dijous, 14 de maig de 2009

Reason 17: Only way to ensure normal distribution of all Catalan TV channels

When I was little (around 25 years ago) people already said how nice it would be to be able to see all TV channels in Catalan language; not only our TV but also the TV from Valencia and the Balearic islands.
In the Netherlands, around 30 or 40 years ago they already could see the TV of their southern Flemish neighbours, who also speak the same language. To have the same mother tongue creates an emotional bond and it facilitates collaboration between both territories. Singers, writers, students and workers go back and forth and work in both territories and feel perfectly integrated without any effort. There are even possibilities to go to a Flemish hospital when Dutch hospitals have long waiting lists. All of this because we speak the same language. We all know how that in the Catalan countries (Països Catalans) singers from Mallorca or Valencia can become stars in Catalonia and that students come to Barcelona and can study in Catalan and feel perfectly ‘at home’ among the Catalans.
So, what’s wrong? Why, after 30 years of ‘democracy’ in Spain it is still not possible to arrange something as easy as to allow all Catalan speaking territories to see the TV channels of their neighbours? Well, this is Spain, and Spain is still different. Yes, we are in the European Union, yes we do have a kind of ‘democracy’. But in Spain, just like in Russia, the media are controlled by politicians. And they are Spanish nationalists who are at the power and whose interest is to ensure that the Catalan countries remain as separated as possible. They do this in different ways. One of them is by redirecting all possibilities of transport to Madrid and impoverishing the trans-Catalan connections (as they have been doing the last 15 years with all ways of transportation, train, highways and flight routes).
Another is by impeding that the Catalan territories talk or listen to each other by avoiding the development of a Pan Catalan confederation of communications (TV, radio). The last steps in this direction were to ban Catalan TV from Valencia (until last year Valencians could watch Catalan TV) and also to ban Catalan TV from North Catalonia (France).
But now the Spanish nationalists have a new tool to ensure that we don’t mingle much with our Catalan speaking neighbours: TDT.
TDT is the new digital TV, which soon will substitute the old analog system. It seems that this will give the Spanish nationalists even more power to avoid us watch the TV channels of our Catalan speaking neighbours.
The territories in which Catalan is being spoken is quite big. Most of them with own TV channels. Valencia, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, North Catalonia (France), Andorra and even Alghero in Italy has an own TV channel in Catalan language. With more than 9 million inhabitants who speak it, it is not the smallest language in Europe.
I am afraid that, here again I will be right: only the independence of Catalonia will give us the power to realise this.
Can you imagine how many TV channels we will have the day we are an independent country? We will have the tools to get all TV channels in Catalan language in the world without the interference of any anti Catalan politician.
For now we will have to go on the activist way, which is a lot of work and unfortunately it does not work very often. But this is the only tool we have.
If you agree with having as many as possible TV channels in Catalan here is a link in which you can send a letter to the Spanish minister of industry asking him to make it possible (only in Catalan).
To be honest, I don’t expect anything, but I just can’t sit and see how they keep applying all sorts of limitations to us and do nothing about it. I think it is important to let them know what we want, and that we are not happy with what they are doing. We also give them a chance to do something about it, to take away another reason to wish independence.
They don’t seem to be aware of the fact that by giving us the freedom to develop ourselves we would not see any benefits in becoming independent. Their wish to transform us into Spaniards is what feeds our wish to become independent.
Articles on this theme (in Catalan):