‘The CCMC Story’ details the establishment of the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) and the ideas which led to its formation. The user is guided step-by-step through the process by which community media emerged in Cyprus and its importance as a bridge between civil society and the mainstream media. The tool also illustrates ways in which civil society can acquire its own distinct voice and how collaboration has been encouraged between two entirely separate (Greek-language and Turkish-language) media networks on the island. The tool is enriched with hyperlinks, images, videos and “how-to” features. It aims to inspire others in conflict situations who may be considering launching their own community media initiatives.
The CCMC arose as a result of growing concern over both the polarisation of the Greek language and Turkish language media and the gulf that existed within each community between civil society and the mainstream media. Civil society activists and journalists had been engaged in discussions on the need for community media for many years and on the difficulties experienced by civil society organisations in communicating with a wider audience. CCMC was conceived as a means of providing a public voice for civil society. To this end, it champions digital and social media as alternative means of communication and runs extensive training in media skills for civil society organisations. The centre also works with local and international media organisations to promote the creative and innovative use of the media. The creation of the CCMC involved hard work and commitment; it is a story which illustrates the importance of grassroots constituency building and the establishment of local ownership.