Dear Gaby:
I just spent a week in Canada, and noticed a long-time trend affecting community media, and specifically aboriginal community media. (As you may know I wrote my MA thesis (1989) on comparing policy and implementation in Canada and India. ) My earlier work was on satellites and broadcasting, but my current concern is with broadband and wireless. Separating broadcasting may seem like a good idea, but  the real planning decisions are being made elsewhere in the newer digital industries where capital is moving. 

Here's what I noticed
1. In Canada, although the CRTC is involved, it's other areas of government and corporate industry that are really making the decisions for the next generation of web-based communications in aboriginal communities. For example,  initiatives to expand broadband capacity is tied to the planning/goals of the telcos. Please make sure that your comparisons also assess the whole area of public-private partnerships which is now the neo-liberal mode.

2. Parallel to this, is the privileging of regional or national level planning initiatives. EG. there are already aboriginal groups who are modelling excellent community based communications, (Isuma and Knet). However, their work may be supplanted by a model that favours a regional or national grid, or even one based on individual consumers as opposed to a more community access model.

These two ongoing trends: corporate-led planning, and national/regional initiatives are certainly the mode in the US, as you know.

I don't have all the info about Canadian aboriginal communications, but could direct you to those who do.

Dorothy Kidd.

On Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 8:06 PM, G <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear OURmedia friends,
(apologies for cross-posting)

Urgent question regarding independent regulation agencies.

In Japan, the government (constantly changing though the members are) is
considering finally (!) an independent broadcasting agency (so far airwaves
directly regulated by ministry of interior). A civil society group called
ComRights is feverishly gathering information on good examples (and some bad
ones) of independent regulating agencies from around the world. Does anyone
know of existing comparative studies or have on hand detailed info about the
independent regulators (independent from the government) of specific

Japanese colleagues are already currently collecting info from US, UK,
France and Germany (and I have found some comparative data on EU country's
regulators), but hints for good examples in other countries would be welcome
and some notably bad ones too (word so far is: FCC is not so good- though
unfortunately now being considered as the main model- the planned regulatory
agency is even dubbed 'Japanese FCC', OFCOM is better, the regulator in
Germany's Northrhine-Westfahlia is pretty good. Any insights on that?).

We'd be interested also on information on how regulators relate to the
community media sector(s) in each case (I've found some information on that
in comparative community radio reports).

Please feel free to pass this question on to other people and lists who you
think may have leads, but when forwarding please cut out my e-mail address
in the header and instead include the signature below.


PS: They are for now looking at broadcasting authorities ONLY, as the
convergence law draft is on hold for the moment and industry bodies
'self-'regulate internet, game industry, etc. But obviously many countries
regulators cover multiple platforms, and this may also happen in Jp

Dorothy Kidd
Department of Media Studies
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco
[log in to unmask]