10.12.2012 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

Establishing a community radio self-regulation mechanism in Nepal

©UNESCO -Women journalists airing a radio programme in a community radio in Birjung

Community radios play an important role in Nepal’s media landscape. But operating them to professional and ethical standards is often a challenge. UNESCO, through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), is now assisting the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB) to establish a community radio self-regulation mechanism.

The one-year project intends to enhance and institutionalize democratic norms, accountability and professionalism of community radios so that they can efficiently play their role of watchdogs and be the voice of citizens and defenders of public interest.

The project will strengthen community radios’ responsibility for quality programmes on the basis of the Community Radio Code of Conduct and to enhance the capacity of ACORAB to effectively play its role to ensure the accessibility, independence, efficiency and effectiveness of the self-regulating system.

The activities of this new initiative include training on the implementation of the code of conduct for ACORAB members, raising awareness on the self-regulatory system, updating the code of conduct based on suggestions of the community radio practitioners and monitoring the compliance of community radios with the code of conduct.

ACORAB was established as an autonomous and politically non-partisan organization. Membership includes more than 200 community radio stations spread in the country. It works to advance the cause of community radio, facilitates the sharing of knowledge and resources, and speaks with one voice for the community that it represents. Fundamentally, it benefits Nepal's democratization and peace process by allowing for greater expression at the grassroots and by linking the voices of marginalized, excluded, and poverty-stricken to the national discourse.

The IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries. The Programme provides support for media projects and seeks an accord to secure a healthy environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media in developing countries.

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