I s s u e  5 9  -   M a y ,  2 0 0 4

Community Radio Forum Reality ...
Press Freedom Day - May 3
Community Radio Exhibit
Community Programme Comp

Community 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 network.

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 11programme CD.

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 stage.

Press 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 democritic process.

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

Community Radio Exhibit

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.

Community Programme Competition

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 social change.

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:

Educational Programmes

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".

Sports programmes:
1. Radio V oz Coop, Maputo Province

Cultural programmes:
1. Radio Xai-Xai, Gaza Province.