Self-regulatory mechanisms for community radios to enforce integrity regulation prepared with UNESCO support
The Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB) recently presented a new self-regulatory mechanism for community radios in Nepal to enforce the community radio integrity regulation for non-partisan reporting to promote democracy and foster freedom of expression and the right to information. The development of the mechanism was supported with funds from UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
Nepal has witnessed a significant growth of the number of community radios in the recent years. Many of them are committed to contribute to democracy and the respect of human rights in Nepal. However, some of them are struggling to work towards the fundamental values and norms of community media, as their staff is often lacking knowledge and experience, and proper guidance is not readily available. In this context, it was felt essential to establish a self-regulatory mechanism to enforce the "Community Radio Integrity Regulation-2013" prepared by ACORAB.
Expressing satisfaction with UNESCO’s support, Mohan Chapagain, president of ACORAB says, "ACORAB is fully committed to help community radios and their information networks to strictly adhere to the community radio integrity regulation applicable for community radios and radio workers".
The IPDC supported self-regulatory mechanism includes supervision and monitoring of the implementation of the regulation and remedies in case of its violation.
The Nepalese self-regulatory mechanism of community radios has become a part of the Community Radio Integrity Regulations-2013. ACORAB has established "Central Integrity Committee" an independent mechanism in the central level to enforce the regulation. The regulations define the conduct, discipline and integrity of community radio stations and practitioners. It articulates norm of conduct and proposes the structure of a regulatory body within the each radio station and processes for supervision and monitoring.
One of the 99 recommendations of the recent pioneering UNESCO base-line study “Assessment of Media Development in Nepal” encourages Nepal’s media institutions to establish self-regulatory mechanisms and inform readers and audiences of their complaints handling mechanisms.
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