Call for preparation of action plan for community radio in Maldives
Independent and representative committee should formulate draft of a community radio policy.
At a National Orientation on Community Radio in the Maldives, concluded recently in Male, the county's capital, participants called for the appointment by the Ministry of Information and Arts, by September 2007, of an independent and representative committee comprising all stakeholders, to formulate the draft of a community radio policy in Maldives, ensuring transparency in the process.
By the end of 2007, the committee should provide recommendations relating to all aspects of community radio including independent programming, technical regulations, sustainability and transparency both on behalf of the government as well as civil society, strategies and a three-year action plan for the introduction of this new information and communication development tool, including a pilot initiative for possible completion in December 2007.
It was also noted that in the meantime, preparatory capacity building in community broadcasting techniques in collaboration with the existing Atoll Media Centres and VOM will immediately follow with UNESCO/IPDC and other United Nations assistance in keeping with the One UN approach to development assistance in this country.
These recommendations formed part of an 8-point package for study by the Government including the acceptance of the international definition of Community Radio, operationalisation and implementation of Community Radio in Maldives by 2010; reinforcement and capacity building of participatory programming in Maldives, continued and systematic awareness and engagement on the potential of Community Radio in collaboration with the Government and civil society, formulation of programming guidelines to ensure editorial independence and appropriate responses to the needs of the communities, and processes within and outside the legal framework, to ensure ownership and management of the Community Radio by the community.
The National Orientation was attended by over 60 participants including Community Radio experts from the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India, media professionals, representatives from non governmental organizations and other civil society bodies, UN staff, senior officials from the Government and the National Security Force, and the Youth movement, as well as senior staff of the Voice of Maldives.
This overall exercise was organized by the Voice of Maldives, in collaboration with UNESCO within the context of the reform agenda of the Government of Maldives, which places special emphasis on public participation, and inclusion of all especially the poor and marginalized in promoting good governance practices and the raising of awareness of human rights especially amongst the most vulnerable including women, youth and citizens in the outer Atoll islands.
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