CMN / CTVN  Strategy Review 2008/2009

Download PDF – Strategy Document

Strategy 2009

From CMN to CTVN – CMN Mission statement and activities since 1998

In March 1999, the CMN AGM approved the following mission statement as part of its Strategic Plan:

“The mission of CMN is:
To ensure that all groups, especially those disadvantaged and marginalized, are fully informed about, and can actively participate in and share control of, community and alternative media. The goal is thereby to enhance effective and democratic means of expression and contribute to progressive social change.

CMN seeks to play a catalytic role in this. CMN as an organisation is open for membership to all who share these goals.”

It is now 10 years on, CMN’s work – providing information, supporting community media initiatives, campaigning, and building alliances drained its small amount of resource – particularly its work in building for Dublin Community Television (DCTV).  The media centre and Community Employment Project closed in 2003 due to rising rent costs and a number of activities were dropped due to funding cutbacks.  But CMN had left significant development in its wake and sought to continue this by setting up a Community Services Project (CSP) Community TV Network (CTVN). While this was small, two workers and a Manager, it was still a very productive entity; CMN / CTVN  played a central role in the development of the Dublin Community Media Forum, the formation of Dublin Community Television (DCTV), and on a national level, the Community Television Association (CTA).

Community television and CMN / CTVN’s role:

Community television in Ireland is at an early stage in its development , but there are now three channels operating in the Republic and one in Belfast. While there are clear difficulties in building  these technical organisations, it is significant that many of the community organisations that were part of the initial drive for DCTV, as well as many of those who took part in the Needs Assessment projects (S40) Programme Development Workshops,  were unable to access the channels as producers, audiences  or organisers. CMN / CTVN’s position is that the community sector should take a significant role in steering  the development of community television but this goal is complicated by two factors that need to be understood and addressed:

1.    The difficulty the sector has in engaging with community television on all levels from production to cable networks.
2.    The trend towards professionalisation that is funding-driven and excludes community organisations.

CMN / CTVN now needs to focus on building capacity within organisations to use television as  an element in community media.

Community capacity

To build community sector capacity we need to address two aspects:
1.    Capacity to produce/initiate appropriate programming by:
(a)    Building coalitions:- working with community organisations to create programming around their needs.
(b)    Build production activity based in community organisations and engaging those organisations in production.
(c)    Build multi-skills team based in the community organisations activity

2.    Capacity to renew the skill base within the community by:
(a)    Providing community / organisation-based training.
(b)    Develop peer2peer training methodologies with the organisations
(c)    Support the development of media units within community organisations.