IN NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
The Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador
in 1997 kicked off a series of popular education
events - Youth, the Environment and the Economy.
The biggest events, involving almost hundred youth from
sou'west Newfoundland, were facilitated in Stephenville.
A practical utilization of participatory media - community
television and web discussion boards - were featured in
workshops and the event itself.
During the late 90s the McConnell Foundation funded
a participatory evaluation of Communities In Schools.
Video interviews and consultations with stakeholders
led to an ongoing evolution of the process. Youth and
coordinators became practitioners of tools of community media,
in particular local television.
In 1999 the Community Education Network, the Long Range Regional
Economic Development Board and about 20 other partners initiated
Sharing Our Future/Partager Notre Avenir, a process of locally
controlled participatory communication utilizing community television
and new internet technology. The first internet radio event
(using a dialup modem) broadcast a community forum on oil
exploration on the Port au Port Peninsula.
The Town of Burnt Islands joined the initiative in 2002 and
immediately launched a community media program which featured
a newsletter and community television programming. The program
is sponsored by the recreation commission and happens out of school.
By 2000 it became apparent that community television was not
an appropriate tool for all communities. More people were buying
dishes and disconnecting cable. Also the cable companies became
reluctant to wire halls in communities with few subscribers. So
Sharing Our Future turned to low power FM radio; the first community
special event was facilitated at the Cormack Centre in Stephenville.
The journalism students provided support.
The last funded event of the Sharing Our Future project was a
gathering in Stephenville for three days of workshops in August, 2002.
The event was webcast and broadcast by youth on local television. It
was the first event for youth community media groups in western