Call for papers:Civilmedia 11: Community Media for Social Change: Low Threshold – High Impact

Salzburg, 14. – 16. 04. 2011

This call refers to the following streams:
1 Public Value and Community Media
2 Feminist Media Production in Europe
3 Democracy and Quality
4 Researching Community Media Audiences
5 Crowd Funding&  Social Payments
6 Cross Media Publishing

If you want to give a contribution outside of these thematic streams please add your proposal in the Civilmedia-conference-wiki:,_Workshops_11

1. Public Value and Community Media (Thursday, 14.4., a.m.)
Host: Helmut Peissl

The concept of public value is intended to evaluate and redefine the contribution of broadcasting media for the functioning of the democratic society. It’s not politicians or managers who should decide on public value but the citizens involved in decision making of the media. The debate is relevant for all broadcasting media as public funding should be more and more related to their public value contribution. Public service broadcasters are setting up specific tools and departments to deal with this issue. For community radios and TVs this debate is crucial as it opens a new stage to show their specific and manifold contribution for local public spheres, tanscultural-dialogue and active citizenship.
 We encourage the submission of presentations by activists, media producers and academics for the following panel discussions:

Media for Public Value – redefining the media landscape
What aspects and values can be found and (re)defined to argue medias
contribution for public interest and the functioning of the democratic
society. How can media establish the dialogue with their public as
active citizens.

Public Value – a new horizon for community media´s remit?
The concept of public value opens new options to evaluate and argue CM´s
contribution fulfilling communicative needs of the democratic,
multilingual society. What chances and  risks brings this debate for the
development of the CM-sector in Europe?

If you want to take part in one of the panels please submit abstracts
with max. 200 words in English or German until Feb, 25th, 2011 to Helmut
Peissl ( )

Acceptance notification: March, 12th, 2011


2. Feminist Media Production in Europe (Thursday, 14.4., p.m.)
Hosts: Rosa Reitsamer and Elke Zobl

Women have always played an important role in movements for social
justice. Using media to transport their messages, to disrupt social
orders and to spin novel social processes, feminists have long
recognised the importance of self-managed media. In the past two decades
an increasing number of women have taken the tools of media production
into their hands; a vital social phenomenon that has gone largely
undetected by members of the public, academia, and even sometimes the
feminist movement. As a consequence of this invisibility, very little
documentation and research has been done so far on women’s own media
cultures, especially so in Europe and with a focus on current
developments in the digital realm. To counter this gap and to explore
the processes, effects, potentials, and limitations of women’s and
feminist media production in Europe, the thematic streams focuses on
contemporary feminist grassroots media in general and on blogs, E-zines,
culture jamming, graffiti, radio, TV and digital archives in particular.

We encourage the submission of presentations (in the form of talks,
discussions, workshops, exhibits etc.) by activists, media producers and
academics on the following topics:

* feminism and anti-racism
With the raise of new media and communication technologies, women
started to use these technologies for the production and distribution of
feminist media. This demographics is often described to as part of
„third wave feminism“, „pop feminism“ or „Do-It-Yourself-feminism“. How
do feminist media producers engage with feminism and anti-racism? Can we
identify a „new feminism“ in feminist blogs, E-zines, digital archives
etc.? If so: How does this „new feminism“ distinguish itself from a
Second Wave Feminism?

* local, transnational and virtual networks
The network concept, which emerged in the wake of the controversy over
globalization and the globalization of media communications, is closely
related to Manuel Castells’s theory of the “rise of the network society”
(Castells 2010). The internet in general is perhaps the most obvious
illustration of Castells’s theory. How do feminist media producers
develop local, transnational and virtual networks? How are feminist
media producers involved in various networks that seek for social
change? Which kind of networks are developed in relation to the
production, distribution, geographic spread, content and aims of their

* «alternative economies“
„Alternative economies“ are developed by media producers and consumers
as an alternative to the global media conglomerates. Their primarily aim
is not to commodify media; rather alternative economies focus on the
exchange of knowledge and information, the spread of emancipatory
concepts and activism, and they seek social change. How do feminist
media producers develop and engage in „alternative economies“? What
effect can they have? In which ways do these “alternative economies”
make feminist media with a low threshold and high impact possible?

* DIY citizenship / cultural citizenship and political education
Feminist media offer a space to express opinions, experiences and
political views, but they are also a space in which a critical and
self-reflexive political education, and possibly a Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
or cultural citizenship, could take place. Can we observe such an
expression of DIY or cultural citizenship and political education in
feminist media? How and under which circumstances and in which context
can they take place?

Please submit abstracts with max. 200 words in English until Feb, 3rd,
2011 to Rosa Reitsamer rosa(at) and Elke Zobl

Acceptance notification: March, 1st, 2011


3. Democracy and Quality (Friday 15.4., a.m.)
Host: Nico Carpentier

Community media’s offer a valuable contribution to the democratisation
of the media sphere and of society as a whole. They (try to) change and
unsettle social inequalities by reworking the power relations that are
embedded in the processes of media production. But this is not always
that easy, as power inequalities often resurface despite the best
intentions. Quality is one of the areas where this problematics become
visible, as mainstream media’s definitions of quality, and their strong
value judgements of what is good and bad content, are always nearby.
Simultaneously, community media producers remain committed to quality,
at the levels of content, content production processes and democratic
management. This thematic stream deals with this tension, and how
quality, democracy and participation can be reconciled.

Proposals for presentations by activists, media producers and academics
on the topic of democracy and quality.

Please send an abstract with max. 200 words in English before Feb, 25th,
2011 to Nico Carpentier -<>.

Acceptance notification: March, 12th, 2011


4. Researching Community Media Audiences (Friday 15.4. p.m.)

Host: Salvatore Scifo

‘Developing Dialogues’, the latest work by Australian scholars Susan
Forde, Kerrie Foxwell and Michael Meadows (2009) is arguably the most
extensive qualitative audience analysis done in the field of community
media so far, showing the important cultural role played by the sector,
especially for indigenous and ethnic communities. Moreover, extensive
quantitative surveys done every two years (McNair Ingenuity, since 2004)
do also confirm that 26% of Australians over the age of 15 listen to
community radio every week (2010).

Taking inspiration from the work done in Australia, the session will aim
to discuss the state of research on community media audiences in Europe,
highlighting case studies of recent and ongoing qualitative and
quantitative research done in the area at regional and national level.
The sessions will aim also to draft the contours of a European agenda
for further research and collaboration in this area, involving
practitioners, policymakers and researchers active in this area, for a
work to be continued also after the event.

Please send an abstract of  max. 200 words in English by Friday 25
February 2011 to Salvatore Scifo at
Accepted abstracts will be notified by Saturday 12 March 2011.


5 Crowdfunding&  Social Payments (Saturday, 16.4. a.m.)
Host: David Röthler

Financing community media activities has always been a challenge. But
with the rise of the Internet and Social Media new options are explored.
Crowdfunding closely related to crowdsourcing describes the
co-operation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their
money together in order to support efforts initiated by other people or
organisations. The term Crowdfunding is usually applied to raising money
for planned future projects whereas the term Social Payment refers to
small remunerations for content already produced.

Crowdfunding&  Social Payment are an innovative and still experimental
approach to finance (online) content and projects utilising Web 2.0
paradigms. Among well-known platforms are,

This Civilmedia stream is looking forward to contributions like:

* Good practice Crowdfunding for community media and other domains
* Crowdfunding platforms
* Social Payment systems
* Compatibility with community media ethics
* Participation, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding
* ….

The intention of this stream is to give an overview on existing projects
and to try to develop ideas for further action.
Please submit your proposal to David Röthler

Please, post your proposal/abstract as well to

This stream will be transmitted live online through a video conference
system. Anyone interested can follow and contribute online as well

Skype contact:
Skype d.roethler

Online resources:


6 Cross Media Publishing (Saturday, 16.4. p.m)
Host: Stefan Tenner

The Internet complements community radio or television media in many
ways. To communicate, work cross media and interactive with the web is
more and more part of the daily working procces. To publish news about
the programme, audio or video on demand and other issues on the website
and activities in online social networks like Twitter and Facebook are
increasingly growing.

The content and announcements get circulated by the community and the
web opens new ways for participation, feedback and discussion. Also for
internal networking and decision making processes useful tools are
existing. Wiki and chat are used for editorial preparation, blogs are a
repository for meeting minutes. Possibilities to virtually meet other
editors or members of the radio are increasing.
But how does this development effect community media? How are we using
the new possibilities and which methods are existing to work more
effectively, to use new ways to publish and to collaborate and organize
feedback and offer more participation? Which role are open software and
non for profit platforms playing?

This is a call for people from community media, who are interested to
discuss and present their views or projects at a thematic stream on
“Cross Media Publishing” at the UnConference Civilmedia 2011. Please
propose your presentations, topics for panel discussions and speeches to
Stefan Tenner:

For general information, please contact Eva Schmidhuber

Eva Schmidhuber