UNESCO field offices: New Delhi

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...

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...

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...

Great progress has been made in recent years in developing the Maldivian media, with 2007 witnessing the issuing of licenses for the first private broadcasting stations as well as the formulation of six media-related bills, one of which has been adopted. Much work is still required however, particularly in providing training for the country's media professionals, and in further developing the legal framework with special regard to freedom of expression. This was reiterated by last year's media development assessment in the Maldives (carried out using UNESCO's Media Development Indicators...

The 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka resulted in a deep polarization within civil society and the media, with media professionals adopting self-censorship and other self-protection strategies within the relentlessly hostile environment. This has left a lasting impression on media outlets, who continue to be divided along linguistic and ethnic lines. The Sri Lankan Press Institute (SLPI), established in 2003, aims to aid the role of the media in the country's recovery process by delivering training in various aspects of journalism via its educational arm, the Sri Lanka College of Journalism (...

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-...

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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