Small-scale electronic media have undergone major transformations in the past decade. Considering developments in Western Europe, stations in many countries have achieved legitimation in national media policies; restrictions on modes of transmission have been lifted; stable financing has in some cases been attained; training and support through pan-European structures has expanded. In central and eastern Europe, stations have been emerging across these sections of the continent at an explosive rate, often accompanied by tensions between commercial and community interests. Ethnic and minority groups with emerging nations have employed local electronic media for strengthening group ties; local radio has played a central role in providing news and information in war-torn areas. And everywhere, new communication technologies such as digital media and the Internet have expanded the vistas and practices of stations.
Developments in North and Latin America have been no less substantial. Multimedia initiatives are exploding at the local level, and affirmative access policies for these initiatives are in effect in scores of localities across the United States. Local radios in various Latin American countries have frequently served as the only source of reliable information for entire populations. The stations have contributed to the mobilisation of resistance movements with a degree of effectiveness seldom achieved elsewhere.
These developments are the focus of a Euricom Colloquium scheduled to be held in April 1998. Scholars and practitioners are invited to contribute papers related to these developments. Some of the specific issues and concerns which may be developed include:
This Euricom Colloquium is part of a broader project undertaken by the Local Radio and Television Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). Close co-operation is also being developed with the World Association of Community Radios (AMARC) and other federations of community media. A selection of the contributions to the Colloquium will be published in a special theme issue of Javnost-The Public, and preparations are being made for an edited volume of material emerging from this Colloquium and the IAMCR conference.