Statutes of Freies Radio für Flensburg Status: July 2017
I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Freies Radio Flensburg (FRFL) perceives itself as community radio. It is an independent, self-managed, emancipatory member-run radio project in the Flensburg-Glücksburg-Tastrup region, that is non-profit-making and non-commercial.
The content and structure of the radio station is bound to the basic principles of tolerance, human dignity, equality, and self-determination. It draws upon the equality of everyone in our society, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, origin, culture, appearance, religion, or any disability. The radio station is opposed to social exclusion and discrimination against socially marginalized groups.
2. COUNTER-PUBLIC SPHERE
FRFL is committed to the aim of counter-publicity. The counter-public sphere is oriented toward the interests of those people who are unrepresented or under-represented in the existing media. The exchange of information, experiences, and opinions that are otherwise omitted are to be promoted.
This involves not only reporting about people, but giving them the opportunity to speak for themselves and/or to create their own broadcasts. The radio station should offer the opportunity to critically challenge racist, capitalist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and similar structures and work towards overcoming them. That doesn’t have to be the aim and content of all broadcasts, but no broadcast should contribute to supporting such structures.
FRFL will give all individuals and groups the opportunity to express uncensored opinions and distribute information within the framework of these general principles. The channel and the editorial staff are open to different approaches and convictions. The schedule will reflect the diversity of individuals and groups in the transmission area. The radio station is to be seen as a participational project by and for radio lay people, in which everyone can participate regardless of age, gender, nationality, etc.
Priority will be given to those individuals and groups who have no or limited access to the mainstream media.
We are striving for an intercultural program, which transgresses or dissolves social, national, and cultural borders.
FRFL is striving to remove the separation between producers, technicians, administrators, and listeners who simply consume. The division of work between production, technology, and administration is to be broken through. An exchange between listeners and broadcasters is encouraged.
4. MEMBERS’ RADIO
FRFL isn’t privately owned, but rather it belongs to all members and is managed collectively. The radio station wants to highlight the isolation and anonymity in our society and encourage living together in solidarity.
No group, organisation, or individual is allowed to take precedence over the others at the radio station. Neither financial nor numerical nor societal power is allowed to be used to hinder other social groups in their participation in and expression via the radio station.
The radio project doesn’t depend directly in any way on governmental and quasi-governmental institutions and parties nor on economic players. This especially applies to the city council and local political decision-makers as well as the political parties active in the Flensburg-Glücksburg-Tastrup region.
6. LOCAL REFERENCE
The radio station wants to contribute to the promotion of integration and participation in local decision-making processes in the local and community culture. It views one of its main priorities as being to offer people living in the region a public platform for information and debate.
The focus of the program will be on events in the Flensburg-Glücksburg-Tastrup region. The local focus doesn’t mean ignoring general or international topics. On the contrary, this is desired, albeit preferably taken in connection with local events, or organized by local initiatives.
The internal organisation and selection criteria for the content of broadcasts are transparent and verifiable for the public. It should be possible to broadcast differences of opinion between the production staff and listeners over the station: everyone should have the opportunity to comprehend any conflicts and form their own opinion.
FRFL is non-profit orientated.
Production work is mainly carried out by volunteers.
The radio broadcasts are free of advertising and sponsoring. That means there is no naming of commercial actors – except in the framework of information – and no purely, specifically produced commercial spots and broadcast are included in the program.
1. TRANSPARENCY AND SELF-MANAGEMENT
FRFL e.V. functions as the carrier of the frequency, in whose framework all decision-making powers are clearly regulated, all essential agreements made by a plenary assembly, and all ‘internal’ processes visible and transparent for members, and understandable and criticisable by non-members.
2. RADIO PLENARY ASSEMBLY
2.1. Composition, decision-making
- The radio plenum consists of:
- all (sustaining) members of FRFL e.V involved in running the radio station, who have been regularly involved hands-on in the running of the radio station for at least three months, have signed the general principles, and have been accepted by resolution of the plenary assembly.
- non-members who have, as an individual or group, been granted the right to vote by the radio station plenary assembly because they are participating in the program (e.g. as organizers of group radio, listener initiatives, student representatives). The executive committee of the organisation maintains a list of those entitled to vote.
- The meetings are public.
- When dealing with personal matters or financial affairs of the licensee, those who do not have the right to vote can be excluded by decision of the plenary assembly.
- Decisions should be made by consensus. If this is not possible, all decisions will be made by simple majority of those members of the radio station plenary assembly present with the right to vote. Exceptions: decisions concerning the revoking of producer status; the withdrawal of program slots; the revocation of the right to vote; expulsion from the radio station plenary assembly. These will be made by a two-thirds majority and at least half of those with the right to vote must be present.
- A third of those with the right to vote can veto a decision. The matter must then be re-submitted to the next plenary assembly and can then only be decided by a two-third majority.
- All decisions relevant to the radio station plenary assembly must be confirmed by the executive committee. Any disagreements between the executive committee and the radio station plenary assembly are to be decided by the general meeting of FRFL e.V.
- The radio plenum consists of:
2.2. Tasks and duties
The radio station plenary assembly is the central organ of the radio station. It has the following tasks and functions:
- Decides the schedule of programs.
- Assigns production status and confirms the acceptance of new production staff members.
- Allocates fixed broadcast spots to the production staff, as long as they are not already fixed in the program schedule.
- Allocates free broadcast slots to interested production staff members, individuals, or groups for use one or more times.
- Can withdraw previously allocated broadcast slots in the event of gross violations of the broadcasting statutes or the statutes of the organisation FRFL e.V., and otherwise allocate them, as well as being able to revoke a production status.
- Sets up and authorizes work groups.
- Can, if required, establish an “open broadcast slot” for non-members and enact separate statutes for it, if deemed necessary.
- Allocates, if required, a daily broadcast slot for a topical program and enact separate statutes for it, if deemed necessary.
- Where applicable, defines paid areas of work and confirms employment.
- Discusses the budget proposal and lays it before the general meeting where it is voted on.
- Mediates in internal disputes that cannot be resolved by those involved.
- Revises or confirms an exclusion of contributions from public broadcasting according to the rules of the statutes.
- Can propose motions to the general meeting on behalf of non-members who are active or interested in the radio station.
- Recognizes, as required, the active right to vote within the radio station plenary assembly for non-members who participate as an active or interested party in the running of the station.
- Can revoke the right to vote in the radio station plenary assembly in the event of gross violations of the statutes and expel individuals from the radio plenary assembly.
2.3. Meeting frequency, announcement
The radio station plenary assembly meets weekly or biweekly, however, at least once a quarter.
The radio station plenary assembly selects a minute taker who records all decisions and results of discussions. The minute taker has to make the minutes publicly available in a specifically determined location no later than one week after the meeting.
3. WORKING GROUPS
Working groups consist of individuals appointed by the the radio station plenary assembly, who permanently or temporarily deal with a specific functional area. Tasks can also, correspondingly, be administered by individuals.
The members of working groups
- prepare suggestions for their functional area, which are to be presented to the radio station plenary assembly for discussion and decision-making.
- can, if necessary, be supported or replaced by full-time staff by a resolution of the plenary assembly.
- organize their work independently.
III. PRODUCTION STAFF AND PRODUCTION WORK
1. PRODUCTION STATUS AND ACCESS TO PROGRAM SLOTS
1.1 Every individual or group of individuals that regularly works on their own broadcast slot or extensive topics, and as such is recognized by the radio station plenary assembly is part of the production staff.
1.2 Prerequisites for the recognition of individuals or groups as part of the production staff are their membership of FRFL e.V. as a sustaining member; the participation in at least one of the organisation’s radio workshops or other evidence of competency; a three-month practical probationary participation in the radio station. During these three months a member of the radio station plenary assembly is available to everyone as a contact person (sponsor).
1.3 The production staff are open to all parties interested in a cooperation. The production staff are bound by these radio station statutes and the decisions of the radio station plenary assembly. Differences of opinion must be transparently and fairly carried on, especially in accordance with the general principles of these statutes. The same applies to cooperation with listeners. The production staff are duty bound to cooperate with each other.
1.4 The aim is for those involved in production work to also participate in the organization of the radio station within and outside of working groups.
1.5 As a matter of principle, members of right-wing extremist and populist parties and groups, the law enforcement authorities, and religious fundamentalists are excluded from participation in production.
1.6 Political parties and church institutions and their members can not receive production status.
2. JOURNALISTIC GROUND RULES
2.1 The journalistic ground rules and media ground rules of the press code within the guidelines for media work by the German Press council are to be observed in all broadcasts and contributions.
2.2 As a basic principle, research should be carried out thoroughly and in all conscience and reported based on facts.
2.3 Comments, personal opinions, or interpretations are, where applicable, to be presented as such with reference to their origin.
3. MUSIC PROGRAM
An appropriate compilation of music should be aimed for with care. The basic principles of the production statutes are also to be taken into consideration for the selection of music.
4. RESPONSIBILTIY FOR THE SCHEDULE
4.1 The production staff themselves bear the responsibility for the radio program schedule.
4.2 Freies Radio Flensburg is to be named as the broadcaster at least at the beginning and end of the daily schedule.
4.3 The producer responsible for the content should be named at the end of every broadcast.
4.4 A continuous cooperation on an equal footing for new members presupposes the agreement of the production team, a confirmation by the plenary assembly, and membership of the supporting association.
4.5 Producers or individuals who are allocated a fixed broadcasting slot by the radio station plenary assembly are duty bound to use it reliably and send a representative to the radio station plenary assembly.
5. RESPONSIBILTY OUTSIDE OF FRFL
All production staff members, groups, and individuals are responsible for their statements both within and beyond the context of the FRFL.
IV. EXCLUSION CLAUSES
Any form of racist, social, sexist, homophobic, or other discrimination, classification, and oppression of individuals or groups, the stoking of fears and prejudices against such, any form of chauvinism, as well as the trivialization of such behavior are to be excluded from both the schedule and structures of the radio station. This applies to all contributions and individuals whose promote or support such positions.
2. EXCLUSION FROM PUBLIC BROADCASTING
2.1 The exclusion from broadcasting can only take place if
- the broadcast would pose a non-justifiable risk for the license or licensee (the organization)
- the contribution contravenes the general principles set in these statutes.
- the producer of the contribution is not prepared to work over gross, technical, qualitative deficiencies, which make an easy understanding of the contribution in the radio receiver impossible.
2.2 A temporary exclusion of individual broadcast contributions can be decided upon by the production staff responsible for the broadcast slot. The temporary expulsion from broadcasting of a program produced by non-members can be decided upon by the program coordinator, the executive committee of the organization, or by the plenary assembly of the radio station.
In the event of a program produced by a non-member being excluded, the reason is to be laid down in writing and the executive committee of the organization is to be informed. The author(s) is/are to participate, if possible, in the making of the decision.
2.3 The final decision about an exclusion is made by the plenary assembly.
2.4 A production team cannot be forced to broadcast a temporarily excluded contribution against their will. Should the plenary assembly decide to withdraw the temporary exclusion from public broadcasting, another broadcasting slot must, in the case of non-resolvable conflicts, be determined together with the respective production team.
V. PRODUCTION RIGHTS
- All contribution and program rights belong to the creative producers.
- If a contribution or program is sold, the producers are duty bound to repay the broadcaster FRFL e.V. 25% of the proceeds to cover arising production costs.
- Until the right is revoked, the organizing radio station has the right to repeat contributions and broadcasts and give them to other non-commercial program providers as part of a program exchange.
- Should the organizing radio station make contributions and broadcasts available for program exchange, the rights to further public broadcasting will be preserved. The transmission of contributions by other organizers may only be carried out after consulting with the producers.