Regions: Asia and the Pacific

Despite efforts undertaken by the media to accurately report on Afghanistan daily realities, serious threats on press freedom are present, thus impeding the Afghan population to access the objective, independent and reliable information that is needed for citizens to fully participate in the democratic process. Today, journalists in Afghanistan lack the security, independence and access to information they need to fulfil their professional duties in the best and impartial manner. Censorship exists in three forms, direct, indirect and self-censorship. Discussion around any Islamic concept...

The media in Burma is still heavily censored, but in the recent years, there have been more news stories in the private print media on business and economics, health issues like HIV, malaria, TB and Avian Flu, environment and social issues etc. There is an urgent need to improve the professional capacity of the working journalists, since there is no formal journalism training in the Burmese education system. The American Centre, the British Council and the UNICEF in Burma have provided some training for the local journalists in the recent years. All public libraries are subject to...

Uzbekistan gained its independence in the early nineties. Since then, legislation changes have been made in favour of the freedom of the media: for example passing a law on abolishment of the censorship in 2002. Following this, along with existing government broadcasters, several nongovernmental media outlets have started operations in the country. Many of them mostly cover the capital and its suburb regions, leaving the population of the remote the Aral Sea Basin area vulnerable to get access to constructive information that represents various shades of opinion. Hence, the population of...

Following the peoples' movement for re-establishment of democracy in April 2006, Nepal has embarked on a sustained path to democracy respecting human rights, media freedom and free flow of information. Because of liberal government policy, more than four dozens community radios (CRs) were opened within the last eight months, reaching a total of 91, out of which 36 stations are already on air and 15 more stations will be on air by the end of October 2007. While professional training is a must for any fresh entrant in the media profession, the journalists of CRs are always constrained with...

Fundamental rights in South Asia have never been at a stage where constitutional guarantees of human rights and promises made by governments have translated into strong practices in reality. Across the region, the repression of dissent, the intolerance of alternative narratives and the clamping down on free media and the freedom of expression pose significant challenges to sustainable development, political stability, good governance and ultimately, the timbre of democracy. Cultural values and norms coupled with extremist nationalism, mono-ethnic majoritarianism and populist religious...

Many journalists in South Asia operate in open conflict environments such as Sri Lanka and Nepal, while others are subject to harassment, intimidation and violence by those attempting to silence them, as in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India. Despite laws that protect journalists' rights in many countries of South Asia, a culture of impunity is forming for many who violate journalists' safety and rights that, if left to go unchecked, will have a devastating impact on freedom of expression and press freedom across the region. In order to stem the culture of impunity, it is...

The project addresses the needs of radio and TV journalists, particularly science journalists in Asia- Pacific. Their reach and influence in the region are extensive, but they provide scant reporting on science issues and developments. Two recent events highlight the need for better communication and popularisation of science issues in the developing world. First is the spread of avian influenza or bird flu. While the warning spread rapidly, journalists and other science communicators needed to put the threat into an appropriate scientific perspective, and to encourage individuals,...

This project aims to identify and document broadcasting models where public service and community-based broadcasting are interlinked, and then develop a community-based partnership strategy with mainstream media to effectively promote the UN Millennium Development Goals (UNMDGs). The research will focus on India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. A sourcebook for communicators will be published at the end of this research and consultation, with a view to informing Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) systems and community broadcasters on concrete...

Over the past fours years, independent media in Afghanistan has made significant developments, particularly in radio broadcasting. Research has shown that women have a high listening power when it comes to radio. However, they remain under-represented, both as target audiences and creators of radio programming. There are 4 women-run radio stations in Afghanistan which, while successful, go a small distance towards fully integrating gender relations in the broadcasting sector. The training, design and implementation of a 'Women at Work' Radio Programme entitled Mirror of Women in 5...

The overwhelming majority of population in the Republic of Tajikistan is not aware of the basic human rights and could not assert them if necessary. The human rights (HR) issues are not well covered in the mass media, much due to ignorance about the existing instruments, law and rights. According to an assessment carried out by Tajik Association of Independent Electronic Mass Media (TAIEMM) in 2005, only a limited number (less than 10%) of all editorial staff and journalists in local, regional and national media knows the basic principles of human rights. The other 90% are unaware of HR...

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