Community media practitioners and advocates from South Asia came together at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) to form a South Asia network of community media, on Saturday, July 12, 2014. Organised by the UNESCO Chair on Community Media, in association with UNESCO and AMARC Asia-Pacific, the one-day consultation saw representatives from the Community Radio Forum (India), Community Radio Association (India), the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (Nepal), the Bangladesh Network of NGOs for Radio and Communication (Bangladesh), the Sri Lanka Development Journalists’ Forum (Sri Lanka), besides some community radio stations from India. The group spoke of the need for a South Asian regional network to strengthen the presence of and advocacy for community media in the region. Towards this end, the group came to a consensus of networking with other community media organisations and advocates in the region.
“There are issues with respect to community media scenarios that are peculiar to the region. We need to work together in an organised manner, and a network of this sort has been on our minds for a long time”, said Prof. Vinod Pavarala, the UNESCO Chair on Community Media, housed at the Department of Communication at UoH. The network aims to work towards creating enabling environments for community media, ensuring access to media technologies to the marginalised, among other things.
– Courtesy Ms. Preeti Raghunath, Research Assistant, UNESCO Chair on Community Media, UoH