• Communication commission meeting - 12feb2011

last modified February 15, 2011 by jnardi

Communications Commission WSF Notes


[Author: Ross Glover]

1. Notes 02-12-2011 



1.1 Beginning 


Suggestion to do report backs about the communication's processes.  Counter proposal to look forward rather than back and to do report backs in writing. Critique of the counter proposal, suggesting that instead we do rapid reports on what people did.

1.2 What has been done here at the forum in the area of communications? 


1.2.1 First time in the forum, what exactly should be said? 


First half hour is simply to inform people about what was accomplished in Dakar specifically.

1.2.2 Ciranda 


Has been here with the forum with Mallory and Marco, trying to establish dynamic content.  Attempting to do a shared coverage of the forum through different media. There was a large group of people from Brazil, more than 20 women gathered to follow the different projects.  Attempting to organize a seminar at some point in January with big perspectives within communication in the forum and how these struggles relate to the forum (like struggles for democracy, democratic media in the world, freedom of speech and democratic rights.

All together with other people we converge in a big assembly.  There is a document that has been distributed with the details. Also planning a forum on free media.

1.2.3 AMARC / Radio [Perla]


Had a website with coverage on the forum (website) distributed and shared information with those in video.  wsftv.net.

All in four languages, could be strengthened, in fact the forum could be strengthened if we can extend our network.

Particularly here we gave a great input to this forum, especially with radio in Dakar, proving how important radio is.

The problem of translations is very resource intensive, costs.  Big difficulty dealing with this throughout the world.

1.2.4 Volunteering for extended [Lise]


Doing something between France and Dakar.  Main task dealing with extended. Mainly focused on helping people registering activities.  Should have been able to register on the website but it wasn't supported.

Going from Dakar on the caravan.  Each step addressed Dakar extended, in a couple of weeks we were able to pick people up, much interest.  Unfortunately there were logistical problems.  This is a big problem, because for me the idea is to reach those who could not attend, also the forum's objective.

1.2.5 ??? 


Dealing with the main themes coming out of the forum including Durban, and others.  Sees coordinating around these issues is important.

1.2.6 Jurgen [EED]


Attempted to act as a focal point for alternate media.  Did numerous reports including the mass media.  Main interest was to focus on the issues, like land grabbing, etc.  Made people aware about what's going on in North Africa is similar to other things. Organized some live streams from various locations and workshops.



Focused on the challenges of communications, paid particular attention to a loss in peoples views of activism.  Also focused on culture.  The motivation and passion and engagement that comes from the cultural reality is much more motivating for people.  We have a problem of internal communication breakdown, very transparent how the IC works.  There is no competent decision making

process. The communications in close quarters can be extremely powerful, not dependent on the Internet but more about real people making real connections.

1.2.8 WSFTV [Pacor]


Regarding the television feed to international television, produced more than 45 to 50 videos with many different connections. Pointed out the difficulties that resulted from bad Internet.  Also produced a feed for international televisions and distributed it through Eurovision.

The internal communication needs to be improved because German television could have used the content from the wsftv.net. The next step is to move toward a much more sophisticated interaction and collaboration.

1.2.9 In French 


At around 26 minutes.  Something about not being able to upload video

1.2.10 WSF S.Paulo Office [Thais]


For me the forum had the best politics of communications. Even with all of the difficulties, we were able to organize an assembly on communication. The forum developed the website of the event, on the one hand official organization and on the other alternative media.  Had feeds from all of the alternative media and other media.

One part of the site had newsreels for all of the people covering the forum. Very concerned about the official media.  Then May First/People Link helped us a lot in developing the website because we had to change many things.  Thus for me communication was really good and I felt a close connection with local communication, but maybe it was just me, perhaps my way of working.

But I also felt a lack of connection with the local communications.  I felt they were worried about the content of communications. But they did do many successful things.  For may we should make a great effort to find communication projects to present for next year.  We could achieve a lot more success with politics of communication.

1.2.11 Ciranda [Hilde] 


Seconds Tais.  Babels over 100 translators into English, Portuguese, French, Spanish.

1.2.12 Context TV Germany 


Prepared a lot of content beforehand, lucky because otherwise they would have been completely lost.  Couldn't find a single workshop on the first two days. They made it work, but it was difficult.  Much help, however, was quite positive.  Particularly, there was significant help using mobile phones. Part of social movements in Germany.  Had I been an outsider with a small press facility, I would have been completely lost.

1.2.13 Dakar Extended [Pierre] 


24 Senegalese volunteers that distributed themselves to welcome 77 different groups in precarious positions with only one room.  Tried to use whatever we had, because the Internet kept going in and out.   Went outside to show people that this forum was going on.  We printed the activities, but they were never published.  No one knew what was going.  No one other than those who organized knew what was happening.  Still we had meetings with 30 people.  At the end, the press room realized what was happening.  So we pulled it off, but it disallowed people to join.  We still did 25 streams on various topics (women, handicapped, etc.).  All of this in bad conditions were very participatory.  It allowed people internationally to communicate with us through a chat room.  For all of us it was a very strong experience.

All of those involved found it very exciting and want to continue this mode of communication.

1.2.14 Flamme d'Afrique [Diane]


IC meeting, African communication strategy, some gaps in implementation.  the main objective was to involve African journalists coming from various regions to inform about the WSF but also to highlight the issues.  The other part of the strategy was to include the middle east media, and Dakar extended in the process.  

How to involve the local media producing contents in local networks?  We had 7 languages that were used in Flame of Africa,  major African languages were used.   First time a web link included.  Had 10,000 copies of Flame hard copy.  8.000

were inserted in the main stream paper l'Observateur. Blogs - Involved 6 students from the university, bondyblog (sp?) (started in the suburbs).

Main focus is that, probably not enough communication and cooperation between flame and local media.  The corporation mostly focused on dissemination and not production.  With the international comm comm, have been working with bigger networks rather than small networks.  We need to work on actually include the smaller television networks.  

Also need to focus on discussing the information.  The communications issues raised in various workshops have not been represented.   

1.2.15 Andrea 


Came as a volunteer from the local communications commission.  Capitalized on the capacities of the various people

Produced various radio spots in the local media, there was high attendance of radio reporters and it was hugely important to have local media instructed about what the forum was.  Just came one month before the forum.  Need to develop an  elevator speech before the forum.  

* Proposition for the next forum 

The media coverage is the food of the forum.  We should involve them more by addressing open source media and incorporate the  into the process ahead of time.  That way we actually move things forum.


1.2.16 What is the communications commission / relation with mainstream media [Jason] 


Attempts to put together shared projects.  Projects that are not being implemented and have been discussed (memory, culture, artistic, dialogical communication). There's a lot of ideas that have been shared for the last four years since the commission has been working.  One of the things in Belem (2009), was the inability to approach the main stream media.  So we produced a virutal media center for 2010 to give visibility over the whole year (www.worldsocialforum.info).

Second, tried to help support organizing for the media center here.  People came in early in an attempt to improve the hardware issues (didn't work out.).

Attempted to start with some social network media, like Twitter at a low level. Prefer not using them, but it was the easiest way to accomplish getting journalists information.

Terra Viva - IPS international press agency, that worked in Arabic.  

Unlike other commissions, Comcom attempts to integrate many more people into the process: not just IC members, but also observers who come from independent media and communication groups around the WSF process.  

openfsm website in order to help groups work together.  Attempt to work on a common strategy.  The financial crisis has put into discussion the way the IC should work.  Should reflect how the commission should confront itself with this.

1.2.17 Documentation [jason]


The contents of this process in Dakar should be documented.  The main experiences should be documented and archived.  Each group should send their experience/evaluation to the mailing list, in terms of problems, results, recommendations.

1.2.18 Ciranda [Rita] 


Talking about the problems with...alternative media center did not have all of the projects.  The idea was to be closer to the local projects to work together.  I think there was production by very different media from Alive, Flamme, Indymedia, IMC-Africa, videos etc.  Question: Where are all of these things?

1.2.19 Proposal 


Propose all of the different productions, with tranlations made we need to redistribute them to the participants.  We should try to put together a newsletter to all of the media doing coverage, with all of our contacts would be powerful for remembering the forum and for those not at the forum it could be very important to demonstrate the power of independent press.  We need to share among each other and outside.

1.2.20 Disscussion Break 


First time i participated in this collective.  Hard to understand different dynamics between forums.  Hard to exchange in hour and half with people of different knowledge bases (especially in different languages).

Look at the strategies of communication and we do not have the time to do it hear. Thais' strategy idea for comm, how can we involve other forum comm comms, if there is a strategy of communication which is clear, which is the site that is to be strengthened at the level of communications.  All of the sites that have been discussed here should be pointed to the same site in order to centralize the strategy, rather than having a diffracted media.  Different levels of engagement happen always as people come in. Who is responsible to communicate with local media?   We need to find a way to get the experiences from local communication groups who are also dynamics.  What can we do? Proposal is to organize by levels of engagement with local media makers.

* David - Can't answer this kind of question right now! 

1.2.21 [Ciranda] Marco 


I want to underline an activity that Ciranda and Indymedia worked together something interesting, but were not able to implement it. In the opening march there was a collaboration between Ciranda and IMC-Africa. By finding each other at the same time with a banner.  We need to find ways to inform people outside the forum and within the forum of our activities.

1.2.22 Mayfirst/IMC [Mallory] 


Communications commission was a huge success.  Comms is exactly what the social forum.  

Big Point - Propose that the next IC meeting have a meeting the day before the IC meeting.  During that time, we can do something like adopt the assembly declaration.  One radical approach.

* Small points 

Babels had a huge impact on the forum and worked incredibly hard with the local process here.  Some report or evaluation with the website.  Need to rethink how the sites are being worked on.  We discovered many of the weaknesses of the website model, need a new model.


1.2.23 Memory/Wiki-like site [Pepe]


Important to keep a memory of the forum.  Creation of a wikipedia page of the forum, so that everyone can add content.   Second, same sort of process for communication.  Everyone who has access could add their content as a way to make the process more accessible.  A collection of documentation/memory already exists, with Michael Book's project of wsflibrary.org

1.2.24 wsftv [Paco] 


Still a difference between the job and the Internet.  Many of the different projects were not integrated and organized within themselves.  We need to think about creating traffic. Need to be more competent about seriously considering ways to archive content. Need to sign a charter about archiving content.  

Thinks we need to discuss the assembly document more inside the comcom.

1.2.25 Further Suggestions (Next meeting) 


Suggestion to create an online discussion platform for future communication. The existing one

(openfsm.net) is to be improved or changed. Will meet during the second part of the process.  In the next two years,

communication will be significant for this group.  The commission has a job for the forum process in general.  Need to figure out how to make this viral, improve collaboration.  

Will meet next day (13th feb) for practical followup.