AMARC Europe at the EPRA Meeting in Edinburgh May 2017

Community media were invited by EPRA to take part in their meeting in Edinburgh 17th to 19th of May 2017 and present community media initiatives focused on media literacy. The invitation took place after lobbying by AMARC and CMFE in Dublin, and AMARC president, Michael Nicolai, President of AMARC Europe, represented community media with the support of CMFE as one of the speakers on the panel of the Working group 1 on Media Literacy: “Mapping key initiatives & researching media use” which took place on 18 May 2017. His presentation highlighted the essential role played by community media to foster media literacy.

All in all it has to be noted that EPRA is concerned about the increase of hate speech and fake news in media and so there was a focus on those issues during the conference. Because of the nature of the network, EPRA references on terms of speakers and topics were public and commercial media. Tellingly, it was AMARCs attendance – which was facilitated by the chair of EPRA, Celene Craig, deputy CEO of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (with its relatively remarkable recognition of the community media sector) -, that brought the role of third sector in promoting and implementing media literacy actions in society to the attention of regulators.

In the workgroup session on media literacy, Alison Preston Head of Media Literacy Research of OFCOM presented their study about some of their most recent key findings from OFCOM’s portfolio of media literacy research, paying particular attention to key indicators for critical thinking among media users.

Maja Capello, Head of Department for Legal Information, European Audiovisual Observatory, presented a summary of the “Mapping of media literacy practices and actions in EU-28” wherein at least three community media organisations (CRAOL, CTA and Cyprus Community Media Centre) are mentioned.