Forum Reality ...
Press Freedom Day - May 3
Community Radio Exhibit
Community Programme Comp
Radio Forum Reality in Mozambique
A total of 42 Mozambican community radios and CMCs confirmed their
commitment to join hands through the formation of a National Community
Radio Network the last day of. April as the culmination of a one-week
constitutive conference and festival.
The 220 participants from Mozambique, Angola, South Africa and Europe
witnessed the approval of the statutes and the presentation by the
elected National Council of i~s initial work plan to the General
Assembly. The plan was approved, which underlined that the members and
their national council are set for a dynamic start of this powerful
people's movement in one of the world's poorest countries.
With a firm funding commitment expressed by the international
partners present, a thorough strategic planning process will go hand in
hand with the National Council's plan to continue the work already
initiated by the planning group over the past three years in the areas
of: training, a technical network, a partnership & fundraising strategy,
a code of conduct for election coverage and a very active women's
The one week event also included workshops on .CMCs & new
technologies, Organisational development & Associativism, Sustainability
& Partnerships, the Women's Network, Preventive Maintenance, Community
Radio and the Elections, and an international session learning what is
happening in Angola,. what AMARC is, as well as information on
networking experiences in Africa and Latin America.
The "festival" part of the conference furthermore included an exhibit
reflecting the country's community radio history, and profiles of the
diversity of partners making up this movement, a programme competition
with a festive award ceremony, a colourful cultural show put on by the
radios and an active production studio at the service of the
participants, who produced a reflection of the event through an
The 42 FORCOM members are community radios initiated and run by a
diverse group of development actors in Mozambique: the state through its
Communication Institute, the Catholic Church, one Municipality and a
growing group of Community owned and Community run stations. In 1994 the
first Mozambican community radio went on air, in 1998 eight radios
called themselves "community radios" and now, ten years after the start
42 radios are on air, with some five projects in an advanced planning
Freedom Day - May 3
"In observing the World 'Press Freedom Day, we draw attention to the
crucial role that free, independent and pluralistic media play in the
Respecting the media's independence and recognizing the fundamental
right of press freedom, enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, are essential for transparency and the rule
of law. These pr4tciples are equally important in rich and poor
countries alike, in times of peace and in times of war."
On this basis UNESCO's Director-General in his address on the
occasion of this year's Press Freedom day, where he pledged that we "applaud
the brave men and women who bring us the news in defiance of the risks
and dangers. Their freedom to do their work is inextricably linked to
the wider enjoyment of basic rights and fundamental freedoms. "
In Maputo the Press Freedom day was celebrated around the awarding of
the "Carlos Cardoso prize", recognizing the life, work and risks taken
by one of Mozambique's best investigative journalists, who paid with his
life in a macabre assassination in November 2000.
The winner of this year's press freedom prize was the Radio
Mozambique journalist Boaventure Mandlate. The criteria for selection
included investigative approach, respect for press ethics of listening
to and . using sources, profoundness of the analysis and the defence of
democratic values, truth and moral integrity.
The Carlos Cardoso Prize was presented by the European Union, the
Swiss Embassy, MISA, LIV ANINGO and Media Coop
As part of the Press Freedom Day celebrations which as always were
organized by the National Union of Journalists, MISA and UNESCO, the'
Media Project had developed an exhibit on Community Radio in Mozambique,
and highlighted in the intervention the important role of community
radio for democratization and development.
All agree that the content of the programmes in a Community Radio
make the difference in terms of success or not in its facilitation of
During the Constitutive Conference of FORCOM (see the editorial) one
of the festival activities was therefore a programme competition. A Jury
worked all through the week in Chimoio, listening to a total of 34
programmes entered into the competition. The selection of the winning
programmes was made on the basis of a set of pre-established criteria.
The jury was composed representatively among the different types of
stations present. The result, starting with the winner, announced in the
festive award ceremony was:
1. Radio Mutarara, n the Northeastern Province of Tete:"Juntos pela
vida", 2. Radio Encontro, in the Northern Capital of Nampula: "Forum
estudante", 3. Radio Infantil, in the Zambeze Province: "Programa
infantil", 4. Radio Voz Coop, from Women's Agricultural Cooperative I
Maputo: "Ahitivikeleni, 5. Radio sem fronteira, in the Northern Province
of Cabo Delgado: "Palavras".
1. Radio V oz Coop, Maputo Province
1. Radio Xai-Xai, Gaza Province.