Regions: Asia and the Pacific

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...

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...

As the free flow of information and ideas is at the heart of democracy and the cornerstone in human rights, the up-dating of the publication of Freedom of Information: A Comparative Legal Survey in 2008, and its translation into Chinese in 2009 are of great symbolic importance. The dialogue on freedom of information between China and the rest of the world is just beginning and the Chongqing University of China calls on UNESCO to seize an opportunity to capitalize on this unique occasion. This project intends to use the launch of the Chinese translation of the Freedom of Information...

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...

Television Niue and its private sector counterpart, Kilocutz Productions, are seeking to develop their staff skills to a higher level, in the three separate areas of lighting, sound, and editing. This training will also partly cater for new intakes identified for 2010 onwards. There is a currently a specific lack of development within both organisations beyond basic news and community events coverage. This shortfall currently prevents further development of both parties in other areas of TV production limiting development at a national level. The assistance sought is mid-level rather than...

The challenges related to climate change demand that mass media institutions be proactively involved in public awareness activities. As a consequence, high priority is given to comprehensive training programmes for young journalists of Uzbekistan. The state programme of training media workers of the Republic of Uzbekistan indicates the need to teach journalists how to address new challenges. There is a growing number of both state and non-state print media, TV and radio studios and growing competition in the media sphere. An analysis of the work of domestic media and of the level of...

In Tajikistan, radio is the only broadcast medium that can be received in all areas of the country. Few journalists have academic or professional training in the field, and (with some notable exceptions), the quality of information-gathering, reporting and writing is low. Media rights organizations report that, although provided for in the constitution, press freedom is not widely respected. However, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Tajikistan in its 2008 Press Freedom Index as having the highest level of media freedom among the five Central Asian states. Opportunities for...

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