The Dundalk CIRCOM Conference - A portal of discovery

johan linden signed"A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery." With the words of James Joyce we bid you welcome to the 33rd CIRCOM Regional Annual Conference. As you will discover this conference will open doors to new knowledge, new people, new ideas, new practices from all over Europe and also new ways of having fun. Some of the discoveries are based on our own mistakes, others will be "bona fide" success stories. It doesn't really matter, does it? As long as you take at least two or three good ideas back home and use them in your daily profession. We promise you that for a few days you will have more open minded sharing of experiences than most of us encounter in a year. And all the sharing will be very serious, delivered by professional with smiles and consideration. When in Ireland we also expect that there will be some singing, dancing and good laughter. It is the first time the conference visits Ireland and the CIRCOM-family wishes to express our gratitude towards RTÉ, Ireland's national public broadcaster and DkIT - the Dundalk Institute of Technology, our gracious hosts.

jean-marc-dubois signedWe also wish to thank TG4, Ireland’s national Irish language broadcaster for their great support to the CIRCOM family over the years and for their involvement in this year’s conference as well. If you are a regular visitor to our conference you will discover some brave thoughts behind the conference structure and schedule. In our family we embrace change. In our business we have to. Change comes from actually doing something, taking risks and working outside the given framework. Thus the actions are volitional. Whatever the outcome of our actions we will learn, we will make a new discovery. That's what this Conference is made for.

Dr. Johan Lindén, Secretary General, CIRCOM Regional
Jean-Marc Dubois, President, CIRCOM Regional




michael-lally-signedThe three words of the title sum up the landscape that we face in 2015. The challenge is everywhere: economic, regulatory, technological, and that's before we even look at content, competition or delivery. Each of us may face different challenges, and while we cannot address them all during our conference, we will attempt to prioritise the most pressing challenges and hopefully share workable solutions. That is the essence of the CIRCOM approach: "Learn from the experiences of others".

The individual sessions range from "How broadcasters survived the economic recession" to the challenges we face from social media. With hard factual research from the Ericsson's Media Laboratory, we hope to accurately review changing audience patterns across Europe and attempt to predict where these trends will lead us as broadcasters.

On the technology front the advent of "drone journalism or DroJo" will be another area of discussion. Here we will see again the changing face of journalism and we will try to look at its implications. As regional broadcasters, language and music are always close to our audience. How do we cope with the needs of minority languages? Should there be European aid in this area? These themes will be explored.

As the conference is in Ireland, we hope to introduce you to the role music can play in growing audiences and maintaining our relevance as public service broadcasters.

Lots of challenges face us. Hopefully we will face these challenges in Dundalk and in so doing face the future with greater confidence.

Finally there will be ample time to soak up the Irish culture and hospitality while here: from our first night when we gather in the Oriel Arts Centre (formerly a jail) where we will be entertained by an array of Irish champion dancers, musicians and singers, to the final night when we travel to the Guinness Brewery for The Dublin Experience. I hope that this conference gathering will be as entertaining as it will be enlightening.

Is mór an onóir do RTÉ fáilte a chur romhaibh ar fad go hÉirinn agus go Dún Dealgan do Comhdháil Bhliantúil Circom 2015. Is iomaí dúshlán atá romhainn amach mar chraoltóirí seribhíse poiblí i réigiúin na hEorpa. Ach is sa chaidreamh a bheidh againn le chéile in DKIT mí na Bealtaine a bheidh réiteach na ndúshlán sin. Deir an seanfhocal Gaeilge: “Ní neart go cur le chéile” (Strength comes only from Unity)

Michael Lally, Vice President, CIRCOM Regional


denis-cummins-signedIt is my great pleasure to welcome delegates of the 2015 CIRCOM Annual Conference in Dundalk Institute of Technology. We are truly delighted to be co-hosting this conference with RTÉ.
Established in 1971, Dundalk Institute of Technology has become the leading Higher Education Institute in the North East of Ireland. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in this region by supporting economic, social and cultural development. Our thirty five thousand graduates have made an enormous contribution to the success of this region and a particular source of pride for us is the fact that the majority of our graduates are the first generation in their families to attend Higher Education.

Our Creative Media Department is located in the award-winning and iconic Carrolls Building. Following a recent investment in this facility of in excess of forty million euro, our students and staff in the department enjoy state-of-the-art digital media learning facilities. The suite of programmes in the department has expanded enormously in recent years and now includes programmes in Film & Television Production, Media Arts & Technologies, Communications in Creative Media, Multimedia Web Development, Digital Animation Production and 3D for Games. In addition, a new BA in Theatre and Film Practice is currently being developed to complement this suite.

In 2012, Dundalk Institute of Technology made a strategic decision in signing a Memorandum of Understanding with RTÉ that resulted in the relocation of the regional RTÉ TV/Radio studio to the DKIT campus, along with paving the way for other joint initiatives in the future. The hosting of this CIRCOM conference on campus in DkIT marks another important milestone in this relationship.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague Sarah McCann, Head of Creative Media and Michael Lally, RTÉ for their commitment, enthusiasm and sheer hard effort in co-producing the 2015 CIRCOM Annual Conference.

Finally, I wish you all a very successful conference and hope you enjoy your visit to the campus of Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Denis Cummins, President of Dundalk Institute of Technology