Librecast – Case Studies of Sovereign Media Distribution Across Europe
We have become increasingly dependent on big tech for our media production and distribution in Europe. This means big tech companies can dictate the rules of the game. And these rules are often commercial in nature, instead of serving the public good.
Librecast is a project that consists out of a series of European case studies about sovereign media distribution, away from big tech. We showcase these examples and try and learn from them, as we desperately need more sovereignity in our media systems to ensure a well functioning democratic media landscape.
Librecast is funded by the European Cultural Foundation.
What do we mean by sovereign?
One of the values formulated in our manifest is sovereignity. Sovereignity ensures freedom, indepence and agency. Within the context of this project this essentially comes down to two important key principles:
- Citizens are not products — the wellbeing and (democratic) empowerment of citizens will always be the primary concern.
- Citizens have full control over their personal data, their content and interactions.
The project consists of:
(a) This online knowledge base, that provides examples of (media distribution) technology that aligns with public values as outlined in the PublicSpaces manifesto;
(b) In depth case studies that highlight the uptake of open technology in the news and media production and distribution chain. By creating a self- assessment framework, conducting interviews and executing technology watch activities. The case studies fall into two categories: pan-European case studies (also featured on this page below), and Dutch case studies of our Digital Powerwash experience in relation to media distribution on this page;
(c) Events to showcase findings of (b);
(d) The formulation of a ‘practitioners’ statement’. This statement will contain recommendations and implementation guidelines of the best practices by various media outlets.
The project started in 2021 and will come to an end around February 2023. During the whole process we will report and write new updates that will be featured on this project page.
Many thanks to our partners in contributing to this project, in particular Commons Network for helping out in the research process.
Cultuurconnect: transforming policy through shared ambition
Cultuurconnect, a Flemish cultural organization that promotes digital innovation in local libraries and cultural venues, is aiming to develop a strategy to promote public values online. Edith LeBlanc from Cultuurconnect shared how the organization plans to participate in a workshop called ‘The Brainwash’, offered by PublicSpaces, to reflect on their use of software and services and their impact on their target audience, employees, and society. The goal is to establish a shared value framework for public values like data, ethics, and privacy, to meet the challenges of the digital transformation of the cultural sector.
Librecast: Practitioner Statement
For Librecast we set out to showcase several sovereign pan-European media distribution cases in Europe. What we found however is that many organisations still struggle to apply any alternatives to big tech platforms. We have nevertheless found many initiatives and… Verder lezen →
A peek in the kitchen of… BNNVARA
The Librecast project, funded by the European Cultural Foundation, showcases several case studies of Pan-European sovereign media distribution, away from big tech, and the importance of more sovereignty in media systems. BNNVARA, a public broadcasting organization in the Netherlands, went through 'The Digital Powerwash', a methodology that helps organizations examine and improve the digital tools they use. 'The Digital Powerwash' could be used as an objective evaluation test for organizations to make more informed decisions about how to organize their digital infrastructure.
Framasoft: a non-profit committed to popular education around digital sovereignty
Many thanks to our talented illustrator Julia Veldman C. for creating the image above. In our Librecast project, funded by the European Cultural Foundation, we showcase a series of Pan-European case studies about sovereign media distribution, away from big tech…. Verder lezen →
A peek in the kitchen of… the VPRO
In "A peek in the kitchen of…" series, we highlight an organization that went through the Digital Powerwash. We sat down with Onno Bruins from VPRO, who participated in the Powerwash. The aim is to provide insights into how aligned an organization's digital environment is with public values. After the process, VPRO replaced some digital tools with alternatives and decided not to store unencrypted data with US companies. The final scores of all assessed tools were published on their website to be transparent.
Artway of Thinking: creating new listening practices for European youth
Artway of Thinking is an international political artivism organization based in Italy, working both with individual and organizational members. PublicSpaces sat down with Federica Thiene, one of the three founders, and Filippo Mantovani, an active member since 2015 and currently responsible for one of its main running projects.
Beyond the Now: a syndicated social practice platform for journalists, artists and activists
This time on #Librecast: we speak with Áine Obrien, who works with Beyond the Now, a syndicated social practice platform. It aims to establish new learning practices across disciplines and gives journalists, artists & activists the tools to reclaim sovereignty in digital spaces.
Les Petites Singularités: from booksprint to free software advocacy
This time on #Librecast: Les Petites Singularités is a non-profit association in Brussels that facilitates transdisciplinary conversations and events that question the status quo about digital space. An initiative at the nexus of the arts, free software production, philosophy and political activism. We sat down with natacha (who prefers to write her first letter in lower case), co-founder of Le Petite Singularités, to discuss the ways Le Petite Singularités facilitates sovereign media distribution and the use of free software.
Exit Platforms: emphasizing policy change as the key to a more humane digital world
This time on #Librecast: Exit Platforms is working on actionable solutions to shortcomings of current digital legislation in Europe, such as a cooperative legal identity.
Beabee – Using digital tools to improve local journalism and involve communities
In our Librecast project, funded by the European Cultural Foundation, we showcase a series of Pan-European case studies about sovereign media distribution, away from big tech. We highlight these examples and try and learn from them, as we desperately need more sovereignty in our media systems to ensure a well-functioning democratic media landscape. This time: Beabee, an open source platform that aims to help smaller news organizations connect with their audience and turn them into engaged communities.
European Cultural Backbone 2.0: Connecting the continent through a decentralised network
In our Librecast project, funded by the European Cultural Foundation, we showcase a series of Pan-European case studies about sovereign media distribution, away from big tech. We highlight these examples and try and learn from them, as we desperately need more sovereignty in our media systems to ensure a well-functioning democratic media landscape. This time: The European Cultural Backbone, which aims to build a decentralised federated network for community media providers.