UNESCO Online Master Classes for Community Radio Stations in Bangladesh – India Education | Latest Education News | World Education News

Community radios play an essential role in the life of communities and their sustainable development as well as more recently through the COVID-19 response. UNESCO, through its communication and information programme, supports and encourages community media, including community radio in Bangladesh.

In this context, the UNESCO Office in Dhaka, with the financial support of UNESCO Multi-donor program on freedom of expression and media pluralism and with the help of international and national expert trainers and tutors, organized two rounds of online capacity building masterclasses for community radio stations in Bangladesh between 2 and 22 December 2021.

A total of 44 participants from 13 community radio stations across Bangladesh participated in the two sets of online capacity building Master Classes:

1. Online Masterclass in Community Radio Journalism: With the support of expert trainer Ms. Zerrin Afza, the engaging and highly participatory five-day masterclasses on COVID-19 broadcasting focused on building the capacity of community radio stations in areas relevant to Community radio program production and community radio program content. During the first part of the training, participants learned about journalistic reporting processes, subjective presentation of radio programs, engaging and effective radio programs, as well as mobile journalism. During the second part, students focused and learned on radio program content development, during which guest experts including Mr. Afsan Chowdhury, Mr. Md. Tazul Islam and Mr. Saad Bin Shafiq shared their experiences and strategies for addressing cyberbullying, gender-based domestic violence, as well as discussing issues around COVID-19 radio broadcasting.

At the end of the Master Classes, the expert trainer organizes mentoring sessions with the participants during January 2022 to reinforce the knowledge acquired and answer specific questions.

2. Online Master Classes on Technical and Editorial Broadcasting: With the support of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters and a team of tutors, the engaging and highly participatory five-day technical and editorial broadcasting masterclasses built the capacity of participants from 12 participating community radio stations from across Bangladesh in the technical and editorial parts of community radio broadcasting, including the basic operation of radio production hardware and software, as well as creative editorial and post-production techniques that are useful for the operation of the community radio.

The master classes were coordinated by Mr. Suman Basnet, Regional Director of AMARC Asia-Pacific, as well as thematically led by Dr. Ram Bhat, President of AMARC Asia-Pacific, with a team of 4 professionals from the experienced audio who acted as tutors. The Master Classes, which took place over two weeks, helped staff and participating volunteers from community radio stations learn the basics of radio technology as well as improve the quality of their content by applying editorial skills and creative radio production techniques.

Following the Master Classes, the trainers and tutors organize mentoring sessions with the participants during the months of January and February 2022 to reinforce the knowledge acquired and answer specific questions.

The UNESCO Online Masterclass for Community Radio Stations in Bangladesh was a great success. Participating community radio stations reported having improved their technical, editorial and journalistic capacities to serve diverse audiences with relevant, reliable and accurate information as a result of the Online Master Classes – and look forward to further training opportunities at the to come up.

For 2022, the UNESCO Office in Dhaka plans to launch a series of self-paced training materials based on master classes conducted. These self-paced online training materials, which will be made available to community radios and other media actors in Bangladesh and beyond, will provide technical support to the community media sector in the post-COVID era.

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