[artinfo] World Charter of Free Media

Geert Lovink geert at desk.nl
Mon Apr 20 09:31:35 CEST 2015

World Charter of Free Media
Tunis, March 2015


We, communicators and activists committed to multiple emancipatory
communication practices across different regions of the world, freely
assembled in March 2015 in Tunis, on the occasion of the 4th World Forum
on Free Media, organized in the framework of the World Social Forum

Adopt this World Charter of Free Media, as the result of our collective
reflection initiated in 2013, and as an expression of our resistance,
and our commitment to just and emancipatory communication, and our
engagement with world developments and humanity.

We are communicators, activists, journalists, hackers, community media
associations and free media, social movements and popular organizations.

We are bloggers, audiovisual producers, free technology developers,
associations, networks, unions, journalism schools, research centers on
information and communication, and NGOs supporting access to information
and communication.

We are individuals and collectives, professionals, amateurs, and
enthusiasts participating in the democratization of communication from
the local to the global level, affirming that democratization and right
to communicate for all are essential to build a just and sustainable

Since the beginning of the anti-globalization movement, we have worked
hand in hand to create a space of expression for social movements. The
World Social Forum (WSF), which includes thematic and regional forums
around the world since 2001, works as a space of convergence and
cooperation echoed by free media. Our network of activists appeared in
this dynamic and has evolved into an organized movement for freedom of
expression and the fight for another form of communication. We will
continue to cooperate with other movements, making communication a
political issue for everyone, to transform the global communication

We practice new forms of human communication, intercultural, horizontal,
non-violent, open, decentralized, transparent, inclusive and shared,
through tools and forms of multiple expression (radio, television,
audiovisual media, Internet, etc. .), experimenting with new ways of
organizing and producing information. Our sources of funding, if they
exist, do not determine our ways of communication and our editorial

We are aware that the term "free media" refers to different
interpretations in our diverse linguistic and cultural realities. We
chose it primarily to gather around common practices based on autonomy
vis-a-vis commercial or state practices, the fight against all forms of
domination, and the will to guarantee spaces for open expression. We
wish to build economic models that are based on solidarity and


We demand the transformation of communication systems and are committed
the following strategic actions and priorities:

      1. We Affirm the right to communication as a fundamental right. 

      2. We Defend the Internet as a common good. 

      3. We promote democratic regulatory frameworks for the development of
      independent organizations and agencies, especially against hyper-media

      4. We Call for and encourage the development of community media,
      reserving and assigning frequencies dedicated to the social sector. 

      5. We Strengthen the independence of public service broadcasting (or
      public media) vis-a-vis government and market interests. 

      6. We Encourage the use of languages and dialects in the various
      areas of media expression, with particular attention to minority

      7. We Assert the implementation of public policies to strengthen free
      media, promote quality and sustainability. 

      8. We Reject the monopolization of Internet infrastructure, data
      grabbing by corporations, and the monitoring of cyberspace. 

      9. We Establish democratic Internet governance policies including
      guaranteeing network neutrality, the right to network privacy and
      freedom of expression. 

      10. We Facilitate access to free and open technologies. 

      11. We Encourage Universal access to communication and broadband

      12. We fight against the criminalization of activists and organizations
      who implement free media. 

      13. We Protect journalists and all communication activists subjected to
      violence, persecution or exploitation. 

      14. We Mobilize and create links between different media and social
      movements, particularly in the context of the World Social Forum

We call for the mobilization of actions related to the charter

      - Use this Charter to advocate for free media at the national, regional
        and international levels.

      - Implement the Charter as a teaching and learning tool, by organizing
        debates and discussion forums on free media and internet.

      - Build partnerships with other social sectors and international
        activists to promote and defend the principles set out above.

      - Map free media to facilitate various information sharing initiatives
        and experiences concerning the principles of free association and the
        respect for the right to anonymity.

      - Implement the Charter to generate instruments, tools or mechanisms
        concerning thematic or regional levels.

      - Promote the principles of the Charter among free media in every region
        of the world and on the occasion of various intergovernmental or
        international events among civil society.

We, free media, are aware of our strengths and the critical role we have
to contribute and pledge here and now, to fight for the principles and
commitments set out above, until they become reality.

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