Introducing the Project
Every day, local citizens across Europe are producing hundreds of community media programs, broadcast on non-commercial, participatory TV and radio stations. They are creating a range of content of immense variety. The news and current affairs programs they make tackle issues like migration policy, political education, cultural diversity, European integration and many other topical subjects. At a time of increasing concentration of commercial media ownership and strains on public service broadcasting, the European Parliament has recognized the important and significant role of independent community media. Their work bolsters Europe’s media pluralism, empowers citizens, fosters social inclusion, enriches social debate, and provides valuable training and skills.
The growing array of socially relevant content they produce constitutes a vast knowledge resource, and an effective use of it could buttress people’s right to freedom of expression and access to information. Unfortunately, many of the programs which community media produce are only broadcast once and become unavailable to the public after that, since the mostly volunteer-based, non-profit stations face specific limits and dilemmas when it comes to creating and managing online archives.
The goal of the project CAPTCHA is to empower community media, and the media producers working there, to increase the accessibility of their programs, by promoting the exchange of content and exploring sharing platforms, tackling the economic, technical and legal issues they face, and increasing awareness and practical know-how about the digital tools that are available now to facilitate collaboration and accessibility.
The project will review and analyse existing strategies community media are deploying to create and use archives, and identify examples of best practice. During workshops and conferences, experts and practitioners will discuss the economic, legal and technical aspects of archiving, including questions of copyright and fair use. In the course of the project’s events and collaborations, we will explore innovative and sustainable methods of facilitating the storing, editing and using of community-produced audio and video materials in collaborative and democratic ways, and develop a new, open source tool to facilitate archiving interfaces. The project partners will produce and share thematically related broadcasts, run a project site with findings and useful examples and materials in different formats, and publish project results in print as well as online. We welcome the input of media producers, researchers and consumers alike.