UNESCO field offices: New Delhi

In 2008, the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh passed the RTI Ordinance. The subsequent ratification of the Ordinance resulted in the adoption of the RTI Act 2009 by Bangaldesh’s present Government. One of the most important and potentially far-reaching legislations enacted by the Parliament of Bangladesh, the Act was a major step towards enabling access to information and promoting freedom of expression, press freedom, good governance and transparency. The campaign for the right to information (RTI) in the country has been a long and ongoing one, waged by journalists, development workers...

Community media or the third tier of broadcasting is increasingly being regarded as an essential tool for good governance, transparency, accountability and a means for reaching less accessible social groups. The potential contribution of community media is particularly significant in land-locked countries like Bhutan, with mountainous and sometimes inaccessible terrain, a modest but scattered population, and marked urban-rural disparities.
 
In 2010, the Royal Government of Bhutan partnered with UNESCO to conduct a Media Development Assessment (MDA) to assess the country’s...

Ravaya is a, journalist-owned newspaper in Sri Lanka that has, for over a quarter century, has withstood the political pressures to which almost all the vernacular press has capitulated to. Ravaya has a proud record of standing – and fighting – for justice, fairness and equality in the finest traditions of journalism with peer scrutiny and responsiveness to the readers. It continues to do so during the post conflict turbulent period where authorities and privately owned newspapers have been arousing triumphalist anti-minority attitudes among the majority Sinhala community. In an atmosphere...

Thirty years after the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), many girls and women in the Commonwealth do not have equal opportunities to exercise rights recognised by law. In many countries, women are still not entitled to own property or inherit land. Social exclusion, “honour” killings, female genital mutilation, trafficking, rape, restricted mobility and early marriage among others, combine to deny women the right to health and increase illness and death for women throughout their life-course.
 
Under-...

It has been over three years since the Right to Information (RTI) Act was passed in Bangladesh, but no significant steps have been taken by the government to implement the Act, nor to raise awareness of it. Many journalists, both senior and junior, are not well aware of the RTI Act, in spite of its potential to play an important role in their professional duties (particularly filing follow-up, in-depth and investigative reports by using the RTI Act as a tool for information gathering.

In an attempt to address the issue, this project is aimed at raising local journalists' awareness...

With the rapid growth of the media industry in Bhutan, the demand for skilled and experienced media professionals is growing. However, due to the lack of training facilities in the media sector, the few trained and experienced professionals are thinly spread among the various organizations. As the country is undergoing a period of transition, it is equally important for media to act as a platform for public discourse.

Bhutan Media Institute was licensed by Ministry of Economic Affairs in June 2011 and subsequently registered as a training institute by the Ministry of Labour and...

Maldives is a unique country with its population of just over 300,000 spread across some 1200 coral islands, some hundreds of kilometres apart. Thus, broadcast media, especially radio, plays an important role in keeping the country’s far-flung population connected and informed. Recent years have seen a significant improvement in the level of media freedom and independence in the country, with the government allowing the establishment of private newspapers, radio and television. In May 2007, the government highlighted four main pillars of the media reform process, namely confidence building...

Sri Lanka faces enormous challenges, not only in the areas of conflict resolution and national integration, but also in the face of the crisis of governance and challenges which need to be addressed to ensure Constitutionalism, the Rule of Law and participatory democracy. One of the major weaknesses in governance in Sri Lanka is the absence of transparency, under a strong culture of authority and secrecy rather than a culture of justification and transparency. When the 2004 draft bill on the subject was endorsed by both major parties, the general assumption was Sri Lanka would be among the...

The merits of Public Service Broadcasting institutions are widely and vigorously debated but guidance and knowledge is needed for broadcasters on how they should respond to creating Public Service Broadcasting for public interest with the convergence of new technologies. In this era it is important that broadcasters understand how PSB can be defined and redefined to perform its functions effectively. In May 2012 broadcasters from across South-Asia will gather in Bangkok, Thailand, for the Asian Media Summit. This provides an excellent opportunity to partner with AIBD, the host organization...

Media in Bhutan has undergone considerable growth after the establishment of democracy in 2008. Today, mass communication in Bhutan encompasses both traditional and New Media technologies, ranging from newspapers, radio and TV to mobile phones and the internet. According to a UNESCO-supported Media Development Assessment (MDA) conducted in Bhutan in 2010, there are vital elements missing in the media landscape which need to be addressed. These include policy and legal frameworks to support the growth of media; Right to Information laws to ensure transparency and good governance; Fiscal and...

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