Please note: this is an archive. The domain cancunmedia.net is no longer owned by us.
Independent Media Pool and News Portal for the WTO Ministerial, september 10-14 2003
Cancún Media project stopped
Software development will continue
Indymedia.nl over CancúnAfter evaluating the progress of the project at August 1 2003, we (the initiators of the Cancún Media project) came to the conclusion it was not feasible to set up a Media Pool and News Portal in time for the WTO Ministerial in Cancun, September 10-14, 2003.
We deeply regret we had to make this decision. We've worked on Cancún Media as volunteers since December 2002 and put in many hours. And what's more: Many people and organizations world-wide shared our believe that Cancún Media would be a very useful project. We are extremely sorry to disappoint them.
We thank everyone who showed interest in Cancún Media, especially those who were prepared to support Cancún Media.
The main reasons are lack of manpower and money. And the main barrier was 'the software'. The Media Pool & News Portal model needs specialized software. We simply could not find funds and people in time to build this. Work will continue however. As soon as 'open source' software for this model is available, setting up a special media platform like Cancún Media will be much more feasible. So we are still looking for funding and manpower to build the software.
CausesHowever, not being able to build the software in time is only a symptom. The underlying causes for our failure are serious and of general importance. That's why we want to share these with you, hoping to raise awareness and prevent similar 'accidents' in the future. We need to seed some thoughts on new media policies.
In a time where the mass media are subject to monopolization and commercialization, there are no guaranties any more that information on issues of world-wide and far reaching importance (like the WTO Ministerial) will get proper media attention indeed. This places a great responsibility with the people and organizations involved: they will have to do the job themselves and build their own media.
Many are trying this already. But most do it all by themselves. And many efforts get lost in a see of mailing lists, domain names, 'elite' magazines, small radio stations, etc.
Building new independent media for our own general benefit can only be done by cooperation and co-producing. Only by cooperation it will be possible to get the efficiency and outreach needed to do a good job.
Cancún Media was meant to be a manifestation of this cooperation: Safeguarding the availability of media material on the WTO Ministerial, regardless of massmedia attention.
It was not a 'goodwill project' for some big NGO, it did not want to push one-sided ideas.
It was meant to serve anyone involved and support all media efforts on the subject.
At this moment, projects like Cancún Media are the initiative of a few 'responsible' specialists, media people and programmers, working ad-hoc. Often they are volunteers and can't guaranty a long term effort. And what's more, they have to improvise: in most cases their work is appreciated, but there is hardly any active feedback and support by the parties they are serving. There is no 'independent media strategy', supported by large numbers of people and organizations.
Often planning media efforts is impossible and priorities are decided on a day by day basis. It is a simple fact that the media work around the (protests against) the war in Iraq has at least partly 'derailed' the Cancún Media project. There are simply not enough media- and ICT-people who can volunteer and run all the media efforts needed.
We believe all involved need to look beyond their own interest and should start supporting projects and efforts which will benefit independent media in general.
We feel projects like Cancún Media must be part of a broad media policy and media strategy, supported by many politicians, organisations, activists, journalists and citizens.
Procedures for funding media projects and getting professionals involved should be fast, news does not wait for the next board meeting.
Especially big NGO's, which have funds for publicity and media, should support the development of facilities and tools and should support the professionals building them.
And all involved need to realize the importance of media strategy and need to contribute to efforts which are directly serving their interests.
Let us stay in touchWe will continue to work on these ideas and will continue to build networks for developing them, hoping to be ready for a next event. And we need a little help from our friends.
During the past months, we've come in contact with many people and organizations who support our ideas. We hope this network can be preserved and extended.
If you want to stay informed and be part of this effort, please contact us.
In the near future a new Dutch independent media network will be build (Ander Nieuws Net), which will be used to experiment with new models and tools. The experience gained will be used to develop models and tools for international use.
For the initiators of Cancún Media,
Socia Media, The Hague
More informationShort description of Cancún Media
Joburg Media (predecessor of Cancún Media)
joburgmedia.net (opens new window)
Description of the 'Media Pool & News Portal Model'
andernieuws.net/2003/mediapool.html (opens new window)
Dutch description of software for the Media Pool & News Portal Model
andernieuws.net/2003/mediapool-software.html (opens new window)
New Dutch media network ('Other News Network')
andernieuws.net (opens new window)
Contact usPlease see the contact page.