AMARC brings together radio experts and practioners in Tunis to discuss culture, practices and identities of community media

Montreal, September 28, 2015. The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), with support from Oxfam, and in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Community Media Solutions (CMS ) and MedNet presents the International Seminar "Culture, identities and missions of civil society’s local media" on 28-29 September 2015 in Tunis, Tunisia.

In Tunisia, following the 2011 Revolution, radios have benefited from the liberalization of the media landscape. The network now brings together 10 community radio stations that have obtained an FM license from the Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HAICA). Several web radio projects are also in development. This makes the Tunisian experience a unique model of pluralism in the countries of the Maghreb and Mashreq region. The emergence of this new wave of community radio stations and their development is accompanied by a set of structural changes at several levels: legal, professional, technical, political, etc.

In April 2015, a forum of regulators from Arab countries was held in Tunis at the initiative of AMARC. Welcomed by the President of the HAICA, this forum highlighted the way to go as well as the positive role played by community radio stations. However, it was noted that these new experiences were likely to be faced with questions regarding the identification of tasks, programming, internal governance, journalistic practices pointing to the relevance of the proposed seminar held today and tomorrow.

By bringing together experts and practioners, the meeting will pay special attention to the development of radio stations and community media in Tunisia and the statutes and their responsibilities under the law and the Constitution. The activities, rights and duties of leaders and teams will also be discussed. In this context, the seminar aims to:

  • Regroup the main Tunisian stakeholders and international representatives to share their thoughts on the theme of identity and mission of community radio stations, particularly in a context of transition.
  • Analyze how international and national NGOs can support new initiatives regarding professional representative bodies.
  • Facilitate the establishment of permanent mechanisms for good governance in radios or representative bodies

Photo: © Debora Del Pistoia