Young journalists trained on legal implications of media convergence
Journalists from eight Asian countries are currently learning about the legal implications of the quickly changing media landscape in a five-day training that ends today in Kathmandu. The aim of the training, organized by AIBD with support from UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication is to introduce the participants to the basic principles of international law as they apply to freedom of expression and to how to analyze national legal systems and the way they shape press, broadcasting and Internet laws and regulations.
Especially Internet and satellite broadcasting have made it possible for almost any content to be broadcasted globally – making it possible for journalists to have their stories spread further than previously possible, and for the audience to access information that previously was not available for them. However, these changes pose a set of brand new challenges to working journalists. Although the primary audience for a given news story may still be local, regional or national, these reports can be watched, heard and read by people around the world.
‘We are dealing with an era of media convergence where a lot of the content produced by journalists is also published on the Internet. Many journalists are not aware of the laws related to this convergence, exposing themselves to risks unknowingly. We want to open their eyes, increase their knowledge of what’s going on outside their own country and give them tools to do their jobs as well as possible, being aware of the related risks”, said Manil Cooray, the Deputy Director of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development.
During the five-day training young journalists from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Indonesia, Maleysia and Sri Lanka learn about international and national laws and their implications to journalism. The training covers areas such as libel, insult and privacy laws, internet regulation, national security laws and contempt of court. They have also had the chance to share their experiences of practicing journalism in their home countries. While a journalist from Sri Lanka is facing threats and impunity, a journalist from Bhutan is an eagerly waited sight in any event.
“It’s been great to share experiences from colleagues from other countries, those are often the moments when you learn the most”, said Rajan Parajuli from Antenna Foundation Nepal.