Regions: Asia and the Pacific

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-...

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 Press clubs located in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) are under-resourced and underdeveloped. There are seven independent press clubs in the FATA, with the membership of 250+ journalists working with the print and electronic media. In their current form, the press clubs primarily provide a 'journalistic identity' through membership to their members and a platform for the exchange of information. They do not provide a means of broad professional development. Nor is there any formal mechanism for the members of the clubs from different areas to share experiences with...

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...

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...

New challenges are emerging in Sri Lanka on the form and direction of the post conflict transformation. Vibrant and professional media practice is vital in many aspects throughout the post conflict transformation stage to bring voices of the ground to decision making level as well as to inform the public on what is happening around them in order to make individual decisions. Sri Lankan media has been generally divided along the ethnic and linguistic lines over the period of the ongoing conflict, thus creating an environment for escalation of the misunderstanding between communities in the...

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