Category Archives: Policy

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Community Radio organized in Islamabad

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Islamabad, and Pakistan Community Media Network in collaboration with Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), New Delhi organized the ‘National Consultation on Community Radio for Learning’ in Islamabad, Pakistan on May 25, 2015.

While chairing the consultation’s preliminary session, AIOU’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shahid Siddiqui announced the University’s decision to strengthen media support through an enhanced FM radio network for its students. Underlining the importance of radio broadcasting in education and societal reformation, the Vice-Chancellor also emphasized its relevance in terms of easy accessibility.

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Source: CR News

Dhaka-Colombo for fair and free Mass Media: Sri Lankan side expressed interest in learning from the experience of Bangladesh in introducing Community Radio!

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu called on his Sri Lankan counterpart Gayantha Karunathilaka Wednesday, 17 June in Colombo
Information Minister H. E. Hasanul Haq Inu, MP, and Sri Lankan Mass Media and Information Minister H. E. Gayantha Karunathilaka voiced together on keeping the mass media free from religious militancy and inappropriate content in order to uphold democracy.

They also agreed in principle to conclude a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on sharing of content between state-owned news agencies, television and radio as well as producing cinema in joint venture as Bangladesh Information Minister called on his counterpart in Colombo Wednesday morning.

Hasanul Haq Inu is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka heading a government delegation aimed at enhanced cooperation between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in mass-media sector and sharing technical experiences in related field.

The two Ministers laid emphasis on the need of training of officials engaged in the institutions of information and media, and of regular holding of film festivals in each other’s country. Sri Lankan side expressed interest in learning from the experience of Bangladesh in implementing Right to Information Act and in introducing Community Radio.

Mass Media and Information Secretary Karunarathne Paranavithana and high officials of the ministry were present from the Sri Lankan side. Bangladesh officials present at the call on included Additional Secretary of Ministry of Information S. M. Haroon-Or-Rashid, High Commissioner Tarik Ahsan, Sr. Deputy Principal Information Officer Mahfuzur Rahman Malangi and BTV Engineer Md. Kamaluddin.

This was the first Ministerial level bilateral visit taking place between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka after the new government in Sri Lanka took office following the Presidential election in January 2015.

Sri Lanka, an island country of 65,610 sq km (little less than half the size of Bangladesh), with a population of about 21 million has 21 terrestrial, 29 satellite television, 72 radio channels and about 12 national daily newspapers.

Source: BNNRC

Community Radio will be set up in every upazilla (Sub District) in Bangladesh

unnamed“Ministry of Information will take initiatives to set up community radio in every upazilla and will consider limited commercial advertisement for survival of community radios soon’’ said   Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Information, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh spoke on the closing meeting to share achievements of the project Pioneering, Connecting & Empowering Voices for Change –Strengthening Community Radio in Bangladesh to fight Poverty and Promote Development.’’ as the Chief Guest on 28 May’15 at IDB Conference room of the city, The Minister said, `Ministry of Information will consider limited commercial advertisements, community radio fund and strengthening community radio policy soon for sustainability of community radios in Bangladesh. As a result 488 upazilla will be covered by community radio operation in future. 

Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) and Free Press Unlimited (The Netherlands), two implementing partners jointly organized the event supported by the European Union. 

Mr. Martuza Ahmed, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Information, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, said as Special Guests, “Community Radios in Bangladesh have been working to ensure Right to Information for marginalized people for their empowerment as well as to reflect those information to the government and other policymakers of the country. It creates aiding environment to transparency and accountability”. 

He appreciated the attendance of the event and pleased to see numerical data on women journalists, producers for community radio on the basis of gender equality. “I do believe that, the recent award achievement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on gender equity is really a part of activities of Community Radio Stations”, He added. Mr. Martuza also expressed his deep satisfaction on the present role of community radio on fulfillment of MDG goals, digital Bangladesh and expected continuation of these activities in future.

Mr. Frédéric Maduraud, Minister Counsellor, Head of Political, Economic, Trade, Press and Information Section, European Union, Delegation to Bangladesh and Mr. Henrick van Asch, First Secretary Political and Economic Affairs of Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Dhaka, also attended on the programme as Guests of Honor. Mr. Frédéric said, the “Community Radio (in brief)” project is an important example of the powerful effect of an environment that fosters and protects the right to information, the freedom of expression and freedom of the media. He expressed his deep concern on harassment of journalists, human right defenders, attacking and killing bloggers etc. in recent days in Bangladesh. Mr. Frédéric said, “ Today the main challenges to the decision makers and the civil society is to find the right balance between protecting freedoms and ensuring public security from the propagation of hate speech, cyber-crime and terrorism”. “The European Union opposes any unjustified restrictions on the internet and other media and stands ready to deepen it’s cooperation with Bangladesh to ensure appropriate legal system and policy environment as effective safeguard”, he added. 

Kazi Akhtar Uddin Ahmed , Director General [Additional Secretary] Bangladesh Betar & Chairperson, Community Radio Related Central Monitoring Committee, Ministry of Information was present also as Special Guests. In his short speech Mr. Ahmed said, “The present government is trying to create enabling environment for sustainability of community radios. He also emphasized on information sharing about programs among media landscapes of the country to avoid mismatch and overlap. He stressed on establishing mechanism to coordinate support and cooperation of other media professionals for more achievements in future.  

Mr. Henrick van Asch, said, “Right to Information, Freedom from hunger and poverty are very basic needs for every citizens of the country. The sixteen community radio in Bangladesh has been working for those aiming to diminish break/divides between rural and urban lives which is praiseworthy.”He expressed his expectation that, community radio would be more dynamic contributor for free flow of information through broadcasted news, progammes etc. for the proper and sustainable development of sidelined citizens in Bangladesh. 

Mr. Ashish Sen, renowned community media expert from India, shared the preliminary findings on the achievements and challenges of the project. Around 150 representatives from different GOs and NGOs, development partners, rural women journalists, academic institutions, print and electronic media houses participated on the event. 

Ms. Dessi Damianova, Program Manager (South Asia), Free Press Unlimited delivered speech on project achievements and lessons learned as well as future direction. She described about shared values and beliefs of Free Press Unlimited and community radios of the projects on the ground of EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Underlining broadcasting area, hour and audiences, youth involvement etc. she also emphasized on expanding spaces for community radio stations as well as rural communities. 

Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chairperson, BNNRC Board of Trust & Executive Director – COAST Trust chaired and moderated the meeting while Chief Executive Officer of BNNRC AHM Bazlur Rahman gave welcome speech.

The discussion session was shared with a video documentary on project performance. A photo exhibition was also organized around the program premise highlighting the achievements of the project.

In accordance with its strategy to promote an inclusive and empowered society in Bangladesh, the European Union supported the project for the period February 2013 – May 2015 for strengthening community radio across the country to produce and broadcast informative programs and enable communities to participate actively in dialogue and initiatives for development and poverty reduction.

Source: BNNRC