Regions: Asia and the Pacific

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...

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...

Bangladesh experiences an urban bias with regard to distribution of economic and social goods, and media is no exception. Only 16 percent of the rural population has access to newspapers, and local newspapers are published in urban areas and therefore do not focus on rural problems. However, the main part of the rural population in Bangladesh is facing some of the largest development problems so far due to climate changes. It is essential to involve these peoples in the country's process towards a more democratic and developed society. Furthermore, although Article 39 of Bangladesh...

The proposal is framed by concerns about the severe repressions against the media and freedom of expression in Fiji, and fears across the region about the potential for a domino effect on other Pacific Island States. This project will therefore seek to address problems which weaken free media and pluralistic media development, while enhancing the professional capacity of media workers and their organisations, though provision of training identified as a key need for the region. By building on the experience of the IFJ, notably in South Asia, to create national and regional networks through...

Many Cambodian newspapers and private radio and TV stations depend on support from political parties. Although press freedom is not guaranteed, the government has declared support for press freedom, publicly praising the benefits to society of an unfettered media. There are no restrictions on satellite dish ownership and foreign radio broadcasts can be received easily from neighboring countries. The purpose of the project is to develop reporting skills in the provincial media in the Kingdom of Cambodia, which has been neglected by the tertiary education sector and other training...

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...

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