Regions: Asia and the Pacific

The liberalization of the broadcasting and print media sector in Pakistan over the past two decades has led to an explosion in the number of circulating newspapers and magazines, with over 850 publications in circulation today. Historically this growth began in the main metropolitan centres, however the devolution of power to local governments across Pakistan has led to increased pressure on the media sector to mirror this change and provide support to district correspondents. At present this support is largely unavailable, with district correspondents often poorly educated, underpaid, and...

Access to accurate and reliable information is a necessity for the people of Pakistan in their struggle for democracy. At present, more than 40% of the Pakistani population lives in poverty, with over than two-thirds of this figure living in rural areas. Some 65% of people living in rural areas are illiterate and lack access to news and information. This project aims to address this worrying statistic by using radio as a means of reaching out and providing a voice to rural communities. A target group of 150 journalists, selected from 25 FM radio stations from smaller towns and rural areas...

Due to its vast size and economic situation, Mongolia's population suffers from high rates of unemployment, slow expansion of job opportunities, and limited access to healthcare and educational opportunities. These challenges are exacerbated among the 15% of the population belonging to ethnic minorities, due to their remote situation, language barriers and lack of access to information. Over 25 broadcasters currently operate in Mongolia, which can be accessed via increasingly popular satellite receivers. At present however, none of these operators provides a service catering to the...

In 2004, the National University of Laos launched a Bachelor's degree course in Mass Media. Although this was undoubtedly a positive development, the quality of the teaching was hindered by the fact that staff tended to be from a background in Lao Language Literature, with very limited knowledge in the field of journalism. The university has therefore made capacity building of its staff a priority in an effort to raise the standard of education being delivered. This project will build on the work which has already been initiated in this field with UNESCO's support, in order to offer...

In spite of India's strong constitution and judicial rulings in favour of press freedom, journalists in insurgency-affected parts of the country are often intimidated into silence by the special measures put in place by local administrations in these areas. They are frequently deterred from reporting on common issues of governance and unsure of the permissible limits of free reporting thus resulting in an inability to reflect a wide range of opinions and perceptions in their work. This project aims to address the situation by providing training workshops to 60 journalists from insurgency-...

The incidence of natural disasters in Bangladesh has risen in recent years, a trend which many attribute to climate change. With this rise we have also seen a change in attitudes relating to disaster management, with the focus turning increasingly towards risk management as opposed to response and relief. Many believe that the media should also adapt its focus to reflect this change by reporting not only during the post-disaster phase, but also before a disaster occurs, in an effort to educate the public about the risks and hazards and to influence policy changes. This project will deliver...

Access to knowledge and information is of paramount importance in improving the lives of poor and marginalized communities. In Bangladesh, the three primary sources of broadcast media (namely government-owned public service media, private media, and international media) do not effectively cater to the needs and expectations of these marginalized communities since their information sources tend to be centralized and aimed at profit-making. Community radio however, has the proven potential to remedy this situation by giving marginalized rural communities a voice and the opportunity to take...

The media has the potential to raise public awareness on important issues such as climate change. At present however, its capacity is not being fully exercised. This is largely due to a lack of understanding of the subject matter on the part of media professionals, resulting in reports which are laden with technical terms and lacking explanation of how the issue of climate change impacts on people's daily lives. The problem is particularly relevant in Iran, given its hot, dry climate and heavy dependence on the agriculture sector where water is of critical importance. This project...

The Kingdom of Tonga is one of the few remaining monarchies in the world. The country is currently undergoing a period of radical change in the switch from a constitutional monarchy to a parliamentary system with elected representatives. This will greatly affect the way in which the Tongan society is governed, and media can play an important role in helping society to navigate through this crucial transition period. It is therefore essential to train media staff in order to facilitate this supportive role. The Tongan Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) is the national broadcaster in the Kingdom...

In Samoa, radio provides the primary means for accessing information. Training journalism students and working media professionals to fully exercise the capacity of radio is therefore of crucial importance. The National University of Samoa attempts to respond to this need by offering training to students in radio journalism through its Media and Journalism Programme. However despite its good intentions, the University is forced to contend with severe financial constraints and lack of equipment, thus inhibiting students from applying theory in a practical context. This project will attempt...

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