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[미디어센터] 국제 미디어 사전 등재용 Mediact 영문 소개문 09.05.30
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** Mediact : http://www.mediact.org Mediact, whose motto is “Act through Media, A new Window to the World,” is a public local media center located in Seoul, South Korea. Mediact was built in order to support alternative and participatory media activities including: the vitalization of independent film making, the establishment of public access structures in tandem with policy development, and activation of systematic forms of media education and its continuation as a lifelong process.

  Mediact emerged as both a public institution supported by a contract whose facilities are funded by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), an autonomous organization funded by the central government to promote Korean cinema within the country and overseas, and an independent activist organization managed by the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video (KIFV) that was established in 1998. Founded on May 9, 2002, Mediact provides an infrastructure of media activism initiated by a strategy focusing on the potential of creating a new public media sector based on both the shifting technological possibilities of access to the media and ongoing political democratization processes taking place in South Korea.

  Mediact can be situated within a history of progressive mass movements for democracy that emerged in the late 1980s in efforts to overcome the existing media environment characterized by state censorship and a broadcasting system monopoly that had been built in the 1960s. Some movements from and since that time have included: activists involved in alternative and independent film and video production, a critical citizens' media monitoring movement; and a trade union movement from within the media. A new media structure or first phase for public access was made possible as a result of these struggles.

 Following the abolishment of the censorship law on film and video in 1996 and the passing of the Broadcasting Act in 2000, a second phase of public access support emerged. This legislation included the requirement that the Korean Broadcasting System broadcast viewer‐produced programs, cable and satellite operators broadcast programs produced by the public via a regional channel or a public access channel, and a public fund was created to support these productions. As a result of changes inaugurated through this legislation, the fight for extending the terrain of public media began to be shaped by: securing funding and integrating public access more broadly into public media policy, contending with a rise in the corporate power in media, engaging the introduction of new ICTs and broadband Internet, and countering post 1987 neo‐liberal policies and its attendant social crises and attacks on basic human rights. This became translated into the realization of various structures and further policies including: the establishment of local media centers, an introduction of media education in and out of schools, lobbying for detailed policies regarding public access, and training and organizing local media activists into a national media activist network. In short, within less than two decades of struggle, the media landscape of South Korea became distinguished in the second phase by: the reality of public access to terrestrial, cable and satellite channels; its funding for media education; a vibrant network of centers; and growing Internet media activism including both the use of the internet for social change and internet democracy advocacy. In short, the founding and current media activists' strategy that steward Mediact comes out of a struggle to vision and implement a participatory public media sector beyond the traditional representative public media system of public broadcasting.

  Based on the aforementioned strategic framework, Mediact is located in the hub of Seoul downtown area and within its 600m2 space houses an auditorium, a sound recording room, seminar rooms, and a wide array of low and high‐end multimedia production and post‐production support facilities. The basic concept of service and facilities use includes a notion of universal service for the public and members including non‐registered migrants, and selective service targeting minoritized groups, communities or constituencies working for social change. In order to facilitate both of these ideas of service, 15 full time staff are (at the time of this writing) working vigorously to make the projects possible with broad participation from other activists, citizens and residents.

  Outcomes of the activities of Mediact are extensive and cannot be underestimated. In terms of social change, Mediact has been a long standing proponent for local media center development and has actively empowered thousands of local media activists, independent filmmakers and various networks of people to build various local media centers in almost all regions of South Korea and across different sectors of interests. Mediact has played an especially critical role in the second phase of struggles for public access by launching the National Media Activist Network, a network which includes more than a hundred civil society organizations and local media activists, which represent civil society's movement for media democracy on various issues. As a result, Mediact has been a catalyst for ongoing dialogue and change among migrant workers, people with disabilities, the elderly, women, teachers, children, glbtq communities, soldiers, and people in regions outside of Seoul through media education outreach and consultation. Mediact’s praxis underscores diversity in political possibilities and alternative social realities for radical social change.

  With regard to providing resources for media practices, Mediact has played an important role in developing various media education curricula, media activist strategies and strategic frameworks. The focus has been to produce or facilitate what proves to be necessary for overcoming traditional barriers to democracy, including: the separation of movement areas imposed by perceived differences regarding communication technologies, and the disconnection between the movement for mainstream media reform and the movement for alternative and community media. In this context, Mediact has played an important role not only in launching a broad coalitions for media democracy for sustaining and extending the public media, Media Action, but also in articulating a civil society position and a strategy on IPTV, the content rating systems, media convergence laws and intellectual property matters

  In order to facilitate dialogue in multiple formats, Mediact has produced the World through Media, a media education broadcast program shown on national public access satellite cable channel RTV, broadcasting debates on media education, and introducing the public to various communication rights issues. Since July 18, 2003, Mediact also publishes ACT!, an on‐line monthly journal started in July 18, 2003 that covers various subjects including the historical and current structures of national and transnational media movements, and off‐ACT, an off‐line journal.

  Another important role of Mediact has been as a facilitator for interaction within global and interlocal contexts. Mediact has been active in the field of international exchange, introducing experiences and case studies inside and outside of South Korea, and providing internship programs and trainings for foreigners on topics that have included: public interest media, the struggle against privatization of public communications resources under neoliberal “free trade” policies, media convergence, culture and film policy, and media center building and curriculum development. The latter of which has been critical to the launching of MediR, a local media center in Tokyo. Representatives of Mediact have also been active in various translocalized networks including Videazimut, CRIS, and Ourmedia Network, provided trainings to activists who are interested in building an inter‐Asia media activist network, and participated in supranational policy settings as representatives of civil society including the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) 1st round in Geneva. Solidarity activities that facilitate examination of both interlocal and local visions have included sponsoring and supporting: the Human Rights Film Festival, the Labor Film Festival, the Migrant Workers Film Festival, the Seoul Independent Documentary Film & Video Festival, and Indieforum screenings.

  At the time of this writing, Mediact is distinguished by collective attempts to clarify the framework of public access on multiple registers and strengthen the sites that have been secured for democracy and self‐expression, especially dealing with the aftereffects and alternatives to neo‐liberal trade and media policies including issues of media convergence. Some challenges include further developing a “publicly funded alternative media" sector, new "public audio‐visual media culture policies,” and a bill of electronic communication rights. As there is an instability imposed by the realities of securing government and public financial resources, sustaining its unique model of center activity is also an on‐going challenge. In the face of this, Mediact has implemented a broad membership structure, and facilitates introductory courses created not only for introducing new members to their rights to use facilities, but also for engaging the broader ideas of public access, participatory and independent media, and democratic society. When asked about the security of itself and how Mediact will continue to be active, the staff contend that its aim is to not get trapped into centralizing resources into Mediact as it is clear that no organization can last forever, and that one organization’s (even a "half institution/half organization") success will not guarantee the social change desired.  While some may see Mediact as a center that inaugurated the emergence of what has developed as a network of over 20 local media centers, it has tried to decentralize the media movement, develop new models of sustainable social movement, and is now moving into a third phase of media movement struggle.

  KEYWORDS: public media sector, democratization, participatory public media, local media centers

REFERENCES AND SUGGESTED READINGS:

Gumucio Dagron, Alfonso (2001) “Labor News Production” in Making Waves: Stories of Participatory Communication for Social Change, Rockefeller Foundation.

Hackett, Robert and Yuezhi Zhao (Eds.) “Campaign to Democratize Communication” In Democratizing Global Media: One World, Many Struggles, pp. 289 ‐ 312 New York: Roman & Littlefield.

Jo, Dongwon (2004). “Re‐considering Active Audiences: South Korean Experiences in strengthening ‘media democracy’.” Paper presented at Asia Pacific Forum on Active Audiences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, June 25‐27.

Jo, Dongwon (2005) “Social Media‐communication System and Communication Rights Movement.” Paper presented at Theoretical Seminar on Mediactivism, Seoul, January 21.

 

Kidd, Dorothy, Clemencia Rodriguez, & Laura Stein (eds.) (forthcoming), Making Our Media: Global Initiatives toward a Democratic Public Sphere, Cresskill: Hampton Press.

 

Kim, Myoungjoon (2003) “Framing the communication rights: Korean context ‐ Brief primer,” at Preparatory Meeting for the World Forum on the Communication Rights, Geneva, PALEXPO, Dec 5, 2003

 

Kim, Myoungjoon (2007) “Expanding Public Media Space and Media Activism in Korea” Reclaim the Media online http://www.reclaimthemedia.org/communications_rights/expanding_public_media_space_and_media_act

 

MediACT (2004) “Debating the Strategy for Media Activism: Renewal of Agenda+regeneration of internationalism.” Seoul: MediACT.

 

Ó Siochrú, Sean (2005) Finding a Frame: Towards a Transnational Advocacy

 

OURmedia/NUESTROSmedios (2006) About Us. Retrieved January 26, 2006, from http://www.ourmedianet.org/general/about_us.html

 

 

 

 

 

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