Asia and the Pacific

Tonga

As the Kingdom of Tonga undergoes a period of radical change in the switch from a constitutional monarchy to a parliamentary system with elected representatives, UNESCO is supporting the role that media can play in helping society to navigate through this crucial transition period. The Tongan Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) is the national broadcaster in the Kingdom of Tonga, dominating the media scene and reaching out to a large proportion of the population.

A UNESCO-supported project facilitated capacity building workshops for 15 TBC staff, seeking to build their understanding of the new system of governance, empower them to train peers, and produce twenty-four 30-minute programmes for radio and TV that inform and engage the public on issues around the political shift.

Sub-regional activity in East Asia

Globe International and Press Institute (Mongolian specialized media NGOs), together with the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists (CMJ) and with the support of UNESCO’s Beijing Office, the US Embassy in Mongolia and the Open Society Foundation organized a World Press Freedom Day celebration that included a special roundtable focused on media and elections.

The occasion also served to launch the UNESCO-supported translation into Mongolian of the Coaching Manual for Media Support during elections, developed by International Media Support and the Media & Democracy group.

These activities were organized with a view of the Mongolian parliamentary elections of June 2012. These represented a historic crossroad for a country with a new electoral law, a booming economy in rapid transformation; and taking into account that after the disputed 2008 parliamentary elections riots had claimed five lives.

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