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What is FNDC ?

Created in 1991 as a social movement, the National Forum for the Democratization of Communication (FNDC) is constituted as an association since 1996 and congregates civil society organizations from all over Brazil in order to face, together, the issues and problems regarding the democratization of communications. The strategic objectives of the Forum are:

  • To build and establish the public control of the media;
  • To promote the capacity building of civil society to understand and act on communication issues;
  • To restructure the communication systems and the communication market, paying attention to the principle of the complementarity between the public system, the private system and the state system;
  • To definite and to dispute a policy of cultural development in Brazil through the media.

Today the FNDC is composed by 124 civil society institutions organized in 12 regional committees. The executive coordination is composed by journalists, radio professionals, psychologists, communication students and communitary-based broadcasters. Since its foundation, FNDC have been involved in many important national processes regarding communication policies, regulations and laws, such as the implementation of the National Council on Social Communication (which took 11 years to be established by the Brazilian National Congress), the regulamentation of the Cable TVs in the country, the elaboration of a new /National Law for the Press/, among others.

Since December, 2001, the FNDC has opposed this policy, manifestating its position against the opening of brazialian media to foreign capital to the civil society and also to the government. Since the end of the year 2002, when Lula was elected the President of Brasil the FNDC has been incrementing its activities and strenghtening its participation in national processes and policies in the Communication field. During this same period, the regulation of the communication area in Brazil is being reviewed and the society has been surprised by the permission given by Brazilian government to national and international private companies to acquire parts of media vehicles and so participate in the Brazilian media as investors and owners. In 2003 FNDC has headed a campaign against the financing of media private companies (which were indebted) by the use of public resources through Brazil’s National Bank of Development. Presently FNDC is starting up a new campaign – this time to fight against the presence of News Corporation (which belongs to Rupert Murdoch) within Brazilian media system. This company intends to sell the services of sattelite TV – which are not regulated by the Brazilian State since the creation of the service, in 1996.

After the approval of the National Council on Social Communication (which is linked to the Brazilian Congress) and its constitution, the FNDC has had six of its members participating in the board of the Council. However, this Council doesn’t have a deliberative character, working only as a consultative instance. The FNDC has also participated in the working group created by the Ministry of Communications to evaluate the process of approval of communitary-based broadcasting service licences. The Forum has also been working towards the regulamentation that enhances the local and regional production of radio and TV programs and content. The FNDC is also one of the 23 entities which will be discussing and participating in the development of the Brazilian System of Digital TV (SBTVD), recently created by the federal government.