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

Global Media Monitoring Project: Who Makes the News?

on Friday, 18 March 2016 12:18. Posted in News from the region

GMMP essential informationThe Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) is a worldwide media monitoring, research and advocacy project implemented collaboratively with women’s rights organizations, grassroots groups, media associations, faith-based / interfaith organizations, university students and researchers across the world.

Why it is important: The importance of media monitoring as a tool for change was officially recognized by the United Nations for the first time in Section J of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. The GMMP was initially inspired by the concern of women activists to bring the issue of media accountability to the forefront of the debate on gender inequalities. Its subsequent implementation was guided by the concern of researchers to ensure comparable and accurate analysis of data collected in different settings by different individuals. 

What the research findings are used for: The research findings are useful for education, policy advocacy, public awareness, gender-equality/women’s rights activism, media and communication policy development, among other applications. The findings are applied by gender equality organisations, women’s rights groups, education institutions and other agencies.

1995 – 2013: Four GMMPs have been carried out so far, in 1995, in 2000, in 2005 and in 2010. Participation increased from 71 countries in 1995 to 108 countries in 2010, evidencing a growing interest, willingness to engage on issues of gender in the media and commitment to propel change towards media that affirms women’s rights and gender equality objectives. The monitoring shows extremely slow progress in bringing women’s voices to bear in public discourse taking place through the news media. Not only does the news present a male-centric view of the world, it is also marked by gender bias and extensive stereotyping that underpin marginalisation, discrimination and violence against girls and women.

2014 – 2019: A global consultative meeting in February 2013 concluded it was important to convene GMMP 5 in order to ensure continuity in tracking progress towards gender-just, gender-balanced news media. GMMP 5 will reveal persistent and emerging gaps in gender portrayal and representation in not only traditional (print and broadcast) media, but in new electronic media forms. 

GMMP 5 will maintain the spotlight on gender inequalities perpetuated in and through the news media, and the demands for change. It will also update the data to be used for sensitizing new generations of journalists, creating awareness in media consumers, and for media policy and practice change advocacy.

Finally, GMMP 5 will be linked to key 2015 processes including the 20 year review of progress made in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action for the Advancement of Women (Beijing +20), Post 2015 development agenda debates, and the World Summit on the Information Society 10-year review.

GMMP Network: The GMMP network's membership spans over 100 countries in every continent across the world. The network includes gender and communication groups, women’s media associations, women’s grassroots groups and researchers in academia who participated in the previous GMMPs of 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.

Source: Who Makes the News / GMMP

Photo: © GMMP