On September 15th, RESIS Institute and the Local Community Development Foundation – Stip held a meeting with civil society organizations from the Eastern region, part of the Network of Audience Councils, on the occasion of the establishment of the new community media platform #LocalActive, part of the LocalActiveMedia project.
At the meeting held in the premises of the Youth Hub in Shtip, representatives from 13 local civil society organizations from the Eastern region representing the rights of vulnerable groups of citizens attended, including: Association of Blind Persons - Shtip, Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities - Mobility, Educational and humanitarian organization EHO, Nadezh - Shtip, Poraka - Shtip, Media Plus, INI Vinica, Roma Association for Equal Rights - ROTA, Association of Multi-Ethnic Society for Human Rights, NGO Kham, Cherenja - Shtip, Svetla Idnina, Bravura Cooperative.
At the meeting, the representatives from the civic organizations developed a discussion about the need of a community media platform that will primarily function as a media channel for improving the communication needs and will represent the rights of vulnerable categories of citizens in the Eastern and Southeastern regions, but it will also be a platform that civil society organizations from this region will use it to create new channels for communication with their constituents and with the general public who will learn about the work of the civil sector.
Representatives from civil society organizations emphasized that civil society organizations are often denied access to the existing media, but also that the content that reaches the media is often untrue due to their goal of gaining more visibility with sensational news or content. Remarks were also made about the small media space that exists in both regions and the need to create an open community media platform like #LocalActive to promote the activities of civil society organizations on a platform that will work in the function of representing above all the rights of the vulnerable categories of citizens. It was also noted that there is a need to coordinate and network civil society organizations from these two regions in order to have a more effective and increased influence on the creation of policies in local communities.
#LocalActive as community media will be an open platform that will be used by civil society organizations from the Eastern and Southeastern regions, for which content of interest to local communities and groups will be created to influence the exercise of the communication rights of vulnerable categories of citizens. Within the framework of the LocalActiveMedia project, Mapping of the vulnerable categories of citizens in the Eastern and Southeastern regions is being carried out in this phase, which will serve as a basis for a thorough research that will assess the needs and communication habits of the groups in the local community.
The LocalActiveMedia project is implemented by the RESIS Institute and the Foundation for the Development of the Local Community - Shtip and is supported by the non-profit foundation National Endowment for Democracy (NED).