IPDC projects strengthen journalism in the Andean region

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andes journalism 2013Freedom of expression, development of community media and high quality journalism education are being fostered in the Andean region with the support of six projects of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) coordinated by UNESCO’s Office in Quito.

Among the activities carried out was a workshop to train 17 journalists from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela in investigative journalism and self-protection mechanisms. As a result of this workshop, reports about drug trafficking were published in two of the most major media outlets in Colombia: Semana magazine and La Verdad newspaper. Four reports were also posted on Cosecha Roja network.

In Peru, a separate project saw more than 70 women communicators from 20 different regions receive training in ICT, radio and gender in order to reinforce community media in the country. Along the same lines, Afro-Bolivian grassroots communicators from the Los Yungas area of La Paz were trained in communication and democracy, computing, radio and digital journalism.

Project activities also focused on unions and media owners, with a guide about self-regulation and gender coverage currently being developed, and which will be put into practice in some of the biggest media outlets in Ecuador.

Regarding journalism education – one of the IPDC’s priority areas – project support is helping over 30 professors of masters-level programmes in the Andean Region to access training in subjects that include: On-line/Multimedia Journalism, Media Legislation and Journalism Ethics. Some of the courses from UNESCO’s Model Curricula on Journalism Education specifically aimed at community communicators have also recently been adopted by the Bolivarian University in Venezuela.

Training professors for Masters programmes in the Andean region with emphasis on strategic use and social appropriation of ICTs

In the Latin American region, an urgent need has been identified to provide training for professors in key areas of journalism, proposing four subjects from the UNESCO Model Curriculum: Foundations of journalism, Multimedia journalism, Media legislation and Journalism ethics. These subjects will be taught both on-campus and virtually through the FELAFACS website, allowing professors to become familiar with ICTs, using digital platforms to upload documents, interacting and promoting contents on social networks, in order to then take advantage of this experience to replicate within their curricula. A recent mapping of teaching communication in Latin America and the Caribbean, conducted by the Latin American Federation of Schools of Social Communication (FELAFACS), together with UNESCO support, revealed that journalism training in the region is generally part of degree programmes in communication, which cover areas such as marketing, image or public relations, with little attention to specific professional journalism subjects.

andes web picture 2This project will therefore address the issue by training professors in essential areas of journalism, so they can replicate the four selected modules of the Model Curriculum in their own countries. In this line, the project will ensure the equal participation of women and men, both in terms of participants and trainers. There is an urgent need to strengthen the professional and academic profile, to give new generations of students more updated knowledge, suited to the profession’s foundations. The project will build a venue for training, building knowledge and exchanging ideas for outstanding scholars, professors or researchers who are currently striving for quality education for journalists as a means of change and social transformation, through strategic use and societal appropriation of ICTs. Finally, the project will also seek to create a base of recommendations to enable these subjects to be applied by more universities in the Andean Region.

Project contacts:

Diana Marcela Escobar Aguirre, FELAFACS Project Coordinator (proyectos@felafacs.org)
Project place:
Cali
Project country:
Colombia
Project region:
Latin America and the Caribbean

Giving a Voice to Women: Establishing the Community Radio Station ‘Radio Nari Aawaj’

Gauri KhadayatNepal’s media sector has made great advances in the past two decades, with the introduction of laws ensuring press freedom paving the way for private and community involvement in the media. Today, more than 11 television channels broadcast from Kathmandu, and over 237 radio stations operate within the country, including a substantial number of community radio stations. Community radio has the proven potential to enable marginalized communities to exercise their right to knowledge and information, including them in policy and decision-making processes, and promoting the diversity of their cultural expression.

This project will launch a community radio station entitled ‘Radio Nari Aawaj‘ (‘Radio Women’s Voice‘), to target rural women from the Jumla district, who at present suffer from high levels of illiteracy and low representation within the media. Studio and transmitting equipment will be provided, and at least 30 women will be trained on radio operation techniques and programme production. A five-year strategic plan will also be developed to ensure continuity and sustainability. In achieving its goal, this project will result in a community radio station operated by a trained staff of local women, capable of facilitating self-expression and the sharing of information and knowledge. OBJECTIVE To develop a strategic plan, and provide equipment and training support in order to launch a community radio station, operated by, and aimed at, women living in the remote Jumla District of Nepal.

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