Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication wins 2016 WSIS Prize

on Wednesday, 04 May 2016 17:33. Posted in News from the region

wsis pictureGeneva, May 4, 2016. Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) received the 2016 UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) prize.

The World Summit on the Information Society presented the award on May 3 as part of the WSIS Forum 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The event is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD, and UNDP with the engagement of other United Nations agencies.

The prestigious prize was awarded in recognition to BNNRC’s successful implementation of the project on Youth Women in Community Media and Journalism - the beginning of a new era in rural broadcasting journalism of Bangladesh supported by the Free Press Unlimited. BNNRC’s project, which was recognized for excellence in the implementation of the project, highlights the ‘voices of the rural people’ which essentially is the core of the rural broadcasting journalism programme, especially for the female journalists.

AHM Bazlur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of BNNRC said: “We are indeed honored to have received this award. All of us at BNNRC are extremely proud that our work has been given this appreciation and recognition by the international community. BNNRC is grateful for this recognition. But BNNRC is not a winner. The real winners are 60 youth women community radio journalists those are working with 16 community radio stations in Bangladesh for ensuring voices of the voice-less in line with the poverty of voice.”

The youth women journalists, aged between 18 and 30, prior to joining their responsibilities in community radio broadcasting programmes and feature writing in local newspapers, were exposed to customised media training to strengthen understanding of reporting, news and script writing and editing during their fellowship programme held in three separate batches ranging from 3-6 months during 2013 and 2015. During the short-lived fellowship, the school and college graduate fellows joined as producers, anchors and reporters in 16 regional community radio stations some of which are located in remote coastal islands and in river banks.

In pursuit of their fellowship programmes the youth women produced over 800 radio programmes and about 500 newspaper reports which largely focused on messages to free the society from the traditional caste system, good practices in health for women and children, end early marriages, social discrimination, violence against women, promotion of education, establish human rights and give more voices to the marginalized people. Using information technology in broadcasting, the empowered youth women journalists, the majority (40) of whom come from Dalit families or the lowest caste in the society, demonstrated how the chemistry of creating opportunities and utilizing information technology can change the society. This was one of the most important criteria for nomination for the WSIS award.

The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision, desire, and commitment to building a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information. The WSIS Forum 2016 represents the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.

Source: BNNRC

In Commemoration of the Tragic Earthquake in Nepal and in Recognition of the Role of Community Radios, AMARC Asia-Pacific organizes a Community Radio seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction

on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 10:30. Posted in Events

Nepal radioGhorka04 29042015AMARC Asia-Pacific, the regional chapter of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), is organizing a seminar to mark the first year since the massive earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 and to review the role of community radios in the aftermath of the disaster. The seminar will be held in Kathmandu on 21 April 2016.

Honorable Minister of Information and Communication of Government of Nepal Mr. Sher Dhan Rai will grace the event as the Chief Guest.

Mr. Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication of Government of Nepal along with His Excellency the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Mr. Masashi Ogawa of Embassy of Japan in Nepal will attend as Guests of Honor.

The role of community radios and local media as mediums of disaster risk reduction is well acknowledged through out the world. Community radios play the vital role of enhancing preparedness of communities to deal with natural disasters and epidemics. They also play a crucial role of connecting relief agencies with the local populations in the immediate aftermath of disasters.

In the medium and longer term, their role as watchdogs and facilitators of rehabilitation and reconstruction tasks, in ensuring transparency of public expenditures and services, and thereby promoting good governance at local levels is critically important.

The Seminar entitled “Community Radios for Disaster Risk Reduction – The Nepal Initiative” will discuss strategies and ideas for enhancing preparedness of community radios so that they can play an even more effective role as tools of disaster risk reduction. A range of issues such as people’s participation in community radios to a community radio friendly national media policy will be brought under focus during the deliberations.

Speakers and community radio experts from India, Japan and Nepal will share their opinions and ideas in the seminar. Mr. Ramnath Bhat, Acting President of AMARC Asia-Pacific along with Mr. Junichi Hibino, treasurer of the AMARC Asia-Pacific, and Ms. Nimmi Chauhan, Asia-Pacific representative of Women International Network (WIN is a network of women broadcasters in community radios) will be at the seminar to share their insights.

The seminar is being organized with the support of Shapla Neer, an INGO involved in grassroots development in Nepal.

The organizer of the seminar, AMARC, is an international association of community radios. Its members are located in more than 130 countries worldwide. The Asia-Pacific regional office is located in Kathmandu.

Please find the agenda of the seminar here.

For further information, please contact:

Suman Basnet
Regional Coordinator
AMARC Asia-Pacifc
Phone: 015554811

In India, exploring the local impact of climate change

on Monday, 11 April 2016 22:52. Posted in News from the region

IYP2016 TreesForTheFutureAs part of their continued partnership, the Office for Corporate Communication of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) join forces again this year to facilitate the production of 40 audio pieces by producers and community radio journalists.

The international audio series “Communicating Development” aims to facilitate access to best management practices, increase public education and encourage dissemination of scientific knowledge.

“Communicating Development”  focuses on various themes such as nutrition, food security, health, biodiversity and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

This segment produced by radio Pard Vaanoli explores the impacts of climate change in the local district of Madurai, India, and the solutions for the problem. Four persons are interviewed. Mr. S. Suriya Narayanan is a social worker from the area of T.Kallupatty. He discusses the problem of deforestation.

Mr. K. Ramkumar is a Physical Educator at Government Higher Secondary School. He is in charge of the Green House program which involves 35 students. They conduct awareness programmes on Tree plantation, Solid Waste Management and Environment. Mr. M. Suresh is also a teacher at Government Higher Secondary School. He discuss the work of the students involved in the program. Mrs Parimala Ghandi works at the Agricultural Extension Training Center. She expresses the concerns and problems faced by famers of the area due to the shortage of rainfall.

You may listen and download the audio on AMARC's website and on Soundcloud.  

AMARC objects to the closing down of community radios in Japan

on Monday, 04 April 2016 15:36. Posted in News from the region

logo FMYYApril 1, 2016, Kathmandu. AMARC Asia-Pacific is gravely concerned to learn that Radio FMYY of Kobe, Japan – a community radio station that has played pioneering role in promoting disaster risk reduction has been forced to close down due to prohibitory provisions in the community radio regulation of Japan.

The regulation, following an amendment in 2011, imposes a highly restrictive condition on community radios, according to which a station cannot stop broadcasting even for a short time. In order to comply, community radios are required to make large investments on backup equipment and infrastructure, and remain unsympathetic to difficulties faced by staff members and volunteers. Stations considered to be in violation are dealt with severely.

On March 31, 2016, FMYY returned its broadcasting license back to Ministry of Internal Affairs and Telecommunication of the Government of Japan due to its inability to cope with this severely restrictive regulation. Several other radio stations including those serving tsunami prone areas have met with similar fate.

One of major roles of community radios in Japan is to respond to natural and human-caused disasters. Despite strong demand from community members for community radios, especially during reconstruction and rehabilitation phases of recovery, the prohibitive community radio regulation has posed serious challenge to survival of community broadcasting in Japan.

While community-owned radios such as FMYY are forced off-air, there is a growing trend in Japan for local governments to run radio stations through public-private venture companies. Even though such stations are called community radios, they are neither community owned nor can they be expected to defend people’s communication rights.

Junichi Hibino, Director of FMYY and Treasurer of AMARC Asia-Pacific board and other community radio stakeholders in Japan have resolved to continue their struggle for achieving community radio friendly regulations. “We have embarked on a journey to bring community broadcasting back to citizen’s society. By returning FMYY’s broadcasting license, a serious first blow has been delivered,” Mr. Hibino said.

Commenting on the situation, Ramnath Bhat, Acting President of AMARC Asia-Pacific has called upon the global fraternity of community radios to raise their voices against the unfair conditions being forced upon community radios in Japan. “AMARC members from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond join hands with our members in Japan in their struggle to revive community broadcasting in Japan,” he said.

For further information, please contact:

Suman Basnet
Regional Coordinator, AMARC Asia-Pacific
Kathmandu, Nepal.
Office phone: +977 1 5554811