Regions: Asia and the Pacific

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of lawsuits filed against media professionals on grounds such as defamation, contempt of court, breach of parliamentary privilege, sedition, and breach of public morals and media ethics. This has exposed an urgent need for journalists to acquire an understanding of the legal environment in which they operate in order to protect themselves against such dangers. The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) is committed to addressing the issue of legal awareness among journalists in order to maintain plurality of...

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 2008, the Oceania Television Network (OTV) developed the Micronesian island of Palau's first ever television news programme, with the help of financial support from the IPDC. Since its launch, television news has become the primary source of information for the Palauan community - raising awareness and promoting discussion on important political, educational, environmental and social issues. With the exception of Palau however, much of Micronesia does not have access to television news, due to lack of resources in terms of equipment, staff, and training opportunities. This project will...

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...

Media development in Kazakhstan's regions has been slow. Although new private media outlets have opened, journalists lack basic educational and professional skills; with low salaries, they are susceptible to pressure from local political and business interests. Many do not know their legal rights?for example, for access to information?and lack training in research, fact-checking and providing balanced stories. Financially-struggling media outlets regularly publish or broadcast hidden advertising, press releases from local government or businesses masquerading as news stories. Regional...

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...

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...

In Lao PDR, mass media has been gradually evolving. An increasing variety of types of media are being used, including newspapers, radio and television. There are both private- and government- owned media. Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the recently endorsed media law. In order to produce quality media, the skills of media professionals need to be developed. In 2004, a Mass Media Bachelor Course was initiated at the Department of Lao Language and Mass Media, Faculty of Letter, National University of Laos. Since its establishment, the Department has been playing a crucial role in...

There is an enormous demand in the media sector for skilled media professionals. It is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 journalists working in Nepal, most of whom have not received any form of training. Following this project, NPI will have increased its the capacity to provide training to newspaper and radio journalists who live outside of Kathmandu and who do not have access to other media training opportunities. A major problem in Nepal is that the workforce in the media is largely unskilled. Untrained journalists are easily influenced and manipulated by political and other...

Central Asian countries have been broadcasting via independent systems since 1992, but governmental censorship of press freedom, weak media legislation and corruption present barriers for the development of non-partisan media. Practical training and programme production can help broadcasters in the region to fully engage with the access to information initiative by highlighting the public's rights in countries where freedom of information has been ratified. Involvement of state and private broadcasters on the topic of access to information could help increase populations' level of...

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