In an earlier post, I wrote about what I presented to the workshop on community broadcasting and ICTs during Asia Media Summit 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last week.
The workshop on ‘Connecting Communities through Community Broadcasting and ICTs’ gave us a chance to clarify key issues and concerns, and to agree on a common understanding for future action.
On behalf of our workshop, dynamic young Manisha Aryal, broadcast activist from Nepal who currently works for InterNews in Pakistan, presented our recommendations to the Summit plenary.
Here, for the record, are the recommendations. I don’t hold my breath on this, but it’s good to synthesize a long and hard day’s work — over nine hours of talking! — into a few short paras.
Connecting Communities Though Community Radios and ICT
Recognizing the importance of community media in economic, political and social development, in promoting good governance practices, and in empowering marginalized groups and communities in participating fully in society in urban, rural as well as remote areas; and
Understanding the importance of encouraging community media initiatives that are owned and managed by communities and with material produced predominantly by, for and about communities,
We, the participants at the workshop on Connecting Communities through Community Radios and ICTs at Asia Media Summit 2007:
• Advocate for the recognition of community radio and other community media as a distinct tier of legislation and regulation, alongside public service and commercial broadcasting, thus, contributing to the promotion of “air diversity”
• Advocate for the recognition of community media practitioners as valuable, professionally competent resources who can be involved in both peer training and training of other media professionals
• Organize awareness building and sensitization programs on community radio and other ICTs’ potential in development for legislators and community broadcasters
• Invite community media practitioners and include the topic of community broadcasting prominently in regional and global meetings (for example: a plenary session on community media at AMS 2008, World Electronic Media Forum later this year, etc.)
• Organize training and mentoring sessions for Community Broadcasting practitioners with special recognition of the role of younger generations on how community radio can capitalize on the development in the ICT sector, on new ways of addressing financial and organizational sustainability, etc.
• Include Community Media practitioners in the documentation and sharing of local and indigenous knowledge, as well as other discussions on global themes (for example the discussions on GM, MDGs, etc.)
• Look for ways to ground community media initiatives to initiatives in other sectors (health, agriculture, education, etc.)
• Facilitate partnerships between efforts to promote community broadcasting and efforts to promote newer ICTs among communities such as Community Multimedia Centers, etc.
• Recognize community broadcasting stations as an effective entry point to take ICTs to the grassroots both in rural as well as urban settings.
• Document and disseminate best-practices and learnings in community broadcasting
Photo courtesy Manori Wijesekera, TVEAP