Published on 01/02/2021 5:00 pm

2021-02-01 Bistro Interview Radio ARA Community Medien unerkennen

Recognition of Community Media – and investing in the future of Luxembourg’s media landscape.

Yesterday evening volunteers and staff from Radio ARA took to the streets in an effort to enlighten Luxembourg’s politicians. The importance of community radio became even more apparent during the pandemic. Community media is about access to information and gives a voice to minorities, moreover, it is also about media literacy and media-pluralism. Unfortunately, despite the diversity of Luxembourg’s citizens, community media is not recognised as the third pillar of the media sector  –  this remains an exception in Europe.

For Radio ARA it is also about survival.

For the past three years, Radio ARA has been in discussions with the Media Ministry in efforts to secure our future; and in the past year we have been in acute financial danger. During the ongoing discussions about Press Aid and what constitutes Public Service, the role of community media was continuously brushed aside. Only through crowdfunding and other external financial aid has ARA managed to stay afloat. Yet during this period Radio ARA has received international recognition, for example,  from the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), for its  support of the various international communities in Luxembourg.

In a very spontaneous meeting between Radio ARA and the Media Ministry this afternoon we were offered a basic compromise that will offer some financial security for the radio station – the details are yet to be clarified. Our immediate reaction is of course relief.

Ultimately, however, Radio ARA’s survival also related to the question of what tomorrow’s media landscape in Luxembourg should look like, and this question has not been adequately addressed in any of the current discussions. The EU’s Media Pluralism Monitor 2020 once again pointed out that media in Luxembourg (in particular radio) is concentrated in the hands of a few organizations and that minorities have very limited access to the media.

That public pressure such as ours can bringing politics to a standstill is a sign of hope. It is essential however that we are not complacent, our action this evening should convey that it is not enough to simply put out fires.

Pix by Gerry Huberty (https://www.wort.lu/)

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Bistro Interview Radio ARA Community Medien unerkennen