|Peruvian citizens demand better TV|
Under the theme “TV – How I dream you” the first step was to call up and train some one hundred members of REVOLCOM – Network of Communication Volunteers, a network of young people who are either students or have a strong interest in communications. The trained volunteers then proceeded to organize different social animation activities or ‘citizens caravans’ in each of the cities in question. Conceived as a communication strategy that allows the use of public spaces to establish a dialogue with the public, these caravans are more like street performances and REVOLCOM needed to liaise with the local authorities as well as the security services and the media to ensure coverage of the events.
Drama, street musicians and performances, traditional dances and collective games were all tactics employed by the volunteers to awaken interest and generate public debate in town squares. Thus they generated enough public and media interest for the four events to be great successes. Clowns in stilts walked up and down inviting people to go into one of several booths to record their opinions on the entertainment programmes being offered, or write down their thoughts on large sheets of papers placed strategically around the town square. A number chose to be interviewed and went live on television and in radio with their opinions. Upwards of 2,300 people participated in the public space interventions.
At the beginning of 2008 and after the information gathered in the four cities was systematized, analysed and distributed, the four ‘media parliaments’ were organized with the one in Lima being held in the facilities of Peru’s Congress. Extensive media coverage of the event in Lima guaranteed that the other three ‘parliaments’ got almost as much media exposure as the one in the capital city.
Participants were asked to debate and attempt to provide answers and recommendations to five key questions dealing with the quality of TV offer and improvements and changes that they, as citizens saw as necessary. Finally and with the objective of bringing together proposals to improve Peru’s audiovisual entertainment offer, the public was invited to produce and send videos and power points illustrating some of the aspirations of ordinary citizens for quality TV entertainment.
Veeduría Ciudadana – or citizen’s watchdog – was launched in the year 2000 by a coalition of communication related groups in Lima, Peru. Asociación Calandria, a long standing member of WACC was part of the founding group and today it continues to provide leadership to the watchdog.
Calandria and the Veeduría Ciudadana, (Peru), were key players in the launching in July 2007 of the Latin America’s Network of Media Observatories which includes the groups DOSES (Guatemala), FUCATEL (Chile), Instituto de Investigación de Medios (Argentina), Red Andi América Latina (with members in Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Perú and Venezuela), the Observatorio Nacional de Medios (ONADEM Bolivia) and the Observatorio de Prensa (Brasil).
For more information on the project contact: Rosa María Alfaro