Regions: Asia and the Pacific

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...

The basic human right of freedom of expression is accounted for within Papua New Guinea's Constitution, thus serving as a tool to enhance empowerment of its people and assist in development. At present, the country has two major newspapers in circulation, with a handful of smaller newspapers existing within the main cities. In terms of electronic media, two television stations and two major national radio stations operate, with links to provincial station networks. This national-owned radio network covers most of the major centres, however certain areas remain outside the coverage zone,...

Nepal's media sector has made great advances in the past two decades, with the introduction of laws ensuring press freedom paving the way for private and community involvement in the media. Today, more than 11 television channels broadcast from Kathmandu, and over 237 radio stations operate within the country, including a substantial number of community radio stations. Community radio has the proven potential to enable marginalized communities to exercise their right to knowledge and information, including them in policy and decision-making processes, and promoting the diversity of their...

Great progress has been made in recent years in developing the Maldivian media, with 2007 witnessing the issuing of licenses for the first private broadcasting stations as well as the formulation of six media-related bills, one of which has been adopted. Much work is still required however, particularly in providing training for the country's media professionals, and in further developing the legal framework with special regard to freedom of expression. This was reiterated by last year's media development assessment in the Maldives (carried out using UNESCO's Media Development Indicators...

According to estimates from media experts, around 40% of the Kyrgyz population living in rural areas does not have access to information. Given that around 65% of the country's entire population lives in rural areas, this represents a worrying statistic. Rural communities are therefore deprived of their right to participate in national and local debates, and to access knowledge on the practices, policies and technologies that help promote sustainable development. This project from community radio station 'Radiomost' will attempt to motivate community members to actively contribute to the...

Journalists and media outlets in Kazakhstan are frequently subjected to law suits from both individuals and organizations with libel and defamation charges, often resulting in the closure of media outlets due to bankruptcy, as well as the threat of imprisonment for journalists. The stimulus for such law suits is often media articles or reports based on unverified or unreliable information, resulting from a fundamental lack of legal knowledge on the part of journalists and media managers. At present, very little time is devoted to covering the subjects of libel and defamation within...

In recent years there has been an increased demand for more participatory forms of media in the Pacific region, thus accounting for the emergence of community radios in certain areas. Community radios are important tools for development since they enable the participation of marginalized groups in the development process by offering a platform for democratic discourse. Unfortunately however, many rural dwellers in the Pacific are still unable to access radio due to technical challenges. Furthermore, the scope of existing Community Radios to exercise their full potential as development...

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