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Communication and Information Resources

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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Bangladesh government awards licenses for establishing community radios

26-04-2010 (Dhaka)
Bangladesh government awards licenses for establishing community radios
Interviewing a community
member in Sitakund
The government of Bangladesh has awarded licenses to twelve organizations, mostly NGOs, to set up community radio (CR) stations. Two years after the adoption of the Community Radio Policy, the much-awaited establishment of community radios, promised by the government in its election campaign, will change for ever the country’s media landscape.
The community radio movement, initiated by a group of NGOs, was reinforced when UNESCO’s Dhaka Office joined it four years ago. Since then the Office has organized a series of advocacy meetings, published a number of easy-reading materials, including audiovisual productions, with the goal to mobilize support for the movement and persuade policymakers to open up community radios in Bangladesh.

Thanks to the support of the Dhaka Office, the Bangladesh delegation, comprising two members of Parliament and two high officials from the Ministry of Information, participated in the 2nd AMARC Asia-Pacific Conference (Bangalore, India, 20-23 February 2010) that focused on community radio.

With community radio stations entering the scene, the country’s media landscape is bound to change for ever. Despite dozens of newspapers, twelve TV channels and four FM radios already existing in Bangladesh, media accessibility has been seriously constrained by illiteracy, lack of electricity and large-scale poverty. The community radios, which are to be set up in the most impoverished rural areas, are expected to improve this situation. The following districts will host the stations: Barguna, Bogra, Chapai Nababganj, Chittagong, Khinaidah, Krugram, Moulovi Bazar, Munshigonj, Naogaon, Sathkhira and Rajshahi.

All stakeholders that were initiators of the CR movement in Bangladesh hope that the new radio stations will not only enable rural communities to access information that have direct impact on their lives, but also allow them to take part in development activities and democratic processes.
Related themes/countries

      · Bangladesh
      · Community Media
      · International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)
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