The Galician Media Monitor (Associated to Media Watch Global)
The media have been since the constitution of democratic systems another pillar of the principle of separation of powers, usually referred to as the fourth power. With the above mentioned conditions rapidly deteriorating in our time, Civil Society's power to oppose government decisions is in a serious backward movement. As information and communication should effectively belong to the people, action must be taken so citizenry may regain ownership of the truth.
The Galician Media Monitor, associated to Media Watch Global and embraced within the Galician Journalist Professional Association, seeks to find paths so this power may return to Civil Society's hands, analysing and questioning media’s role, standing for an ethical and implicated journalism in the local, national and international spheres, through an open structure adapted to Galicia's specific conditions and it's society's needs.
The Galician Media Monitor supports an strategic alliance between media professionals (journalists claiming their right to undertake their essential democratic functions in a honest and ethical manner), active Civil Society (participative citizens –and not simply information consumers– and Third Sector organizations that not only desire to receive reliable information but also disseminate their own, excercising a critical role that may evaluate the quality of current media products) and the academic community (that may articulate theoretical discourses and juridical, deontological, political and social proposal to articulate the former).
With a clear vocation to sensitize, raise and mobilize public awareness, the Galician Media Monitor intends to become part of an emerging fifth power, whose main objective is to oppose the superpower of global media defending the positions of Civil Society's organized democratic movements.
Permanent Seminar on Communication, Citizenship & Social Journalism
The Permanent Seminar on Communication, Citizenship & Social Journalism is an initiative of the Galician Media Monitor, established within the Colexio Profesional de Xornalistas de Galicia (Galician Journalist Association), seeking to deepen in analysis, training and debate on the existing links between civil society’s organizational networks, media professionals and the academic community.
From this premise, a series of actions will be developed aiming for a greater and more effective presence of social problems and actors in the media, with equal importance and conditions in relation to other daily issues and figures.
The following areas, among others, will be dealt with:
- Women, gender and sexism
- Childhood, adolescence and youth
- Special needs and disabilities
- Old age
- Drug dependency
- Minority and minorized groups
- Poverty and fourth world
- Social exclusion and integration
- Democratic participation and citizenship
- Sustainable development
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Cooperation and humanitarian action
- Reflect on the social role of media in today's society, facing the interrelation phenomenon between mass social fragmentation and segmentation processes.
- Analyze and assess mass media's participation in the construction of citizenship and social identities, taking into account the rehabilitation potential for media (both written, audiovisual and electronic) in bringing civil society's organizations into journalistic agendas.
- Approach new social actors –Third Sector– systematically, in their interaction with media and journalists, establishing theoretical and procedural guidelines that may visualize and give expression to social journalism's transversality in common practice.
- Develop the optimization of communication processes, both technically and methodologically, not only between organizations and the media, but also among themselves and with other social actors.
- Design an awareness raising strategy among the media, emphasizing the need to organize social issues into a clear hierarchy within editorial teams and contents, exploring its articulation in the daily agenda with equal importance in relation to the political-economic tandem, also allowing a redefinition of journalist's social function and professional authorship.
Among other actions, including the creation of a specialized bibliographical archive, monitoring of news related to social issues and the elaboration of a series of educational units and theoretical manuals, the Permanent Seminar will commit itself to the organization of a number of International Forums on its central issues.
These Forums will have a mixed character combining on-line and on-site phases, seeking to stimulate a transdisciplinary and multilateral dialogue between media professionals, academic community and organized civil society, discussing common problems and concerns.
Submitted texts and papers will be made available on-line, as every participant will be involved in their criticism and analysis, as precondition for its subsequent publication in the Seminar's specialized journal: Comunicación e Cidadanía. Revista Internacional de Xornalismo Social - Social Journalism International Review
. Forums will culminate in a live meeting in which final conclusions will be drawn.
During the 2006/2007 period the following events will occur:
- International Forum on Communication & Gender
- International Forum on Communication & Disabilities
- International Forum on Communication & Youth
- International Forum on Communication & Old Age