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Third Arab Regional Community Media Conference kicks off
Amman, Feb.25 (Petra) -- The third Arab Regional Community Media Conference started its meetings Monday evening under the title "Our independent voices." The conference is part of the Aswatona network and is organized by the Amman-based Community Media Network and the UK-based Community Media Solutions in association with the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and a network of NGO partners.

The event was opened by the Director General of the Audiovisual Commission, Amjad Qadi, who revealed that the commission had reviewed Jordan's Media strategy and is studying a move to reduce fees for licensing community radio stations by 70 per cent.

The three-day conference brings together more than 100 community broadcasters, many of whom have emerged as part of the emphasis as a result of Arab Spring on searching for independent voices and freedom of expression.

The representative of the Community Media Solutions, Steve Buckley, said that the European Union will grant 900,000 euros for community radio broadcasters and NGOs in nine Arab countries in accordance with the principles and criteria that serve these countries’ local communities.

"The conference provides a unique opportunity for networking and exchange of good practices among community media in a region experiencing dynamic change in the political and media landscape," Buckley added.

Founder of the Aswatona Network, Daoud Kuttab, said that the conference is a visible reaffirmation of the need to focus our efforts on fine tuning our independent voices.

"In the middle of the chaos that has been ushered in by the Arab Spring, we have been able to discover and enhance genuine and authentic voices who are taking to the airwaves, be these FM or online, to say what is on their mind," he added.

During the conference, participants will exchange experiences, hear success stories of Arab community radio personnel who participated in the Aswatona Project.

The Aswatona Network conference is supported with a generous grant from the Swedish Agency for Development, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office, Open Society Foundation and International Media Support.

//Petra//S Kh
25/2/2014 - 02:45:23 PM

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