2nd International Citizen Media Award 2012 is coming, so in anticipation of this remarkable event we have the pleasure to introduce you the contest from within – rules, expectations, goals, awards and other details.
All about ICMA you can read in our following interview with dr. Joachim Musholt, Chairman of the European Youth4Media Network association.
Q: Tell us about 2nd International Citizen Media Award 2012 – what does it take for someone to become a participant ?
A: The idea behind the International Citizen Media Award (ICMA) is to support private and non-commercial video and audio producers. So, basically everybody who produces video and audio clips in his free time or as part of a citizen media production can participate in it.
Q: What are your goals and what kind of content do you expect ?
A: Of course, we hope for a wide range of contributions from people of different ages from all around the world. Since this year’s topic is “Civic involvement and solidarity between the generations” we hope to receive unique ideas and approaches concerning differences and solidarity between young and old people.
Q: Do you have categories and what are they?
A: The ICMA will be awarded in two categories: “Video” with a prize money of 1000€ and “Audio” with a prize money of 300€.
Q: What was your motive for this inspiring contest ?
A: The organisations behind the ICMA (European Youth4Media Network, Bürgerhaus Bennohaus and bvbam) are working and involved in the field of citizen media for years. We believe in the goals and the original idea behind citizen media, but while we organised many projects all across Europe, we noticed how undeveloped it remains in many countries and that even countries like Germany are trying to reduce the support for it.
There are many national awards, but we decided to create an award which simply includes everyone to make the idea between citizen media more popular and to encourage people to be part of it.
Q: When is the deadline for applications and when and where will take place the award ceremony ?
A: Deadline is the 31st of July 2012. Until then, everyone is free to send the application via post or online. More information on this can be found on www.icm-award.com.
The award ceremony will take place on the 29th of September 2012 in the Bürgerhaus Bennohaus, Münster in Germany.
Q: Given that you put citizen media in the foreground, do you think that citizen participation in the media is vital for better quality and variety of news?
A: Yes. Nowadays, the mass media reached a point where many situations and problems all around the world are simply overlooked because of certain interests. Citizen media offer the possibility to include other, alternative opinions which might not represent the majority as its presented by the mass media, but are still vital for a balanced and healthy opinion making.
Just think about this: When was the last time you heard about Belarus in the main news? It’s a country within the heart of Europe and is in such a critical position for years already. Since the metro bombing there were nearly no reports.
Or the Euro crisis: How many alternate opinions do you hear in the main news? There are actually many critics with different and highly interesting opinions, still no mass media publisher is willing to offer them a platform to express their opinion. There are reasons for that – reasons which wouldn’t work with citizen media, because they are based on the freedom of opinion – for everyone.
Q: What is your opinion about citizen journalism ?
A: Citizen journalism had and has one main issue: How much professionalism is allowed and necessary? We think it’s important to provide the basics: How to do your job, how to use equipment and media tools. There should be many opportunities for everyone to learn these basics. Afterwards, it’s about providing communication channels. The internet makes things easier, but we believe that a certain degree of organisation is necessary to make citizen journalism more available to everyone who’s looking for it. And also to people who are not looking for it.
Q: And how do you see the future of citizen journalism and citizen media ?
A: It depends on the perspective. Many countries and citizens only now start to realize how important citizen media and journalism can be, while other countries are reducing the support for already existing structures. With the rise of social media, a new aspect came to life during the last couple of years. It’s important to watch this development and to find ways to include good, maybe even older ideas with the new possibilities in order to support citizen media in general.
Q: What are your plans for International Citizen Media Award in the future?
A: First of all, we want to keep it alive and, of course, make it more popular. The whole idea is to support people’s involvement in citizen media. And as long as this idea is alive in some people’s mind, the award will grow. That’s what we hope for. And we want to thank all of you who support and promote this idea.