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Africa and the Middle East on road towards the II World Forum of Free Media, held in Rio de Janeiro, June 2012

segunda-feira 2 de abril de 2012, por Marion Bachelet , Marion Bachelet

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The next United Nations press conference on sustainable development will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 20 to 22, 2012. More commonly known as, Rio +20, this international conference, marks the twentieth anniversary of the first Earth Summit also held in Rio de Janeiro, 1992.

Photo: WFFM 2009, Belém

This conference will review the commitments made by member countries on the issue of a greener economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Numerous civil society organisations throughout the world are already mobilised for this event. Activists in the field of “alternative media” are using this opportunity to organise, the second World Forum of Free Media (WFFM) at the same time as Rio +20. This document seeks to retrace the various stages of preparation of the Second WFFM.

All began in Belem, 2009, during the first World Forum of Free Media organised alongside the more established, World Social Forum (WSF). The initial meetings and debates continued in Dakar as part of the WSF held in February 2011, and later in Marrakech during which an open-space on "alternative media" was arranged, then in December 2011 and January 2012 in Porto Alegre during the third World Forum of Free Media and lastly in Tunis during the workshop on "Community Media and the Arab Spring".


During the World Social Forum held in Belem, January 26 and 27, 2009, five hundred people came throughout the world to organise the first World Forum of Free Media. This meeting was an opportunity to discuss other possible forms of communication that concern the global civil society. Two discussion workshops were organised as well as a seminar on communication and sixteen independently organised activities took place during the event.

Invitation to the World Forum of Free Medias (Cf. attached filed)

: Free Speech and an Open Mic 

Another media is possible (and necessary) (Carta Maior)

WORLD SOCIAL FORUM – Dakar (February 2011)

Workshop “Alternative Information in support of Political and Social Mobilisation”

February 8, 2011, seven associations working in the field of alternative media, organised in Dakar a media workshop entitled “Alternative Information in Support of Political and Social Mobilisation”. By the end of this workshop, participants agreed to hold a second “World Forum of Free Media” in 2012. It was thus suggested that the second WFFM would be organised alongside the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations conference on sustainable development (Rio +20), which will be held in June 2012, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

Conference on the Right to Communicate

During a conference on the Right to Communicate, held on February 11, 2011, participants adopted a “Declaration on the right to inform and be informed”.

OPEN-SPACE “ALTERNATIVE MEDIA” - Marrakech (December 2011)

The Moroccan Alternative Forum organised a seminar in Marrakech, December 9 to 10, 2011 on “Social movements and associations, what strategies ought to used in light of changing dynamics?”. Moreover, E-joussour’s Community Portal for the Civil Society in the Maghreb and Mashrek regions organised a workshop (known as an open-space) on the subject of alternative media in preparation of the second “World Forum of Free Media”, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), June 2012. This event will be attended by 33 participants from seven countries representing 3 continents.

Marrakech declaration (Cf. attached file)

Self organized workshop on alternatives media 10 dec 2011 (Cf. attached file)

THE THIRD FREE MEDIA FORUM – Porto Alegre (January 2012)

A preliminary meeting regarding Latin American dynamics took place alongside the “Forum on Climate Change” in Porto Alegre, late January 2012. Partners from Africa and the Mashrek region were equally present.

Work began with a plenary presentation on "Alternative Media and the Arab Spring: using case studies from the Maghreb / Mashrek region and Palestine." Later participants took part in workshops which covered the following themes:

  • Alternative medias and the right to communicate;
  • Alternative medias and the ownership of information technology and communication networks;
  • Alternative medias and public policy.

A panel has since been brought together on the protocol of the networks used by social movement and on the second World Forum of Alternative Media and Communication alongside the Rio +20 conference.

The forum culminated in the adoption of the Charter of the III Free Media Forum, Porto Alegre and the creation of a follow-up and coordination committee.

The III Free Media Forum mobilizes communication activists towards Porto Alegre

A protocol for the free networks

Official Website (in Portuguese)


The working group on the Maghreb and the Middle East, including the civil society portal Maghreb Mashreq E-joussour, and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), the Community Media Network (CMN), with the support of International Media Support (IMS), Oxfam Novib, EED, AIDS and Open Society Foundation, organized the first conference of the Mashreq and Maghreb: "Community Media and the Arab Spring" in Tunis on 9 and 10 March 2012.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the E-joussour Portal, AMARC and Panos Institute West Africa, held on 11 March 2012, a meeting for exchange and dialogue about the II World Forum on alternative Media to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 and the project of the first Africa-Mashreq Forum on alternative Media (IFAMMA).

28 activists and representatives of associations and NGOs in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast, attended the meeting, as well as the President, the Vice-President and the Secretary General of AMARC, the Coordinator of AMARC Africa, the Director of the Panos Institute West Africa, the Director of IPS, the President of the National Observatory of Communication of Niger and representatives of IFEX, ANHR and Oxfam Novib.

The works of this meeting chaired by the coordinator of E-joussour were structured around the following three areas:

1. the III Brazilian Forum of alternative media;
2. the II World Forum of alternative media;
3. the I Forum on Africa-Mashreq alternative media.