Sounding Board - My Comprehension

Hi All, at the risk of using this thread as a sounding board, and if that’s not appropriate, then apologies in advance.

I resigned from the Community Media Association yesterday, when they adopted a new constitution that I profoundly disagree with. I’ve stated my reasons in a blog which I’ve shared on my site.

What I want to ask you, though, is now that I have made this move, and feel less encumbered by past loyalties so that I can get more involved here, what’s the expectations that you have about how this might work?

I am happy to help support and develop this network and campaign, as I’m impressed by the commitment to democratic involvement, co-development of progressive policies, and the forward-looking anticipation of new media platforms, cultures and practices that you have.

My more specific questions are:

  • What are the expectations about recruitment to Better Media?
  • What are the expectations about involvement that you would like to see from people?
  • What’s the range of skills and capability that you want people to bring and the insight and expertise they might share?
  • How public-facing should this be?
  • What are the expectations about accountability to one another?

My preference has always been to work in an environment that bring people together in a culture of collaboration and mutual support, but I’m aware from experience that this can’t be assumed or relied upon to flow naturally.

Similarly, having a high level of freedom to independently speak out on public issues can be destabilising, especially if those utterances are not Intune with the group culture, which can be made worse if there is no sense of clear accountability to one another.

I’d like to get a sense of the latitude or tolerance that you have here, in terms of views and opinions. How these views and opinions are formed, and what the development process is that brings mutual decisions and policies forward.

If a network is to enhance its members and amplify their contributions, then there has to be some clarity about the topics that are being discussed, looked at and questioned.

There also has to be an expectation of accountability that guides individuals and keeps everyone moving towards a set of goals, which are driven by shared values.

My experience with the CMA was that it became more difficult to think about the process of development and collaboration. So innovation and problem-solving about media reform and alternative practices was dead in the water.

As a network the CMA has become insular and stuck in the past, and I don’t want to be in such a toxic environment again.

I don’t often do inspirational messages, if anything I avoid them like the plague, but a message I saw on Instagram seems relevant

“I used to think communication was the key until I realised comprehension is. You can communicate all you want with someone, but if they don’t understand, it’s silent chaos.”

Any advice, suggestions, pointers, would be most welcome. I’m looking forward to getting to know more of you, and to start to invite and encourage others to join the forum and the campaign.

Rob :slight_smile:

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