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VOICE at Media Festival held in Tokyo, Japan

By farjana - Posted on 28 September 2009

Global media activists criticized control over media and proposed alternatives

 A three day Medifes was held in Tokyo Women’s Plaza, Japan from 20-22 September 2009 organized by OurPlanet-TV, a network of media activists based in Tokyo. The conference was attended by a large number of stakeholders from Japan and international civil society organizations.

Tokyo Medifes 2009 is an annual event of alternative media, community media and citizen media held in Japan. Participants of the conference shared and discussed the experience on media and proposed alternatives while media in a global corporate control.

Hajime Shiraishi, the Representative of OurPlanet-TV told the conference to uphold the alternative media and citizen broadcasting realizing the diversity and publicity of wide range of stakeholders to really make media benefit for the people.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE spoke as a panelist in the International Forum titled `Media Changes Society: From a Perspective of Communication Rights’ held on 21st September 2009. He emphasized to build alternative communities to face the challenges put by the corporate media giants. Ahmed Swapan said that media, new media like internet, in particular, though is creating opportunities, a space for freedom and global solidarity, in contrary, States and media corporations are increasingly putting control over media through media regulations and other means including surveillance and censorship. He criticized that the surveillance and censorship on internet is putting threats for people and control over media violates the fundamental human rights to freedom of expression and privacy. Drawing the examples of surveillance and censorship on internet put by the governments of different countries including Bangladesh, he urged civil society and media activists to raise voices against the control and to work for free and independent media with a greater solidarity and cooperation.

The panelists from around Asia and Europe also spoke the international forum. Among others Lee Jin Haeng from Korea, Helmut Peissl, Chairman of VFRO, Austria, Oliver Leistert from University of Paderborn, Germany, Hamada Tadahisa, a teacher of Tokyo University and also director of JCAFE, Gabi Hadl, a media researcher and activist, Matsuura Tetsuo, Director of Community Media Resources, Kayo Ikeda, member of the Board of OurPlanet-TV spoke on the different sessions and workshops held in three days.

Marc N. Weiss from Point of View, America spoke on the prospect of independent media. Speakers emphasized free and independent media outlets for the greater interest of people and communities.
`Prospects of Independent media : Talk with Groundbreaker who Opened the Door of Public Broadcasting’, `CSR Journalism- Lectures for Citizen Reporters and Bloggers’, `Globalism and Open Source’, `Let’s media activities on local shopping streets’, `Gender and media: Mobile phone as a life line’, `Communication and media policy’, `Future of media together’, etc were a few sessions among many.
Film screenings in the festival were a important part while `Narita : The Peasants of the Second Fortress’,  `Alternative : Publish Our Lives Now’ put a very significant mark for the viewers.