IPDC project priority: Community Media Development

A three tiered media structure comprising public, private and community is now in place. However, there are critical issues of concern. First, the guidelines subsume campus radio, community radio and agricultural universities under the same umbrella. This is unrealistic, particularly in the context of management and ownership. Community radio stations in most parts of the world are managed and owned by communities, in contrast to campus and agricultural university radio stations. Other issues of concern are that the guidelines do not permit community radio stations to broadcast news. This...

The Chama district is far away (more than 330 km) from Lusaka, Zambia's capital city where the media industries and institutions are located. The national radio signal barely reaches this province and newspapers: monthlies, weeklies and dailies are a rarity. Most of the citizens of this area end up listening to Malawian radio, even reading newspapers from the same country, which is not ideal for the building of a national identity. The illiteracy rate is very high because of the long distances to schools and the natural barriers like hills and rivers, which lead pupils to drop out of...

In Malawi, severe floods occur regularly in six river basin systems. The highest flood frequency has been recorded in the Lower Shire Valley, covering Nsanje and Chikwawa Districts. For the communities living in these areas, better information could considerably lessen human suffering: improved meteorological services giving accurate and timely information about the weather patterns can alert the population to be better prepared for the coming of rains, and hence enable them to move to higher grounds with their livestock to carry educational and medical equipment to safer areas. The...

There are hundreds of CLCs around Nepal, but only a handful of operative and self-sufficient CMCs. A proper network among these centres, starting from fewer districts, could become a fundamental awareness and information channel for communities. Although the quality and diversity of media are increasing in more populated areas, this is not true in remote areas. There, the often illiterate population has to receive information largely from local radio, and not enough quality information is available. CMCs practitioners have not received professional training, some are not well informed...

The establishment of community radio stations in Timor-Leste did not follow a clear, strategic and coordinated process and was not preceded by wide community consultations. This has led over the years to the communities not feeling the ownership of their radio stations; as a consequence, they are not actively engaged in the running of the stations, and not able to discern the fact the radio stations can contribute in a myriad of ways to the improvement of their livelihoods. In many cases, the community believes that the community stations belong to those volunteers who run them. Community...

The contribution of Thai women to national socio-economic development is tremendous but is not adequately recognized at all levels. Women's concerns and interests are often overlooked and not seen as priorities. Good governance seems will not be complete if women's voices are not heard and an unequal participation of women and men in public life prevails. To promote gender sensitivity, particularly in local governance, it is necessary to break the silence around the issues that rural women have been facing like violence, discriminatory beliefs and practices in education and employment, and...

Delays in the area of communication still persist, particularly in rural zones, some of which are still very isolated. Additionally, the Eastern zone, near the border with the Central African Republic, has attracted thousands of refugees fleeing the troubles in their country. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has set up 72 sites to provide shelter for the refugees. To cope with the situation, the World Food Programme (WFP) has implemented communication and foodsupply policies targeting the refugees at the 72 sites. Agents using motorcycles purchased by...

New needs have been identified in Bolivia, namely: The indigenous Chiquitano organisations currently possess two FM transmitters, and a third on the way, all inspired by the Bolivian vision of community radio. However, the long-term viability of the equipment is jeopardised by the lack of human-resources trained in the production of multi-format radio material ; The indigenous organisations do not have a web site promoting their culture and the work they accomplish in their communities ; Media workers need to be provided with appropriate tools for training and facilitating information...

The media boom in Uganda is concentrated in urban areas, elitist, and commercially driven. The rural poor and illiterate are generally excluded as they don't influence or, participate actively in the programmes; the programmes do not promote their cultural identity, basic developmental needs like, primary healthcare, good governance at local levels, basic public education, agriculture or trade but instead focus on popular global issues. The establishment of the first Ugandan telecentre at Nakaseke (1997) and later upgraded by UNESCO into a CMC, opened a ray of hope and opportunity for the...

The communities in the south are isolated and indigenous ? Mopan and Q'eqchi' Maya. Unfortunately, radio cannot reach many of these villages due to the terrain. This is particularly problematic because these villages also are home to poor, marginalized indigenous people who need access to information and communications technologies. It is imperative that local Maya receive accurate and up-to-date information. Given its accessibility and cost-effectiveness, community radio represents a democratic and participatory medium. People can be united by community radio. Tumul K'in Learning Center...

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