Digital media course to encourage community voices in Inishowen – Donegal Daily


New year, new challenge! The Inishowen Community Media Network (ICMN) plans to hold “Community Voice” digital media training courses for beginners at several community centers and post-primary schools across Inishowen.

These will include Spraoi agus Sport in Carndonagh, Clonmany and Malin Head Community Centres, Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana, Moville and Carndonagh Community Schools.

Harry Kerr is the ICMN project coordinator, and he hopes classes will start as soon as the current Covid-19 restrictions are eased. “This project has been delayed for some time due to the Covid situation, but we plan to launch it as soon as it is safe to do so. The courses will train people in audio production for radio and podcasts, and video production for online TV and social media. This will also include training in research and interview techniques, broadcasting law, media literacy and community media ethics,” he said.

The training will be open to all members of the community, with a particular focus on people from socially excluded backgrounds, early school leavers, older people and other disadvantaged backgrounds. Harry explained that classes will be a mix of online and “on-site” sessions. “Having a mix of participants of different ages and backgrounds in a room together is important to the project. People working together, learning from each other to create a sense of community are vital. Moving
fully online courses would miss the point,” he said.

As part of the training, ICMN aims to develop groups of community media makers who will form teams to operate and broadcast an online radio or television service for their area. Each zone would operate this service once a month for a weekend covering community events, local history, sports, arts and more. Over time, the ICMN has acquired most of the equipment needed to carry out this project thanks to funding from Donegal County Council and LEADER, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in the areas rural.

“All content will be hosted on a dedicated community media website www.icmedia.ie which will have the added benefit of keeping the Inishowen diaspora connected at home. The aim is to give local communities a voice, connect them to those overseas and to use modern technology creatively and in solidarity,” said Harry.

In the age of fake news, where ownership and control of the media is increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, concerns are growing about the power and influence of the media. This project aims to create alternative, more democratic, media-literate, community-owned and operated media. Individuals can use these new digital media skills for their own enjoyment, to create content, become better communicators and improve their employability.

Community groups will learn how to use technology to promote their activities, profile and raise awareness on important issues cheaply and effectively.

Small businesses and sole traders would also benefit from this training to promote their products and services, especially where marketing budgets are low or non-existent.

The courses are free for participants and financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe invests in rural areas.

For more information on the network and courses, see their website at www.icmedia.ie,
email Harry at [email protected] or call 086 8156289.

Digital Media Course to Encourage Community Voices in Inishowen was last modified: January 19, 2022 through Rachel McLaughlin

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