.

May 2, 2013.?Ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3 and a Community Radio Roundtable in conjunction with GPPAC Pacific and made possible with assistance from UNESCO, the European Union and International Women’s Development Agency, FemLINKPacific joins the global network of Community Radio broadcasters (AMARC) in calling for greater regulatory recognition of community radios, and a greater equity in frequency allocation and transmission allocation.

AMARC calls upon States and governments, and press and audiovisual regulatory authorities to respect their engagements for press and audiovisual freedom of expression.

Community Radios all over the world should be able to develop and work in safe economic and legal environments. Their broadcast rights should be further recognized and reinforced. Community radios are the ones that allow the excluded and marginalized ? particularly women and the poor ? to express themselves publicly and these should be further recognized by the international community.

May 3rd was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom. In dozens of countries around the world, radios are censored, fined, or simply didn?t have licence to broadcast legally, while journalists and radio directors are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

After having added, to AMARC request, community media collaborators to the list of journalist to protect by the UN, UNESCO just recognized in April 2012 AMARC as an association member. This is a huge victory for community and associative radios.

?SAFE TO SPEAK : Securing Freedom of Expression in all Media?: this is the theme for World Press Freedom Day 2013.

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters AMARC, highlights that civil society broadcasters are the new frontier of communications. These women and men broadcasters play a fundamental role in situations of conflict and natural or climate change related disasters; in protecting and giving information to populations and in reconstruction processes.

Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 130 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983, has been to accompany and support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and cooperation.

MINFO