14.08.2007 -

A Workshop in Nepal to Find the 'Community' in Community Media

The role of community media in Nepal is emerging as one of the key factors in the country's transition to a Democratic Republic.

Nepal's current period of political and institutional transition is a crucial time to raise questions concerning peoples' participation at the local or community level.

 

Do the marginalised have a voice? Do the marginalised have access to appropriate mediums through which they can tell their stories and ultimately have their needs met? How do the marginalised receive appropriate information?

 

These are the questions that researchers from the Finding a Voice project raised and debated at the New Media for Civil Society workshop held in Nepal in April, 2007. Using the Ethnographic Action Research methodology the project is fostering greater understanding of content as an enabling tool within communities, ICT applications and community media.

 

The workshop drew together academic researchers; NGO activists and media experts to examine how new media may be used to enhance effective communication by Asian groups committed to the promotion of human rights. The conference's objectives were twofold: to develop an exchange of information and resources which will provide practical guidance on effective media use for human rights NGOs in the region; and to generate deeper theoretical insights into the possibilities and limitations of the development of "online civil society".

 

This initiative is part of Finding a Voice - UNESCO Cross Cutting Theme project in collaboration with University of Adelaide, Queensland University of Technology and supported by Australian Research Council. Using the Ethnographic Action Research methodology the project is fostering greater understanding of content as an enabling tool within communities, ICT applications and its role in poverty reduction and achievement of Millennium Development Goals.

 

By integrating traditional and new media, community multimedia centers link local and global networks and bring digital tools and new opportunities within the reach of millions, opening new gateways to information, communication and knowledge. A community multimedia centre (CMC) combines traditional local media, like radio, TV and newspapers, with new technologies, such as computers, internet, photocopiers and digital devices like cameras and audio players. CMCs are a unique way for poor communities, often in remote rural areas, to overcome common obstacles to their full and profitable use of ICTs, including the vast potential knowledge resources of the internet and other digital media. UNESCO's global pilot project with CMCs is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

 

<a href="http://rspas.anu.edu.au/asiarightsjournal/Issue%20Eight%20Martin%20et%20al.pdf">Click here</a> to download the paper




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