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IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

Zambia’s growing community media sector, which boasts 60 radio stations and 6 print entities, is regarded as an important tool for community and grassroots development. These media outlets are responsive to their audiences and have established themselves as frontline sources of information and platforms of communication for the communities in their coverage areas.
 
However, community media journalists are increasingly subject to incidents of intimidation and harassment and there have also been arrests and domestic censorship of some online newspapers. Most of these journalists...

Nepal’s media sector is large and growing rapidly. However, many people are entering the sector without even basic journalism training. This is because there are few journalism training institutes in Nepal. To address this shortcoming and thereby improve the quality of the media sector in Nepal, this project will train new journalists from five districts of Nepal. 

The Ethiopian media is a very recent phenomenon, mainly consisting of state-controlled radio and television. Addis Ababa City Administration Community Media (FM 96.3) is one of the few community radio stations in the country. It serves 1.5 million people across a 105 km radius, providing 18 hours of daily transmission in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. However, its journalists lack professional skills.
 
The proposed project aims to address this gap by training volunteer journalists, reporters, editors and technicians at FM 96.3 to be able to produce high quality...

Bangladesh’ campaign for the right to information (RTI) has ensued for many years, sustained by the efforts of journalists, development workers, human rights activists and members of civil society. It resulted in the passing of the RTI Ordinance in 2008, a major step towards enabling access to information and promoting freedom of expression and of the press, good governance, and transparency. However, no significant efforts have been made to either raise awareness about or effectively implement this Act, and access to information remains limited in Bangladesh.
 
A media...

Fesmedia Africa's 2010 media barometer reveals that the journalism training at the University of Antananarivo does not include refresher programmes even though graduating students experience difficulties due to pedagogical shortcomings and gaps in the content of the initial training programmes. Furthermore, among the media professionals, the vast majority (more than 700) are trained on the job. One consequence of this is the plethora of articles based on sensationalism and a dull report of facts. This project aims to strengthen the capacity of a national pool of instructors from 6 public...

As a landlocked country with sometimes-inaccessible mountainous terrain, a scattered population and marked urban-rural inequalities, Bhutan would benefit significantly from community media. A UNESCO-commissioned feasibility study conducted in 2013 found a clear consensus among different stakeholders (including government officials) that commmunity radio (CR) would deepen and accelerate development in Bhutan. The report therefore asserted that a CR policy should be created. Other key recommendations included building the capacities of potential CR personnel, piloting three community radio...

The level of media development in Puntland, Somalia is low due to lack of resources and expertise as well as decades of war. Puntland State University (PSU) is committed to filling this gap and is ready to operationalize its Campus Radio Station. It has established a Media Training and Resource Centre, attained government permission for the radio station and, in 2011, equipment was procured by UNESCO. The station will cover community issues including, governance, rule of law, youth unemployment, environmental conservation, the plight of IDPs, piracy, FGM/C, terrorism and HIV/AIDS.

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In a climate of increasing authoritarianism and diminishing space for democratic debate, in which state-controlled media echoes official views and private-owned media self-censors and arouses anti-minority attitudes, Ravaya remains the only unbiased vernacular language newspaper available to the masses. This journalist-owned paper maintains an outstanding record of carrying out high-quality independent journalism, fighting for justice, welcoming peer scrutiny and being responsive to readers.
 
Ravaya, which currently circulates 25,000 copies per week, requires external support...

The impact of years of conflict is still evident in nearly every aspect of South Sudanese society. Although great efforts are underway to promote peace, security, reconstruction and development, these processes will be difficult without the establishment of a free media to create an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence and to institutionalize a culture of democracy. In particular, serious issues exist concerning the safety of journalists and media professionals and the impunity of those committing such crimes. Despite a constitution that guarantees press freedom, many journalists have been...

Ninety-four journalists were killed in Pakistan over the last decade, yet just one of the killers has been arrested, tried and convicted. Many more journalists have received threats, including from the country’s intelligence agencies. Due to this alarming situation, Pakistan was identified as a focus country for the UN’s Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity in 2013-2014.

   
This project therefore aims to increase the safety of Pakistani journalists working in hostile environments. A safety mechanism will be developed, including a rapid...

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