Community Media Empowering Program (m-Com)




6-8 September 2012

Nicosia, Cyprus


Partner Introductions and Presentations


The following partners presented themselves and their work in the field of Community Media, with visual and audio supplementary material, in the following order:

-      CCMC (as the host)

-      Marmara Educators Association


-      Cibervoluntarios

-      E-Seniors

-      DIMITRA




Partners Working Session 1 - Defining Community Media


The session linked very well with the final partner presentation by DIMITRA on their ‘Commedia’ project, and initiated a vibrant discussion on a variety of different understandings and concepts on what Community Media is.


CCMC Director, Larry Fergeson, opened the discussion on behalf of CCMC, and described community media as having the potential to promote a greater understanding about all the communities, particularly in the Cyprus context. He offered some insight into the media landscape in Cyprus, focusing on the fact that the two main communities communicate through their own media systems in their own language (Greek and Turkish), and the predominant narratives are often conflicting and do not allow space for promoting common ground on a number of common issues. For example, because of the political situation, immigration has become a ‘hot potato’ on both sides of the divide. However the understanding of immigration is quite different. This also hinders the ability to see the point of view of new communities in Cyprus. Therefore community media has the opportunity to amplify the voices from the grassroots level, be they civil society organisations or community groups.


The discussion that followed saw an agreement between all partners on the following aspects of Community Media:

1)    Community Media as Empowerment – the ability to empower citizens, groups, and movements through the right to be heard over platforms that offer greater freedom of expression than the commercial/public broadcasting dichotomy;

2)    Community Media and Participatory Democracy – as democracy is based on a plurality of voices and opinions, Community Media strengthens the participation of marginalised communities by giving them a voice through the media;

3)    Community Media as Innovation – with the rise of new technologies and online platforms, Community media offer an array of different groups the opportunities to innovate with free open-source software to complement traditional media in order to get their message out;

4)    Community Media and Volunteerism – with a special insight from Cibervoluntarios and E-Seniors, Community Media can mobilise different groups of into creative media production;


Partners Working Session 2 - Review of Project Document


This session was dedicated to a review of the project document and clarification of all deadlines, partners’ tasks, deliverables, and timeline of mobilities.


From the outset, the following were agreed:

-      All partners should inform their National Agencies that the Lithuanian partner has withdrawn from the project;

-      All partners should have a link from their own website to the m-Com platform, and this should be reflected in the Interim and Final reports.


1) Distribution of PartnersTasks

It was agreed by all present that the tasks assigned to each partner are clear from what is a very thorough and clear project document.


a)   Needs Analysis Questionnaire

It was agreed that the template be developed based on the expertise of all partners, but the final version of the questionnaire be sent out by CCMC. Questions should be as targeted as possible, taking into consideration different target audiences, and the length of responses determined to the most appropriate length. The final questionnaire should reflect the needs of trainers in community media practices, users of community media services, as well as gaps in policy as these relate to different national contexts.


The partners adopted a suggestion by CCMC that three examples of best practice in the field of Community Media be highlighted in the Needs Analysis conducted by each partner (please refer to page 45, point number 3). It was also agreed that each organisation should describe in one paragraph how it involves young people and volunteers in community media projects.


b)   Community Media Curriculum

The Curriculum will be created with the participation of all partners and therefore should reflect the input of all.


c)   Database of Community Media and Media Literacy Organisations and Projects and Volunteer Organisations (Deadline: March 2013)

-      The partners adopted the suggestions of E-Seniors and CCMC that the database give the users of the e-platform a solid grounding and mapping of the community media and media literacy landscape in Europe, with a focus on the partner countries (see CCMC website for links on relevant fields). Only the organisations active and producing solid work on the aforementioned field should be considered for inclusion in the database. In the first stage of collective information, partners will send the following information, in the form of a Microsoft Excel document:

-      Name of Organisation/Project

-      Website

-      Contact details (website and telephone number)









Emails and Skype contacts sent to E-Seniors

All Partners

14 September 2012

Evaluation Template to be sent to CCMC

Marmara Educators Association

14 September 2012

Word Doc created with contact details and Google group created


14 September 2012

Dropbox Folder created and shared


14 September 2012

Facebook Page established


30 September 2012

Needs Analysis Questionnaire Template sent to CCMC

Marmara Educators Association

30 September 2012

Training Module Template sent to CCMC


30 September 2012

Information and Contact Details of each partner sent to CCMC to be uploaded on the project website (in English and partners native language)

All Partners

8 October 2012

Finalised Needs Analysis Questionnaire sent to Partners


15 October 2012

2-3 Project logo options created and distributed for partners’ input


15 October 2012

Website created and ready to launch in conjunction with project logo


15 October 2012

Training Modules/Courses with short explanation sent to CCMC

All Partners

31 October 2012

m-Com project Brochure created


31 October 2012

First e-bulletin/newsletter sent out


31 October 2012

E- platform (Moodle) created


30 November 2012

Needs Analysis completed and results collated and sent to CCMC

All Partners

31 December 2012

Review and discussion of work conducted to date on the Curriculum

All Partners

4-5 February 2013 (at Madrid partners’ meeting)

Decision on how to test the Moodle platform i.e. formal or informal evaluation (Survey Monkey an option, or take trainers on mobilities to test it together)

All Partners

4-5 February 2013 (at Madrid partners’ meeting)

Relevant links to Community Media and Media Literacy organisations and projects sent to CCMC

All Partners

28 February 2013

Database of Community Media and Media Literacy Links finalised and uploaded to the project website


31 March 2013

First e-bulletin/newsletter sent out

Polish Partner

1 June 2013

Interim Project Report (must reflect points on p.48)

Each partner is responsible for their Interim Report

30 June 2013


2) Partners Communication Plan (see Section F2, p.52)

All partners agreed that the main method of contact should be via email (a Google Group will be created), but a Skype meeting will be organized at the halfway point between each mobility. In order to facilitate the sharing of Project Documentation a Dropbox folder will be established.


3) Dates and Changes to Future Meetings/Mobilities (see Section G2, pp.56-58)

There was agreement amongst the partners that the dates for future meetings should be scheduled at this early stage in order to allow partners to plan ahead with additional activities. It was also agreed that - in light of the withdrawal of the Lithuanian partner from the project and the need to replace the mobility to that country - Greece would be the replacement destination. Moreover, given that some partners have had 24 mobilities approved by the National Agencies, an additional meeting venue has been decided, with all partners present agreeing on France as the additional venue.


Therefore, the new schedule of mobilities has changed from:


Cyprus                    September 2012

Spain                      February 2013

Lithuania                 May 2013

Italy                       November 2013

Turkey                    May 2014




Cyprus (Nicosia)       6-8 September 2012

Spain (Madrid)         4-5 February 2013

France (Paris)          13-14 June 2013

Italy (Bari)              14-15 November 2013

Greece (Larissa)       6-7 February 2014

Turkey (Istanbul)      26-27 June 2014


It was discussed that in future meetings study visits (half-day) could be organised to visit community media organisations in the partners’ localities, with Madrid and Paris the next venues for partners meetings.


(STOWARZYSZENIE CENTRUM INICJATYW EDUKACYJNO-SPOLECZNYCH was contacted via Skype on 7 September and agreement was reached on the proposed dates and mobilities.)


It was agreed that, in keeping with the principle of good communication with all National Agencies, each partner will send an email to their respective Agency informing them of the changes in the schedule of mobilities.


4) Dissemination Strategy

All partners agreed that all dissemination material produced at the national level should be recorded and stored for reporting purposes e.g. if a press release is sent out, keep a record of email addresses to which it was sent; if a Twitter message is sent, to how many Twitter users was is tweeted. All materials should include the fact that the action is funded by LLP, and the target audience will be broadened to include VETs, public authorities and civil society organisations.


The dissemination strategy is based on different platforms:

-      E-bulletins or newsletters: Three newsletters will be sent out, corresponding to start, middle and final phases of the project, containing information on completed activities, visual and audio materials;

-      Facebook: A page will be created in order to generate interest from outside the project circle;

-      Project Print Material: including a brochure and press releases.


It was agreed by all that it was important that VET centres be informed about the project.


Based on a suggestion by Cibervoluntarions, it was agreed that efforts should be made to contact organisations based in Brussels, or the relevant European Community Media and Media Literacy institutions themselves, to promote the work of the project. However any mobilities to and from Brussels would need to be done with additional funds.


5) Monitoring and Evaluation

The partners agreed that Marmara Educators Association were well-positioned to offer their previous input and documentation towards conducted the relevant project evaluation. The evaluation would cover issues such as communication between, and the performance of, partners, as well as the quality of outputs against a checklist of activities.


Partners Working Session 3 - Identification of Training Themes/Needs


Working Session 3 was focused on an initial identification of themes and needs that will inform the drafting of the Needs Analysis Questionnaire. It was clear that there were great opportunities to create a really comprehensive questionnaire given the variety of areas of expertise and the different target audiences of each organization. It was also evident that there are needs and priorities in a number of different areas e.g. the empowerment of senior citizens in the use of online tools. There was also agreement amongst all partners that solid work conducted at the needs analysis level would contribute to the creation of a comprehensive curriculum and its constituent modules, which could form a good basis for future projects.


At this initial stage the following needs were identified:

I) Traditional Media Skills – mainly for a civil society audience, all partners agreed that civil society organisations (smaller NGOs in particular) are in need of media skills training that will enable them to communicate more effectively with the wider public. These could range for writing a simple press release, to more technical skills such as video production and editing;

II)   Social Media and Online Open-Source Tools – with the opening up of the Internet, new tools and skills-sets are now available to activists and citizens in general to use in order to communicate more effectively online. These tools are growing at a very rapid rate, and there is a need to provide training on online networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, internet publishing via blogs, as well as information sharing facilities such as Doodle and Dropbox. These skills will also strengthen collaboration between NGOs both nationally and internationally to work towards common goals;

III) Linking with the Mainstream Media – Community Media is an incubator for individuals to work in the media environment. So at a point in time where Community Media is not recognised or readily accessible to groups within society, skills need to be developed for different audiences on how to interact with the mainstream media in order to get their message out there. A good example of an activity in this area was DIMITRA’s work with well-known journalists in not only training people in e.g. interview skills, but also sensitising them about what community media/journalism can do for media pluralism;

IV)  Raising awareness amongst the general public about Community Media – If people are not involved in the Community Media Centre, whether this is through production or simply being aware of its existence through participating in certain events, not enough awareness will exist about its work. Therefore there is a need for finding ways to inform the general public that these organisations and facilities exist, and to involve them with Community Media;

V)   Working with the relevant authorities – for Community Media to have a widespread and meaningful impact there needs to be a level of interaction and/or work done with the relevant authorities. So there is a need to inform organisations active in the field of Community Media of the relevant decisions and documentation that exists at national, European and international levels about Community Media, and how they can use these documents to their advantage in their advocacy work.